In an event held at the Rex den on Saturday January 11, the Rex Organization and the Pro Bono Publico Foundation welcomed hundreds of Teach for America Corps Members and alums as well as others engaged in the transformation of New Orleans public schools. Foundation leaders awarded nearly $750,000 in grants, including $50,000 to support Teach for America's critical work.
Grants were awarded to 24 individual schools and charter management organizations and 16 supporting organizations. Taylor Park, the NORD facility adjacent to the Rex den, received its third sponsorship grant.
The grants help assure that all of New Orleans' children have access to excellent schools. More than 90% of New Orleans students now attend public charter schools. These schools, and organizations supporting their important work, have been the focus of PBPF's investment, as well as the commitment of dozens of Rex members serving on their boards.
The Pro Bono Publico Foundation was formed by members of the Rex Organization as New Orleans recovered from post-Hurricane Katrina floods. Foundation giving, in its seventh grant cycle since 2007, now totals more than $2.4 million.
The 2014 grant total marks the third consecutive year Pro Bono Publico Foundation's grants exceed half a million dollars. In 2012 and 2013 the Pro Bono Publico Foundation, thanks to the support of its donors, was able to award grants of approximately $545,000 each year.
The open house also highlights a winning combination for local schools in terms of support. Teach for America has been essential to the success of the charter school movement by staffing the city's schools with at least 500 of its teachers.