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The William Penn Foundation awards us a $348,125 grant to construct an on-site Adult Learning Annex.

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We are on the threshold of an incredible step and have big news:

The William Penn Foundation awarded us a $348,125 grant to construct an on-site Adult Learning Annex.

“This is the largest one-year grant in our 41-year history. But even more significant is what it allows us to do: take a major step toward our goal to create Philadelphia’s first hands-on training lab for educators within a high-quality early education program. We will soon share our expertise with more teachers, directors, student-teachers and support staff in a new state-of-the-art Adult Learning Annex, ” says Mary Graham, Executive Director, Children’s Village.  As a bonus, the area can be readily reconfigured into indoor play space for our toddlers, preschoolers, and school-agers.

Our recently completed William Penn-funded feasibility study defined our plans to formalize our training and generate new funding from it. “While we will continue to rely on our wonderful family of donors, we must identify new streams of support. Several colleges/universities and city and community agencies have enlisted our training services, ” says Mary.  “Six of our staff members have earned certification to offer numerous workshops, including Learning through Play and Literacy in the Digital Age. I conduct business, management, and human resource training to give directors tools to help navigate the challenges of program operations,” she continues.

The Adult Learning Annex responds to a pressing demand for high-quality training, especially relating to at-risk children.  “Philadelphia’s adoption of universal Pre-K strengthened our resolve to expand our professional development role,” says Mary. “Many of our students are low income, learning English, and have special needs. We are eager to share our ‘whole child’ approach and ways to help reduce the complex social, cultural, and financial barriers many families face,” she explains.

“Thanks to the dedication of our teachers and staff and the support of donors, volunteers, and community partners, Children’s Village is a model of excellence.  We are deeply grateful that the William Penn Foundation is helping us share what we know and reach more children and families,” says Mary.

To learn more about the William Penn Foundation, visit

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