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The William Penn Foundation and McLean Contributionship Award Grants to Help Children’s Village Create City’s First Early Learning Lab

Eblast group on deckExtraordinary foundation funding is helping Children’s Village fully realize its vision to create Philadelphia’s first hands-on Learning Lab for education professionals within a high-quality early learning program. The William Penn Foundation gave two previous Learning Lab-related grants, and its most recent funding will support classroom renovations.  The grant will ensure our facilities best accommodate our professional development efforts. The McLean Contributionship also awarded a grant for our Adult Learning Annex.

“We are humbled and elated by these awards. Many of our students are low income, learning English, and have special needs. We are eager to share our ‘whole child’ approach with other education professionals as we work together to help reduce the complex social, cultural, and financial barriers many families face,” says Mary Graham, Executive Director, Children’s Village.

The Learning Lab involves a two-phase construction plan.  First, (as previously announced), we will share our expertise with more teachers, directors, student-teachers and support staff in a new state-of-the-art Adult Learning Annex. As an added bonus, the Adult Learning Annex can be reconfigured into a much-needed indoor play area for our toddlers, preschoolers, and school-age students. The second phase, commencing early 2018, includes improvements to our 1st-5th floors. These renovations will facilitate classroom observations as a seamless component of our professional development efforts.  

“While this support is wonderful, it intensifies our fundraising needs. We must now raise the balance of the Learning Lab costs,” says Mary. “We look forward to sharing information on donor recognition opportunities and events to celebrate this milestone,” she adds.

“Our commitment to children and families has always extended beyond our classrooms.  As a sought-after resource, we are emboldened to do more: more sharing of our experience and more collaborating with workforce development programs and high schools, colleges, and universities to best prepare those serving children during their early learning years. This narrow but powerful period can set the stage for lifelong success,” says Mary.

Please consider supporting the Learning Lab.  Donate.
Learn more about the William Penn Foundation at
Learn more about The McLean Contributionship at

Mary Graham extend our reach
An elated Executive Director!  Mary Graham receives news from William Penn Foundation of its most recent grant. Supporting renovations, the award will ensure our facilities best accommodate our professional development efforts.

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