End of Year Annual Appeal

Chester Arthur Elementary benefits all year long from the generosity and partnership of its amazing community, and this holiday season, we will be reflecting on our gratitude for all you do to make our neighborhood school one that we can be proud of.  2016 has been a banner year, and we will be recapping some of these exciting successes over the course of the next month. We hope you will reflect too - on the power of public education, and our collective power to make it the best it can be in our own community.

We exceeded our $15,000 by over $23,000 for a total of $38,282! 


2016 by the numbers

“What makes Chester Arthur a good school are the teachers. Our teachers have our best interest at heart. They are supportive and are there when we need them. They make sure that we’re not just learning about lessons in the classroom, but outside the classroom, as well. At times they are tough on us, but it’s because they want the best for us.”
— Arthur sixth-grader Skye Simmons sums up better than we ever could what makes our neighborhood school so special

12 FoCA board meetings
attended by our 12 member Board of Directors.

50+ committee meetings
ranging from committee and board meetings, meet-ups, events, open houses, and cleanups.

4 schoolyard clean-ups
where the community comes together to weed and water plantings and cleanup the Schoolyard.

225+ people
attended the annual FoCA Night Out with approximately $60,000 raised. 

400+ t-shirts
sold and purchased for Arthur students

844 Facebook likes
an increase of over 300 from last year

542 Twitter followers
an increase of over 100 from last year

6 ways to get involved
Including Community Events and Little FoCA Committee, Schoolyard Maintenance & Capital Projects Committee, Fundraising Committee, FoCA Board, Volunteer, or Donor.

+24.8% increase
In PSSA science scores. 3rd best in Pennsylvania!

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Arthur in the news

Our neighborhood school has gotten some great press lately - read all about it at the links below:

Op-Ed: Join the Grassroots Movement to Support Philly’s Neighborhood Schools - Philly.com co-authored by our very own President, Ivy Olesh

Chester Arthur School Tour - Hipster Henry blog

Massai Harris-Malette gets new start at Chester A. Arthur - Philadelphia Tribune

At Chester A. Arthur, students learn life lessons - Philadelphia Tribune

Big changes for Arthur's Schoolyard

With the support of Arthur, our institutional partners and community members like you, FoCA has worked to convert the once barren asphalt lot into an outdoor, interactive educational oasis for Arthur students and a sustainable, green space for our community. Construction on the Arthur Schoolyard is nearly complete!  The finished Schoolyard will serve as a place for teachers to implement an inquiry-driven model of teaching, a place for Arthur students to apply STEM learning and to learn about green stormwater infrastructure and practices, and an active community space where both students and members of the larger community can gather and engage in structured and unstructured play all while feeling more connected to our neighborhood school. Thanks to our supporters:

$1,100,000 | William Penn Foundation

$110,000 | Neighborhood Transformation Initiatives Grant from Councilman Johnson

$175,000 | Direct support from School District of Philadelphia

$232,000 | Stormwater Management Incentives Program grant through Philadelphia Water Department

$25,000+ | Directly from the community

Supporters & Partners

The William Penn Foundation • Wells Fargo • OCF Realty • SOSNA •  Christian Street YMCA • Drexel University’s Eat.Right.Now. Program • OLIN Landscape Architects • American Society of Civil Engineers • Dancing Classrooms • Astral Artists • Pennsylvania Ballet • Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) • Girls on the Run • Sal Design Studio • White and Marshall Dennehey • US2020 Pilot School • University of Pennsylvania’s CityStep Program • Children's Literacy Initiative • Walnut Street Theatre • The Lenfest Foundation • Playworks • AmeriHealth • Shiloh Baptist Church • Governor Ed Rendell • Mayor Jim Kenney • Representative Jordan Harris • Councilman Kennyatta Johnson • Ballet X • Girls Inc. •  & more.


News & Notes


The 2016 FoCA Night Out was the most successful yet raising close to $60,000. That’s approximately $15,000 more than last year. Proceeds support foreign language programs, building upgrades such as new air conditioners in classrooms, upgraded technology, and new partnerships/programming. Please mark your calendars for the 2017 FoCA Night Out which will be held on March 18, 2017 at Trinity.

Arthur was honored with a generous $60,000 grant from the Lenfest Foundation to support robust and innovative after-school programming for students in grades 5-8, including STEM/Makerspace programming, after-school tutoring & enrichment, athletic & leadership activities through Playworks, drama &the arts through Walnut St. Theater and more. 70% of students are participating in at least one club.  

Our 2015 Appeal raised over $12,000 which supported FoCA’s general operating budget and contributed to direct teacher classroom support (field trips, upgrades, new materials and innovative learning software.)

FoCA again played an integral role in organizing the neighborhood race. The run brought in $18,000+ which is double the previous year; Proceeds support schoolyard maintenance, sports & athletic programming. 

Our board implemented a Bloomerang donor management system; hired a professional accountant; updated bylaws; received probono council for schoolyard project; added new board members and improved committees; and updated marketing materials and collateral.

We have so much to celebrate as 2016 winds down - but nothing is more powerful than the support of this community that embraces our neighborhood school and kids. Support for FoCA allows Arthur’s incredible teachers to offer meaningful educational opportunities, leverage great community partnerships, and show our students that we believe in their tremendous potential. When we all come together, amazing things can happen.

Please consider a contribution to FoCA before December 31st--each and every donation makes a difference.

Thank you and Happy New Year!

Ivy Olesh | President, Friends of Chester A. Arthur School Education Foundation