Schools in Camden get outside help to reopen in the fall

CAMDEN, N.J. (KYW Newsradio) — Camden’s public school system, like every other one affected by the viral pandemic, is working on plans to resume classes in some form in the fall, and they’re being offered a little philanthropic help to do it.

The Camden Education Fund was formed last year and has already provided $370,000 in grants for student laptops. Now they’re offering up $1 million to Camden schools.

“It is called the Open Doors/Safe Classrooms Initiative, and it’s going to provide grants of up to $100,000 to school networks in Camden to help them safely reopen for next year,” Fund Executive Director Naeha Dean told KYW Newsradio. “Schools can use the funds to cover additional needs across a wide variety of areas, including operations, academic support, social and emotional support and family engagement.”

Among the district, charter and renaissance schools, nine of those networks are set up. Applications went out on June 1. They’re due back July 2, and Dean says there’s been a lot of interest.

“We are seeing there’s a strong appetite for this kind of support,” she added. “There’s a lot of uncertainty right now and they are saying that they need to prepare for multiple scenarios, and these resources will help them do just that.”

The fund receives support from local and national foundations with one goal in mind: to keep Camden schools on a steady road to improvement.