NEW YORK, December 15, 2021 – Project Wish List is a charitable initiative that has raised a total of $1 million to support at-risk children in public charter schools in the Washington, D.C. area. When NFP became aware of the struggles DC-area public charter schools were facing throughout the pandemic, they decided to support these schools that offer strong academic programs to at-risk students (young people who are homeless, in foster care, or eligible for public assistance). Some of these struggles include mental health/wellness, staffing shortages, technology challenges, and facility improvements.
“The need for additional funding for schools has never been greater, particularly with all the challenges of 2020 and 2021, which have been especially disruptive for public charter schools,” said Alan Meltzer managing director of The Meltzer Group, an NFP company. “To say our involvement in Project Wish List has been personally rewarding is an understatement.”
In developing Project Wish List, NFP connected with Katherine Bradley, a DC-based philanthropist and Founder and Board Chair of CityBridge, to help get the project up and running. They approached 12 local schools to put together a “wish list” of things they needed to continue their mission of providing excellent educational and extracurricular programs but could no longer afford.
"Schools have faced extraordinary challenges over the past year and a half,” said Daniela Anello, Head of School at DC Bilingual. “Support from Project Wish List came at a pivotal time, as we made our way back into the classroom and worked to meet the critical needs of our students and families this school year. Project Wish List helped meet these needs with new laptops, mental health support for teachers, and parent-teacher home visits to help with a strong re-opening this year. We are forever grateful for this partnership and commitment to high quality education for our District's children and youth."
Some of the specific wish list projects and schools funded include Rocketship, an instrumental music program, Digital Pioneers, which is increasing the number of extracurricular sports, activities and clubs available to students, and DC Bilingual, which provides mental health counseling for teachers.
“NFP has become a champion for some of our best schools and most innovative leaders in the DC education space,” said Bradley. “NFP is a true friend and advocate for educators and children in the city.”
In addition to the $100,000 donation from NFP, the following major donors to Project Wish List included: Kimberly Berger, Josh Bernstein, Katherine Bradley, Matt Jaeger, Alan and Nadine Levin, Alan and Amy Meltzer, Evan Morgan, the Bender Foundation and the Freeman Foundation.
“Our hope is to continue growing Project Wish List and extending its positive impact to even more schools,” said Ethan Foxman, president in NFP’s Atlantic region.
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