Brown and Providence Schools


Since its launch in 2007, the Fund for the Education of the Children of Providence has supported everything from scholarships for Providence public school students, to the creation of a violence prevention curriculum, to a renewed Hope High School library and media center, and more.

Beginning with the most recent award in 2021 and looking back to the fund’s origination, this timeline details support provided from Brown’s Fund for the Education of the Children of Providence to support teaching and learning in the city’s public schools.



With its first payout since reaching $10 million in endowed funds, the fund provided $474,000 to support four critical initiatives outlined in the Turnaround Action Plan for Providence Public School District (PPSD):

  • $260,000 funded equity and justice work, including developing, designing and facilitating a culturally responsive education framework; providing training on culturally responsive practices for teachers and stipends for students and family members who participate in engagement related to the education framework; and establishing a leadership program for male students and staff of color. 
  • $124,000 bolstered PPSD data systems to help district and school administrators better understand the demographics and needs of students.
  • $50,000 supported an initiative focused on staff appreciation efforts, aimed at building and sustaining a positive workplace culture in the wake of an especially challenging year for teachers.
  • $40,000 covered one year of expenses related to establishing an international baccalaureate program at Hope High School.



A Public Education Committee established in 2020 provides oversight for Brown’s relationship with PPSD. The committee is charged with recommending use of payouts from the fund in ways that can most benefit Providence students. Members also play a key role in guiding the direction of K-12 education initiatives at Brown and ensuring that Brown is optimizing its resources to support PPSD in the most effective ways possible.


Approximately $150,000 from the fund was awarded to support significant improvements to Hope High School’s library and media center. The project originated from discussions with the state education commissioner and Providence superintendent, and was informed by conversations with students and administrators at the school. When it opened in June 2021, the transformed space offered students reimagined study areas, new technology and furniture, and an expanded collection of books and periodicals.


A $100,000 contribution supported internet access for Providence students through the Cox Connect 2 Compete Program and the purchase of hotspots. The initiative provided access for 900 student households for the following year and served a direct need identified by PPSD as essential while students learned remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic.



Brown engaged in strategic planning around assessing, aligning and prioritizing the University's programs involving K-12 public schools. In response to community input, Brown began a process to re-examine how the fund’s awards were supporting students and teachers in PPSD schools.

2014 - 2018

In each year across this period, 20 high school graduates from Providence public schools were awarded scholarships to support a college education. The students, all of whom planned to attend two- or four-year institutions of higher education, each received a $2,500 scholarship toward their college expenses.



Twenty one-time scholarships of $2,500 to support a college education were awarded for the 2013-14 academic year, with at least one scholarship awarded per Providence public high school. A broad-based committee with representation from Brown, educators in the Providence public schools, the Providence School Department, and the mayor’s office chose the recipients for the awards. Scholarship awards were based on academic merit and financial need, with a preference for students who would be the first in their families to attend college. Applicants were asked to write a short essay as part of the application.

The fund also made grants totaling $50,000 to three Providence schools to enhance literacy learning and support technological upgrades and programming.



The fund awarded grants totaling $50,237 to four Providence schools to enhance literacy learning, promote nonviolence and purchase performing arts supplies and computers.

  • A grant of $20,000 was given to Asa Messer Elementary School to partner with the nonprofit volunteer tutoring organization Inspiring Minds to expand and strengthen student learning systems through an intense intervention initiative. 
  • The Urban Collective Accelerated Program was awarded $18,000 to purchase 16 iMac computers with wireless input, allowing the school to place two computers in each classroom.
  • The fund awarded $11,250 to Trinity Academy for the Performing Arts to purchase film equipment, musical instruments, and software, dance supplies and theater materials needed to support the school’s arts-integrated education model.
  • Charles Fortes Elementary School received approximately $1,000 to enhance the school’s health curriculum by incorporating a research-based social-emotional skills program that is also designed to prevent violence.



Paul Cuffee School received $24,320 from the fund to purchase interactive digital technologies for classrooms.



Three Providence schools received grants totaling $40,000:

  • At Nathan Bishop Middle School, a $20,000 grant supported the purchase of new books and musical equipment.
  • A grant of $10,000 went to Classical High School to update the school’s College Room — a resource area for students to access online college application services and registration for college admission exams.
  • The fund awarded $10,000 to Paul Cuffee School to purchase 500 nonfiction books to boost students’ proficiency and interest in science.


Three Providence schools received grants totaling approximately $30,000:

  • Grants of $10,000 each went to Windmill Elementary School and Carl G. Lauro Elementary School to purchase new musical instruments and expand musical programs. 
  • A grant of approximately $10,000 was awarded to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. School to improve computer workstations.



A grant of $118,000 provided graphing calculators to support teaching and learning in sixth  through 12th grade classrooms in the 2009-10 academic year.

Three $10,000 grants were also made to Vartan Gregorian Elementary School, Roger Williams Middle School and Hope High School to support innovative curricular projects at the classroom level.