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S. Mark Taper Foundation Awards PEF $75,000 [Media Release]

Pasadena Educational Foundation Receives a $75,000 Grant from the
S. Mark Taper Foundation

Grant will support Pasadena Unified School District
Families in Transition

PASADENA, CA – Pasadena Educational Foundation (PEF) is pleased to announce it has received a $75,000 grant from the S. Mark Taper Foundation in support of Families in Transition (FIT), Pasadena Unified School District’s program that provides critical services for the most vulnerable students and families in the school district.

FIT helps students and families address the socioeconomic barriers to academic success like housing instability, food insecurity, lack of access to health and mental health services, recent immigration, and other challenges. More than 600 students in PUSD – over 4% of the total student population — are experiencing homelessness as defined by the McKinney Vento Act, meaning they lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence. Many more are at risk of homelessness because of the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the increasingly high cost of housing in the Pasadena area.

FIT creates stability for students whose families are facing these extraordinary challenges. Students receive free school supplies and other necessities so they can fully participate in learning and school events. With the support from FIT staff, students receive the supports they need to attend school regularly and succeed academically.

“We are thankful to the S. Mark Taper Foundation for their generous grant to PEF,” said Patrick Conyers, PEF Executive Director. “With the rising cost of housing in our community, more and more of the district’s families are at risk of becoming homeless. Families in Transition provides support for families and students who are experiencing extraordinary challenges with compassion and accountability.”

“The grant from the S. Mark Taper Foundation will go a long way in supporting our most vulnerable students and families,” said PUSD Superintendent Brian McDonald, Ed.D. “I am grateful for their partnership in our commitment to improving access to and equity in the delivery of services and participation in programs that improve outcomes for students and families.”

Families in Transition provides a range of services for PUSD students and their families who are most highly impacted by the social conditions associated with poverty: food insecurity, housing instability, lack of access to quality medical and mental health care, stress on family life, and increased exposure to environmental hazards, crime, and violence. All of these factors have been shown through research to be barriers to children’s academic achievement and personal development.

The S. Mark Taper Foundation awards annual grants through a competitive application and review process. PEF is honored to be one of the recipients.

Pasadena Educational Foundation

Pasadena Educational Foundation (PEF) is a nonprofit organization that advocates for public education, engages the community, and develops resources to support excellence and equity for all Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD) students. Whether it be through the arts, music, health centers, gardens, or STEM programs they support, PEF is dedicated to creating a better future for the public school students of Altadena, Pasadena, and Sierra Madre. http://pased.org

Pasadena Unified School District

The Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD) serves pre-K to 12th grade students in a 76-square mile area that includes the communities of Altadena, Pasadena, Sierra Madre and unincorporated parts of Los Angeles County. Pasadena Unified School District provides a caring, engaging and challenging educational experience for over 17,000 students every day. http://pusd.us

S. Mark Taper Foundation

S. Mark Taper Foundation founded in 1989, is a private family foundation dedicated to enhancing the quality of people’s lives by supporting nonprofit organizations and their work in our communities.