Exelon Foundation Awards Grant to Aspira of Pennsylvania to Enhance Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Programs

Wed Dec 19, 2012 11:30am EST

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.


Three-year grant totaling $450,000 will expand STEM education opportunities for
students at several Philadelphia-area schools
CHICAGO--(Business Wire)--
The Exelon Foundation today announced a grant of $450,000 to ASPIRA, Inc., of
Pennsylvania to expand educational programs in science, technology, engineering
and math (STEM) at five Philadelphia-area charter schools. The schools, which
are operated by ASPIRA, will receive $150,000 per year over three years to fund
growth in STEM programs that will reach approximately 4,090 students. 

ASPIRA`s STEM programs engage students through lessons in robotics and rocketry,
as well as other technological challenges. The organization also enhances
learning through a partnership with NASA, a district-wide science fair and STEM
internships that provide students opportunities to apply their knowledge in the

The five schools benefiting from the grant are the Eugenio Maria de Hostos
Charter School, Antonia Pantoja Charter School, ASPIRA Bilingual Cyber Charter
School, Olney Charter High School and John B. Stetson Charter School. 

"ASPIRA has created an expansive STEM educational program to prepare students
for high-demand careers of the future, many of which will be in the competitive
fields of math, science and engineering," said Steve Solomon, president of the
Exelon Foundation. "We`re proud to partner with an organization that is helping
students acquire the skills they will need to succeed, while also learning to be
leaders in their communities." 

The Exelon Foundation grant will help fund additional robotics and rocket kits,
new technology, equipment, infrastructure improvements and STEM faculty salaries
and benefits. Program activities will be integrated into classroom and
after-school programs. 

The Exelon Foundation grant builds on ASPIRA`s existing partnership with PECO,
an electric and natural gas utility subsidiary of Exelon Corporation. PECO will
provide employee volunteer support, board service and project management for
ASPIRA`s STEM programs. 

"ASPIRA of Pennsylvania is sincerely grateful for the Exelon Foundation`s
support of our local schools and PECO`s continued partnership to consistently
advance STEM education," said Alfredo B. Calderón, president and chief executive
officer of ASPIRA, Inc., of Pennsylvania. "These relationships are vital to the
advancement of our community and have a lasting, positive impact on our families
and children." 

The grant to ASPIRA is part of a larger effort by Exelon Foundation and PECO to
support the development of STEM education programs at schools in the region.
Earlier this year, the Exelon Foundation and PECO provided a $1 million grant to
Widener University for the development of a STEM education program at Widener
Partnership Charter School in Chester, PA. PECO also provided a $1 million grant
to Drexel University in 2011 for the development of STEM education programs at
two West Philadelphia elementary schools. 

About the Exelon Foundation

The Exelon Foundation is an independent, non-profit organization funded solely
by Exelon Corporation, an energy company, through shareholder dollars. The
Foundation supports non-profit, tax-exempt organizations primarily within the
service territories of Exelon and its operating companies. The mission of the
Foundation is to encourage respect for the environment and strengthen the social
and economic fabric of the community by supporting programs in the areas of
environment and conservation, innovative math and science education, and
diversity and tolerance.

About ASPIRA of Pennsylvania

Since 1969, ASPIRA of PA has served vulnerable communities in north Philadelphia
by focusing on the education of young people, and developing their leadership
potential, self-esteem and pride in their cultural heritage.Since 2008, ASPIRA
of PA has founded and operated a variety of charter schools, including
traditional charters, a cyber charter and restart schools from the School
District of Philadelphia. ASPIRA specializes in serving special student
populations, dual language instruction and a holistic approach to youth
achievement.ASPIRA of PA`s proven success with increasing student academic
proficiency and behavior has enabled the organization to now operate five
charter schools and several enrichment programs spanning PreK -12th grades. For
more information: www.aspirapennsylvania.org.

Exelon Corporate Communications
Paul Adams, 410-470-4167 

Copyright Business Wire 2012
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