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Other ways to be a better Philadelphia citizen

One of the founding tenets of The Philadelphia Citizen is to get people the resources they need to become better, more engaged citizens of their city.

We hope to do that in our Good Citizenship Toolkit, which includes a host of ways to get involved in Philadelphia — whether you want to contact your City Councilmember about investing in the science that’s getting Philly ready for the future, get those experiencing homelessness the goods they need, or simply go out to dinner somewhere where you know your money is going toward a greater good.

Find an issue that’s important to you in the list below, and get started on your journey of A-plus citizenship.

Vote and strengthen democracy

Stand up for marginalized communities

Create a cleaner, greener Philadelphia

Help our local youth and schools succeed

Support local businesses


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20+ Philly Education Organizations to Support

How to help students in Philadelphia? Give a hand to any of these initiatives, organizations that are already doing the good work to support students, educators and communities

20+ Philly Education Organizations to Support

How to help students in Philadelphia? Give a hand to any of these initiatives, organizations that are already doing the good work to support students, educators and communities

You’ve heard the refrains. Philly schools are broken. Our kids aren’t thriving. Educators, families and communities struggle to meet the needs of students living in a city with a 22.3 percent poverty rate, too much gun violence, a heartbreaking opioid epidemic, a shortage of mental health resources, and pervasive systemic racism. The situation is overwhelming. How to help Philly students?

You could go out on your own and do it. If that’s your preference, here’s our guide on how to support Philly schools, teachers, and students.

Or, you can hook up with any of our city’s diverse organizations already doing the work. These Philly groups support students in their journeys to better literacy, STEM, civics, the arts and overall education. Here, how to help students in Philadelphia, through the people who are already doing that work.


These organizations meet Philly students where they are — schools — to provide holistic educational tools, resources and opportunities.

Big Picture Learning

Operating in 150 schools nationwide — including two in Philly — Big Picture Learning uses an innovative learning model that focuses on small groups, close relationships between students and educators, and real-world education through internships. Donate here.

Follow: Facebook |Instagram | Twitter


Congreso de Latinos Unidos

Congreso works to transform the lives of individuals and families in predominantly Latino neighborhoods in Philadelphia by moving them up the economic ladder and ultimately out of poverty. It focuses on education and employment, simultaneously providing supportive services in health, housing, and parenting necessary to guarantee successful outcomes. Donate here.

Follow: Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn | Twitter | Vimeo



EducationWorks re-engages disengaged young adults in education and career readiness throughout Greater Philadelphia. They provide over 12,000 kids with the tools they need to succeed in school and in life by focusing on themes such as reading, science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics, and social emotional learning. Donate here.

Follow: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube


Philadelphia Children’s Foundation

Philadelphia Children’s Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that helps Philadelphia public schools by providing internet-ready computers in classrooms and public spaces. They also assist in the purchase of books for school libraries, the provision of computers to low-income families who do not have them, and the teaching of 3D printing and computer literacy workshops. Donate here.

Follow: Facebook


Children First

This group, formerly known as Public Citizens for Children and Youth, works throughout the state. Here in Philly, Children First focuses on campaigning for universal pre-K. Donate here.

Follow: Instagram | Twitter | YouTube | LinkedIn


A low building bears the words "School District of." Beyond the "of" is "Philadelphia." This is their headquarters.
The headquarters of the School District of Philadelphia.

The Fund for the School District of Philadelphia

The Fund for the School District of Philadelphia is a 501(c)3 non-profit that acts as a fiscal middleman between the private sector and the Philadelphia public school system. They discover, organize, and connect philanthropic resources to drive investments in local public schools through effective public-private partnerships. Donate here.

Follow: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | LinkedIn


The Philadelphia Education Fund

By offering resources and skills that pave the way for college and professional success, the Philadelphia Education Fund ensures that all students have equal access to opportunities. All young people in Philadelphia should have the skills and opportunities to excel in college and in their careers, according to their vision. Donate here.

Follow: Facebook | Twitter | YouTube


Urban Affairs Coalition

The Urban Affairs Coalition is home to more than 80 member nonprofits in the Greater Philadelphia area, which UAC supports through fiscal sponsorship, shared services, program development, and capacity building. Donate here.

Follow: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | LinkedIn | YouTube



The ever-growing fields of science, technology, engineering and math don’t just need more smart workers. They need driven, diverse innovators that these organizations are helping to grow.


Longtime BioEYES instills a love of life sciences in students by giving them chances to learn science in the real world. The organization provides training and materials to educators so they can create individualized curricula that imagines science education beyond the classroom. Donate here.

Follow: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram


Local educator Atiyah Harmon, founder and executive director of Black Girls Love Math, surrounded by students before a math session at the St. James School in North Philadelphia.
Atiyah Harmon, founder and executive director of Black Girls Love Math and students from the St. James School in North Philadelphia. Photo by Johann Calhoun

Black Girls Love Math (BGLM)

Longtime educator Atiyah Harmon founded this K-12 after-school and Saturday Slam program to help boost Black girls’ comfort and confidence in their math skills — and eventually increase Black women’s representation in STEM fields. BGLM serves 300 Philly girls every year.

Follow: Instagram | Facebook| Linkedin


Children sit and stand around a computer.
Photo courtesy of Coded by Kids


Coded by Kids

Sylvester Mobley founded Coded by Kids to teach Philly students ages 8 to 18 the basics of software development, digitial design, programming and entrepreneurship. The program’s goal: Launch students from communities that are underrepresented in tech into successful careers in the industry. Donate.


Philadelphia’s literacy rate continues to lag behind. These organizations inspire Philadelphia students to read, write, and be confident.

