Introducing Penn-ing Progress

In this new era for our country, public discourse is more important than ever. In the spirit of opening the lines of communication and sharing our thinking with others around issues of importance that affect our city and region, this month the William Penn Foundation is introducing Penn-ing Progress. In this monthly blog, we’ll share information, stories and perspectives to illustrate, in a more informal way, our commitment – and that of our grantees, the city and so many others – to enhancing the quality and vitality of life in the Philadelphia region.

You’ll hear directly from our staff in this space as many of them take a turn at highlighting a topic of particular interest or relevance and how it might relate to or impact our key grantmaking areas that seek to foster learning, protect watersheds, and cultivate creative communities.

There is so much positive momentum happening in Philadelphia. We’re seeing projects and organizations we’ve supported continue to expand and affect real change, and, in other cases, we’re on the cusp of programs that will be transformational. For example, in just the few short weeks of the new year:

  • the city opened 2,000 new pre-k seats in quality early childhood education centers, welcoming the youngest learners from many communities of need;
  • Governor Wolf announced state Transportation Alternative grants that will fund additional Indego bike-share stations in the city and new miles of multi-use Circuit Trails throughout the region; and
  • at the close of last year, we were pleased to announce the Foundation’s intent to invest up to $100 million in the city’s neediest parks, libraries and recreation centers as part of Mayor Kenney’s Rebuild initiative.


From the classrooms that are proven staging grounds for educational and life success for the city’s children, to the trails and active transportation that connect people with and raise awareness about the region’s waterways, and, of course, to the city neighborhoods that are long overdue for upgrades to fundamental community spaces, the kind of change that makes a difference is happening.

I invite you to check out our Foundation blog over the coming months, and let us know about the progress you’re learning about or experiencing first-hand. Together, we can continue the momentum for the city and region and those who call it home.

We welcome any questions, thoughts or feedback at wpfblog@williampennfoundation.org.