The Rex Organization’s foundation on Saturday awarded $1 million in grants to a total of 63 organizations, all to benefit New Orleans education.
Since it was launched by Rex in 2007, the Pro Bono Publico Foundation has contributed $6.5 million in cumulative contributions to schools and educational organizations.
The foundation’s grants have reached $1 million a year for three consecutive years.
In total, the grants will support an estimated 34,000 local students.
Although individual grant amounts were not released, grants ranging from $10,000 to $40,000 were awarded to organizations that serve children of all ages, from early childhood programs such as McMillian’s First Steps to higher education programs such as College Beyond New Orleans, which helps students enroll and succeed in college.
Through a grant to the New Orleans Recreation Development Commission, the Pro Bono Publico Foundation also continues to sponsor booster club activities at Taylor Playground, which is across South Derbigny Street from the Rex den, in the Hoffman Triangle neighborhood. The foundation has supported the park for the past several years and has let neighborhood groups use the den as a gathering space.
A Saturday open house at the Rex den also highlighted the work of Teach For America, which can count its corps members and alumni at seven out of 10 public schools in Orleans Parish. While some worry that the organization is supplying inexperienced instructors to area classrooms with high numbers of at-risk children, others see the youthful teachers as crucial to educational reform in Orleans.
Grants were made to nine charter-management organizations, encompassing 42 schools; 14 individual charter schools; and 10 other individual schools, many of which serve students with special needs.
The schools are: Audubon Charter School, Belle Chasse Academy, Bricolage Academy, the Choice Foundation (Lafayette Academy and Esperanza charters), Collegiate Academies (Sci Academy, G.W. Carver and Livingston Collegiate), Crescent City Schools (Harriet Tubman, Akili Academy and Paul Habans), the Cypress Charter School Association (Cypress Academy), the Einstein Group (Einstein Village de l’Est, Sherwood Forest, Einstein Middle and High).
Also, FirstLine Schools (Arthur Ashe, Samuel J. Green, Langston Hughes, Phillis Wheatley and Joseph S. Clark), the Good Shepherd School, Edgar P. Harney Spirit of Excellence Academy, Hoffman Early Learning Center, Homer A. Plessy Community School (through the Citizens Committee for Education), InspireNOLA Charter Schools (Alice M. Harte, Edna Karr, Eleanor McMain, McDonogh 42 and Andrew Wilson), International High School of New Orleans.
Also, International School of Louisiana, Jefferson Chamber Foundation Academy, Kenner Discovery Health Sciences Academy, KIPP New Orleans Schools (11 schools), Lake Forest Elementary Charter School, McMillian’s First Steps Academy, NOCCA, New Orleans College Prep (Crocker, Sylvanie Williams and Cohen College Prep), New Orleans Military and Maritime Academy, Raphael Academy.
Also, ReNEW Charter Schools (Dolores T. Aaron, Schaumburg, McDonogh City Park Academy,and ReNEW Sci Tech, Cultural Arts and Accelerated schools), St. Augustine High School, St. Michael Special School, St. Stephen’s Catholic School, Sci High-New Orleans Charter Math and Science High School (through the Foundation for Science and Mathematics Education), Success Preparatory Academy and Warren Easton Charter School Foundation.
In addition, 30 organizations received awards for providing educational and arts programming, training, policy, advocacy, research and support to schools and children.
They were: 4.0 Schools, Bayou District Foundation, Breakthrough New Orleans, the Chartwell Center, City Year New Orleans, College Beyond New Orleans (housed at New Orleans College Prep), College Track New Orleans, Communities in Schools of Greater New Orleans, Education Pioneers, Elevate New Orleans, Greater New Orleans Collaborative of Charter Schools, Greater New Orleans STEM Initiative (Core Element), KID smART, Leading Educators of Greater New Orleans.
Also, Lighthouse for the Blind in New Orleans, Live Oak Wilderness Camp, Louisiana Appleseed Center for Law and Justice, Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools, Louisiana Policy Institute for Children, New Schools for New Orleans, the Posse Foundation, Roots of Music, Stand for Children Louisiana, Teach For America Greater New Orleans, Tulane University's Cowen Institute, YA-YA, the Youth Empowerment Project, Young Audiences of Louisiana and Youth Run NOLA.