Karen Denne, 310-954-5058, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Broad Foundation Establishes $1 Million Endowment to Provide After-School Help for Homeless, Low-Income Students Across City
LOS ANGELES, Aug. 30, 2016—For homeless students with nowhere to go after school and low-income students whose families can’t afford computers or internet access, free afterschool homework centers in 34 branches of the Los Angeles Public Library across the city provide a safe haven. The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation announced today it has awarded a $1 million grant to endow the centers and ensure students continue to have free access to computers, laptops, tablets and printers in these libraries.
The grant will fund continuing purchases of state-of-the-art technology, giving students access to dedicated equipment and support from staff during after-school hours to help them complete their homework and even assistance completing college and scholarship essays.
The endowment was established in honor of Broad Foundation co-founder Edythe Broad, whose love of books and reading has made her one of the Library Foundation’s most devoted supporters.
“When I was a child growing up in Detroit, my sister and I always went to the library, and I have such fond memories of how I could be transported through books,” said Edye Broad. “For so many students who don’t have a place to study after school, libraries can provide a place to go. And today, libraries have so much more than books. Everything a student needs to do their homework is available at the library.”
Last year, The Broad Foundation gave $250,000 to the Library Foundation to increase the number of “student zones” across the city, which enabled the libraries to serve more students, especially those in homeless shelters, foster care and low-income communities. More than 100,000 children and teens use the Los Angeles Public Library, making it the largest single provider of free after-school activities in the city.
“We are asking our students to do so much more these days—to think critically, to solve complicated problems, despite all the distractions and challenges happening in their lives,” said April Bain, a Los Angeles Unified School District high school math teacher. “You can’t think critically and solve complicated problems if you can’t hear yourself think or get internet access to complete an assignment. I love that this is providing an essential need for students—a safe, quiet space to learn.”
“We know that the hours immediately after school are crucial to the success of many young people,” said Ken Brecher, president of the Library Foundation of Los Angeles. “The generosity of The Broad Foundation helps to make our Student Zones true safe havens and productive centers for students to do their homework now and in the future.”
Additionally, this year in honor of Edye Broad’s birthday, staff of The Broad Foundation, The Broad Center for the Management of School Systems and The Broad museum donated more than 100 books to the Central Library in downtown Los Angeles.
“Many of my students don’t have computers or Internet access at home, so I encourage them to go to the public library after school to do their homework,” said Phina Ihesiaba, a sixth-grade social studies teacher at KIPP Academy of Opportunity. “It’s great to have a safe space with the free tools and help they need.”
“We are thrilled that the Broad Foundation is investing in young Angelenos through the Los Angeles Public Library,” said City Librarian John F. Szabo. “Students across the City rely on their neighborhood branch libraries as an extension of their academics—taking advantage of services such as our online tutoring and coding workshops, and this gift will allow us to further our efforts to help every student succeed.”
Founded by entrepreneur Eli Broad and his wife Edythe, both graduates of Detroit Public Schools, The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation is a philanthropy that seeks to ensure that every student in an urban public school has the opportunity to succeed. Bringing together top education experts and practitioners, the foundation funds system-wide programs and policies that strengthen public schools by creating environments that allow good teachers to do great work and enable students of all backgrounds to learn and thrive. For more information, visit www.broadfoundation.org.