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Denver Public Schools Foundation

Your support helps to invest in accelerating progress; connect the community to our classrooms; and inspire confidence in the promise of public education for Denver Public Schools' more than 90,000 students and more than 200 schools. Together, we can make sure Every Child Succeeds.

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A to Z Fund

Class

Education 

Beneficiaries

Children Only (5 - 14 years)
Female Youth/Adolescents (14 - 19 years)
Male Youth/Adolescents (14 - 19 years)

Description

A to Z Fund Classroom Grants for Teachers has reached nearly $2 million invested into classrooms since its inception in 2006.

The A to Z Fund provides grants to individual schools for programs and activities that go beyond the limits of schools' budgets. Through this program, the DPS Foundation provides grants to schools for educational materials, athletic equipment, enrichment classes, competition fees, field trip expenses and more. These grants are available to any DPS school to enhance classroom learning and the fund helps to provide equal opportunities for students district-wide to participate in enrichment opportunities.

Educators often report spending their own money - sometimes as much as several hundred dollars in a year- to purchase educational materials or subsidize field trips because they want their students to excel. While this is generous and demonstrates the commitment of our educators, it isn't a sustainable solution to help all students have access to these opportunities. The A to Z Fund promotes equity by offering funding to all schools, and helps lessen the burden on our educators. With your help - especially in light of tight classroom budgets - the A to Z Fund can put resources directly into the hands of teachers, allowing them to create exceptional learning environments for every student.

There is an ongoing, growing need for schools to find private sources of funding to build the quality of their students' school experience. Despite receiving hundreds of highly qualified applications, the DPS Foundation only has funding to fulfill approximately two-thirds of all grant requests. With your help, we can expand the A to Z Fund and further empower our teachers to be able to provide their students the opportunities, resources and experiences they need to reach their highest potential.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

A few highlights of projects that have been powered by this fund include:
- DCIS at Ford Elementary received $500 to purchase equipment such as tricycles, traffic signs and helmets to enhance gross motor development for ECE students
- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. High School received $2,000 to purchase additional DSLR cameras to supplement the digital photography class
- Maxwell Elementary received $1,600 for students to participate in weekly Young Rembrandts drawing class
- North High School Engagement Center received $2,000 to purchase science equipment additional science experiments

Afterschool Programs

Class

Education 

Beneficiaries

Children Only (5 - 14 years)
Female Children ( 5 - 14 years)
Male Children (5 - 14 years)

Description

Funding from the DPS Foundation provides safe, enriching and academically supportive afterschool programs for 13,000 DPS students every year. More than 70 percent of DPS students qualify for free & reduced lunch, a key indicator of poverty. This can also mean that thousands of students are left without a structured, safe environment after school. Many students are going home to an empty house, without a healthy snack, or adequate adult supervision, and their chances of getting into trouble are increased.

Afterschool programs are more than just a place to spend a few hours. They are a critical supplement to school-day learning, providing additional instruction, enrichment and leadership development programs for students. Afterschool programs are a place for students to feel safe, have fun, and engage in enriching educational activities.

Lights On After School (LOAS) is a partnership between the DPS Foundation, Mile High United Way, and the City and County of Denver. It provides funding to ensure the sustainability of quality, school-based afterschool programs that keep our students engaged in enriching learning experiences during the critical 3- 6 p.m. hours. These programs provide a tremendous service for DPS students, families, and communities throughout Denver and makes it possible for community organizations to provide a wide range of programming at DPS elementary and middle schools including:
· Art classes
· Chess club
· Ballet
· Computer classes
· Photography
· Foreign language courses
· College-prep classes

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

Compared to their peers not enrolled in such programs, students enrolled in regular DPS afterschool programs exhibit:
• Better school attendance
• Lower suspension rated
• Higher academic growth across reading, writing and math

Research shows that afterschool programs can reduce barriers to youth success for students who are facing challenges such as low academic achievement, poverty and truancy.

Students in afterschool programs have fewer behavioral problems, greater self-confidence, and can handle conflict better than students who are not enrolled in these programs.

National studies show parents without regular afterschool care for their children miss eight more days of work per year than their peers whose children are in regular afterschool programs.

CareerConnect

Class

Science & Technology 

Beneficiaries

Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years)

Description

We're strengthening the pipeline to success through CareerConnect.

Denver Public Schools has set out on an ambitious path to dramatically improve how we're preparing students for college and career. By implementing a pipeline of Career and Technical Education pathways, known as CareerConnect, DPS is preparing our future leaders for the very jobs that are in highest demand in Denver - ensuring that we are strengthening our city and our students' futures.

