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The Pew Charitable Trusts Awards Elevate 215 $250K to Support the District’s Para Pathway Program

The Pew Charitable Trusts issued this press release, naming Elevate 215 a recipient of a grant to support the School District of Philadelphia’s Para Pathway Program (PPP). Here is a summary of the grant details:

  • Elevate 215 will receive $250,000 over two years to help approximately 80 paraprofessionals already working in schools to become certified teachers through the School District of Philadelphia’s Para Pathway Program (PPP). Paraprofessionals are uniquely positioned to help address the teacher shortage, as they often have deep roots in the communities where students live, strong knowledge of and relationships with students and their families, and familiarity with everyday life within schools. Additionally, paraprofessionals are more likely to reflect student demographics in urban schools. Elevate 215 will amplify PPP’s scale and impact by registering PPP as an approved apprenticeship program with the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, to unlock public funding and create long-term sustainability, and by also building partnerships with higher education institutions to expand their pathways to teacher certification, in order to increase the number of eligible paraprofessionals in PPP.

Here is a statement from Elevate 215 Executive Director Dr. Stacy Holland:

“Increasing the number of effective and diverse classroom teachers is critical to creating the conditions needed to provide a quality education to Philadelphia students,” said Dr. Stacy Holland, Executive Director of Elevate 215. “The great news is there are many successful programs already deployed in schools, but it is incumbent on us to elevate what is working and find ways to grow these impactful solutions. Being able to support the School District’s Para Pathway Program through The Pew Charitable Trusts grant will ensure more talented individuals can turn their passion for educating our young people into a rewarding teaching career in Philadelphia.”

Here is a statement from School District of Philadelphia Superintendent Tony B. Watlington Sr., Ed.D.

“We are grateful to The Pew Charitable Trusts for this grant and eager to partner with Elevate 215 to diversify the workforce and create a new generation of educators,” Superintendent Tony B. Watlington Sr., Ed.D. “We are proud to already have more than 20 paraprofessionals who want to make a difference in the lives of Philadelphia’s youth through teaching and excited to exceed our goal of 80 paraprofessionals in this program by June. Congratulations also to the Center for Black Educator Development and Teach Plus for their grants. Together, this further supports the District’s five-year strategic plan Accelerate Philly and our efforts to recruit and retain diverse and highly effective educators.”