Eighty middle schoolers at Chester A. Arthur, a K-8 public school in Graduate Hospital, will get Chromebook laptops next year, with help from a $10,000 gift from law firm White & Williams and additional fundraising from a community group, according to a release. The funds are the beginning of a two-year school “adoption,” during which the Center City law firm will work with Chester A. Arthur to find other ways to support the school.
Friends of Chester A. Arthur, a group of parents, teachers and community members, helped raise the additional funds for the Chromebooks that run about $300 each. The group includes some tech community members like Brad Baer, creative director at web dev firm Bluecadet, and Ivy Olesh, VP of Marketing and Business Development at the city’s economic development agency Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation.
Since 2012, White & Williams has been “adopting” schools. In 2012, it gave college scholarships to three students at J.R. Masterman School, as well as $10,000 for teachers to buy supplies. In 2013, it donated school supplies, ran a winter clothing drive and donated $10,000 to Spring Garden Elementary School.
White & William said it chose Chester A. Arthur because of its proximity to its Center City office.
Chester A. Arthur also has a thriving STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) program: it’s home to the country’s only middle-school Civil Engineering Club, it recently won $25,000 from the Verizon Foundation to develop its STEM program and it’s building a makerspace for hands-on STEM learning.