In April 2014, DPS was chosen as one of 24 organizations nationwide to receive a four-year grant to enhance career-focused pathways in STEM. In partnership with the City of Denver, the Office of Economic Development, two and four year colleges and universities, and corporate and industry partners, DPS launched CareerConnect in eight high schools.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

Research shows that students engaged in a CareerConnect program have up to a 30 percent greater likelihood of graduating high school than their counterparts.

DPS CareerConnect has been recognized by the US Department of Labor as a nationwide model for education and workforce development.

FACE Centers

Class

Education 

Beneficiaries

Adults
Ethnic/Racial Minorities
Families
Immigrants, Newcomers, Refuges
Parents

Description

The Family and Community Engagement (FACE) Centers are the one-stop hub that connects students, families and our community with free services to increase their economic self-sufficiency and academic success. All services are free and open to all community members 16 and older- not just DPS parents.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

Supported by DPS Foundation, the FACE Center in Montbello is the second center to open within the district, following the success of the first location in Southwest Denver.

The FACE Centers served over 1,500 participants from more than 100 schools within the district between May 1, 2018 - April 20, 2019.

Middle School Sports

Class

Recreation & Sports 

Beneficiaries

Children Only (5 - 14 years)
Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years)

Description

The DPS Foundation funds Prep League, a competitive sports league for 6th - 8th graders, which enrolls students in 17 different sports each year.

Participation in sports is proven to build self-esteem, encourage a healthy lifestyle, improve school attendance and behavior, teaches the principles of teamwork and leads to reduced dropout rates.

Prep League was founded in 1997 to give middle school students an avenue for participation in organized afterschool sports. Students have fun competing together and gain access to positive role models, such as coaches and older players. And while middle school students can be sensitive to criticism, self-conscious, and more motivated by social factors than by academic concerns, they benefit greatly from sports programs. Here, they foster teamwork, leadership and skill-building.

Prep League also encourages a strong focus on academics, requiring students to maintain a minimum GPA in all of their classes in order to participate in the program and compete each week. This positive incentive encourages participants to remain focused in the classroom and on track academically, to support their athletic pursuits.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

- Today, more than 6,000 middle school students throughout 33 schools participate in Prep League.
- Since the addition of the Futures Football program, where middle school students have the opportunity to play competitive tackle football after school, there has been an increase in the number of students participating in high school football, and the level of play at the high school level has improved dramatically.

Trauma-Informed Practices

Class

Education 

Beneficiaries

Adolescents/Youth (13-19 years)
Teachers

Description

The Denver Public Schools Foundation received a $1 million grant to support trauma-informed practices. The grant was awarded by The Campbell Foundation, a donor-advised fund of The Denver Foundation.

Nationwide, one in four students is impacted by trauma, which can mean anything from a car accident to homelessness. It is critical for our school communities to not only recognize trauma, but be trained and have the resources to support children who are experiencing trauma.

This generous grant will support a comprehensive four-part strategy that provides training and coaching for trauma-informed practices, including the development of an official trauma certification for DPS staff, and will help create education environments that recognize learning and behavior challenges as a symptom of root causes. A portion of the Campbell grant will also be dedicated to the development and implementation of a therapeutic day school within DPS.

This investment truly holds the promise of helping us address barriers so Every Child Succeeds and follows the resolution passed by the DPS Board of Education in October 2017, declaring the district to be a trauma-informed district.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

At John H. Amesse Elementary, trauma-informed practices are used every day. Students may choose their own plan to repair an issue and decide how they should re-enter the classroom. Other students may fill out a calming sheet, sharing how their morning went, explaining why they are in the trauma office, and stating what help they need to be successful for the day.

United Airlines Travel Fund

Class

Education 

Beneficiaries

Adolescents/Youth (13-19 years)

Description

This fund strives to reduce the inequity in resources among DPS students so all students have opportunities to participate in educational experiences through traveling.

Generous support from United Airlines provides the opportunity for many Denver Public School students and staff to travel by air to enhance their perspectives and learn in new ways.

Through this fund, United Airlines has provided students, many of whom have never traveled on an airplane before, experiences that are shaping their futures.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

One DPS Educator, Samuels Elementary teacher, Jamie Patton Rochford, traveled to Accra, Ghana with the non-profit organization Limited Research Teacher Training (LRTT), where she provided training to local teachers, focusing on effective teaching strategies for the foundation years of primary school. Ghanaian students have improved educational experiences as their teachers learned about rigor and pacing.

Key aspects of this profile information have been reviewed by Community First Foundation staff. Each organization is exclusively responsible for the content that appears on the profile page. Community First Foundation offers general guidance as to the purpose of each area but does not require or encourage charities to include anything in particular in each section.