The Mary and Robert Pew Education Fund is making a difference at a time when public education is in need of support more than ever. Only 71 percent of students in Palm Beach County graduate compared to the state average of 75 percent.

While Martin County boasts the state’s second highest graduation rate of nearly 92%, schools in both counties are providing free and reduced lunches to a growing number of children. Nearly 25% of children in Martin County qualify for free or reduced-price school lunches – in Palm Beach County, the number climbs to nearly 50%.

Robert and the late Mary Pew of North Palm Beach, Florida and Grand Rapids, Michigan established the Mary and Robert Pew Public Education Fund to positively impact the lives of economically disadvantaged children through developing, testing and implementing new strategies for learning in classrooms, schools and neighborhoods and to support educational enrichment programs unavailable as part of the regular curriculum.

Believing that is skilled teachers and principal leadership that makes the most critical difference in improving academic achievement for each and every student, the Fund works with teachers, principals and administrators who have the vision, expertise and commitment to increase student achievement in high-poverty public schools.

The majority of the Fund’s work is targeted at elementary schools that serve student populations in which 85% or more qualify for free or reduced-rate lunches.

More than $25 million in grants has been awarded from the fund since its inception, impacting thousands of students, teachers and administrators.

The Community Foundation administers the fund and is proud to support the Mary and Robert Pew Education Fund in its important work.