A group of young students and college-age Cosmic Writers instructors sit and stand on turf outside the Taggart School in Philadelphia.
Cosmic Writers at the Taggart School.

Cosmic Writers

Born at Penn, expanding nationally, this nonprofit trains and employs college students to teach students to create their own stories based on topics the kids are interested in. Cosmic Writers‘ creative writing workshops take place at rec centers, in schools, and virtually, during the school year and over the summer. Donate here.

Follow: InstagramFacebookLinkedin


Reach Out and Read

Reach Out and Read is a national nonprofit that promotes the benefits of reading to young children on a daily basis and engaging in other language-rich activities. They reach 4.5 million children across the country through routine check-ups, and a network of pediatric professionals to offer families with the knowledge and tools they need to make reading a daily habit. Donate here.

Follow: Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn | Twitter | YouTube


Children’s Literacy Initiative

This nonprofit works with pre-K to fifth grade teachers to improve early reading and writing. Their mission: Close the literacy performance gap between Philly and wealthier places. Donate here.


Photo courtesy of Mighty Writers.

Mighty Writers

Think clearly and write with clarity has served as Mighty Writer’s elevator pitch and mission statement since their launch in 2009. The organization has locations throughout the region where kids can attend writing workshops, meet with mentors, and go after school to work on reading, writing, and homework. Donate here.

Follow: YouTube | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook


Reading Recycled

Reading Recycled aims to improve children’s access to reading through three main programs: Sidewalk Libraries, which staff and community members keep stocked with books for kids to borrow; the Book Bank, from which educators receive up to 375 books per year for a $25 annual membership fee; and Community Corner, which helps local community organizations add literacy elements into their existing programs. Donate here.

Follow: Facebook | Instagram


Spells Writing Lab
Photo courtesy of Spells Writing Lab

Spells Writing Lab

Spells Writing Lab believes that literacy is a cornerstone for future success, and that personalized attention and unconventional learning opportunities can inspire students to greater triumphs, both in the classroom and in life. Donate here.

Follow: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube | LinkedIn



Youths who participate in community life and local governments are destined to be tomorrow’s leaders.

Interactive Constitution: Classroom Edition (National Constitution Center)

Since its launch in 2015, this nonpartisan tool has allowed learners of all ages to engage with the text of the Constitution, discover how experts agree and disagree about its history and meaning, and explore arguments on all sides of the constitutional debates at the center of American life. Donate here.

A young woman holds up a sign on the side of a highway in Philadelphia that reads, "Vote!"
Photo courtesy St. James School

Philly Youth Vote

Philly Youth Vote is a nonpartisan group of educators and community activists working to ensure that every 18-year-old in Philadelphia votes on Election Day. Donate here.

Follow: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube



Access to all kinds of arts has dwindled for Philadelphia students. These groups are helping to connect students with their creative side, helping them learn self-expression, discipline, skills and even entrepreneurship.

Lil Filmmakers

Lil Filmmakers Inc.’s purpose is to prepare young underprivileged artists for careers in the arts and media sector by teaching them how to use media and the arts to overcome societal and personal limitations. Donate here.

Follow: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube


Musicopia is a non-profit organization dedicated to reviving school music programs in the Greater Philadelphia area, ensuring that all children in underserved schools have access to music education. Donate here.

Follow: Facebook | Instagram | YouTube

Play On Philly

Since 2011, this nonprofit has served hundreds of Philly students who otherwise would likely go without musical education. Based in schools and outside schools, Play On Philly loans out orchestra instruments, offers free group and private instruction, and gives students opportunities to perform. Donate here.

Follow: Facebook | YouTube | Instagram

A student approaches a table at the Kimmel Center at Project 440's college fair for musicians who want to go onto college. Project 440 offers a way to help Philly students.
Project 440’s college fair.

Project 440

Philadelphia Orchestra principal bassist Joseph Conyers brought Project 440 to Philadelphia to establish music as a growth opportunity for kids who are into music. The nonprofit’s programs teach kids to combine music with community service and entrepreneurship, and open up pathways to higher ed. Donate here.

Follow: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter



These groups specifically target teens, helping them grow confidence, build communication skills, and get paid now, and down the line.


Marcel Njighe-Tezeh, an alumnus of Hopeworks in Camden, New Jersey
Hopeworks alumnus Marcel Njighe-Tezeh


Hopeworks’ programs in Camden, NJ and Kensington reach older students, ages 17 to 26, who are most at risk for giving up on their education. Not only does the organization train young people to work in tech. They also connect them with employers who are hiring. Support their work.

Follow: Facebook | Instagram | TwitterLinkedIn


Philadelphia Youth Network

The Philadelphia Youth Network (PYN) develops systemic solutions to close gaps in youth-serving institutions, trains youth-serving organizations to deliver programs that promote academic and career preparedness, and engages employers and system leaders to make sure youth are prepared to enter the workforce.

Follow: Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | LinkedIn


Photo Essay: Fab Youth Philly’s Play Captains
Philly Play Captains for Fab Youth Philly. Photo by Theo Wyss-Flamm.

Fab Youth Philly

Fab Youth Philly does a whole lot for teens — and students of all ages. The org employs teens as Play Captains to connect with children on the city’s summertime Play Streets. They also help teens get job-ready and teach other orgs how to better engage with and teach youth. Donate here.

Follow: Instagram | Facebook |LinkedIn | YouTube



Local educator Atiyah Harmon, founder and executive director of Black Girls Love Math, surrounded by students before a math session at the St. James School in North Philadelphia. Photo by Johann Calhoun

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