A 2008 study found that while graduates of Boston Public Schools had some of the highest college enrollment rates in the country, a below-average 35.5 percent of those students earned a degree within seven years. Thus began a concerted effort to get that number up. The Boston Foundation just gave close to $1 million to seven groups as part of the initiative.
After about a year as director of education at the Barr Foundation, Wendy Puriefoy, longtime national and regional leader in public education reform and school equity, plans to leave the foundation in February. The announcement comes on the heels of another big change at Barr, the recent hiring of a new executive director.
The Bowdoin Street Health Center, which was founded in 1972 in Boston's Dorchester neighborhood, needs $3 million to build a wellness center. Along with a couple of other organizations, the Richard & Susan Smith Family Foundation is helping to chip away at this hefty price tag. The foundation recently awarded a $300,000 grant to Bowdoin’s wellness center campaign.
The Richard and Susan Smith Family Foundation awarded $800,000 to Roxbury Prep Charter Schools for building renovations. Unlike some other philanthropic foundations that are giving money to Boston Public Schools, The Smith Foundation is focusing on non-traditional schools that aim to close the achievement gaps in the city.