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PHILANTHROPY

3 Schools Are Given $100,000 Grants

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By Sopan Joshi
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, April 25, 2008

Three schools in the District were awarded grants of $100,000 each yesterday and lauded as "champions of quality" at a fundraising gala for a philanthropic group dedicated to improving the lives of children in the city.

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Strong John Thomson Elementary School, a public school, was cited for its strong parental involvement. E.L. Haynes Public Charter School was selected for its academic enrichment programs. San Miguel Middle School, a private school run by St. John's College High School, was noted for its rigorous focus on reading and math.

Four runners-up got grants of $10,000: Cleveland Elementary School, Capital City Public Charter School, Washington Jesuit Academy and Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School.

The schools were recognized for their performance on a range of criteria, including improved student achievement. They can use the grant money for improvement plans outlined in their applications or to continue programs recognized by the grants.

Fight for Children, the nonprofit group that awarded the grants, focuses on educational and health care initiatives.

Since its founding in 1990, it has raised $80 million for various programs and to help 150 youth organizations.

Michela English, president of Fight for Children, said she hopes the awards will lead to better communication among the city's different school systems. "We want different schools working with intercity low-income schoolchildren to do more of what works well and less of what does not work that well."

The organization also announced a new "micro-giving" program, through which donors can make direct contributions to local schools.

Formed in partnership with DonorsChoose.org, the program allows donors to go online to fund specific classroom projects among a list of project descriptions provided by teachers.

A second new program, the Hall of Art, showcases and sells art by D.C. children. Proceeds will go to the students' schools.


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