Giving Compass’ Take:
• Priscilla Chan founded The Primary School, a private school that incorporates a holistic model of learning, and offers wraparound services to support families.
• In what other ways has philanthropy helped advance education?
• Read more about understanding the state of education philanthropy.
Codman Academy was one of the small high schools opened in Boston two decades ago. The commitment to physical and mental health and a partnership with a health clinic made it unique. When Dr. Priscilla Chan visited, she met Dean of Enrichment Meredith Liu.
A few years later, Chan returned to Boston to visit Match Education, the P-12 school famous for its high dose tutoring, and Liu, who had just finished a Harvard MBA and a turnaround tour at Mass Insight, was serving as Match’s CFO.
The two clicked and shared a passion for an integrated approach to childhood development. Liu moved to California and two years later The Primary School opened enrollment to children in East Palo Alto.
The holistic model integrates education, health care, and family support services to dramatically improve outcomes for underserved children. The goal is “lives that are meaningful and healthy – emotionally, mentally, and physically.”
Three features make The Primary School unique:
- They start young, providing early childhood care and learning. The school begins at age three.
- They combine health care and education, building a holistic system of care around a child’s full needs. That includes a nurse and pediatrician onsite.
- They believe in the power of parents and support them in creating stable and healthy.
A fourth feature is a well-developed approach to social-emotional learning. They use Conscious Discipline, a trauma-informed program designed by Dr. Becky Bailey that focuses on safety, connection and problem-solving.
The private school is available to families tuition-free and is funded by Chan’s philanthropy, The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. Future locations will also serve low-income communities but will be publically funded with philanthropic gap filling.
Read the full article about reinventing primary education by Tom Vander Ark at Forbes
If you are looking for more articles and resources for Philanthropy, take a look at these Giving Compass selections related to impact giving and Philanthropy.
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