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Education: Focus on Learning

Education: Promoting Access to and Excellence in PreK-12 Catholic Education 


Just as John and Josephine Connelly viewed education as one of the best means of lifting people out of poverty, equipping them to overcome challenges, and preparing them for successful futures, the Foundation sees education as a primary pathway to opportunity. Therefore, the Foundation devotes the majority of its funding each year to education-related causes that promote excellence in PreK–12 Catholic education in the Philadelphia region.  


Our Catholic Education focus areas include:  


Academic Quality 

  • School-centered projects designed to improve or enhance programs that directly impact the academic experiences of students in Catholic schools, including programs related to core academic subjects, academic interventions, student developmental and social-emotional needs, faith formation, and enrichment opportunities 


  • Investments in school and system-level staff, including leadership development programs, professional development programs for teachers, and efforts to support recruitment and retention of high-quality staff 

Strategy and Sustainability 

  • Efforts to address school health and financial viability, including enrollment and marketing efforts, capital projects, programs to support institutional advancement, and increasing awareness of policies and programs with the potential to advance system health in local PreK-12 Catholic education 

Access and Opportunity 

  • Programs that increase the accessibility of high-quality Catholic education, primarily through its existing Neumann Scholars Program and Josephine C. Connelly Achievement Awards 


In service of these key areas, the Foundation prioritizes grants that go directly to PreK-12 schools and school systems located within the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. We also partner with nonprofit organizations that provide services within one of these key areas that directly benefit the students, families, and staff at area Catholic schools as a notable portion of the organization’s overall programming.