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Penn leads the way in helping Philly schools

Regina Medina

The Philadelphia Inquirer

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

In the late 1990s, the kids at Henry C. Lea Elementary School at 47th and Locust streets lacked a library. A few years later, the University of Pennsylvania built them one.

The university, which had a relationship with Lea dating to 1960, secured donors to fund construction of a space and procure books, computers and audiovisual equipment for the K-to-8 school.

Penn's program of helping schools in West Philly is by far the most extensive of any of the city's large universities. The others - Temple, Drexel, La Salle, Saint Joseph's - also work with schools in their neighborhoods, but their levels of engagement vary.

All of which raises a couple of important questions:

Are the city's universities doing enough as tax-exempt citizens? Can they do more to help out the city's schools, which are in financial crisis?

To download a PDF of the article, click here.