Milwaukee Public Schools Foundation | 2020 Year in Review

Despite obvious challenges, we are pleased to report that we raised a record-breaking $3 million for MPS students, families, teachers, and schools in 2020! Thanks to the dedication of the MPS Foundation Board and the generous support of individuals like you, we were able to meet MPS families' immediate needs and more.

Of course, we have some new exciting initiatives and plans for 2021. Please stay tuned for an update next month. 

But for a moment, please allow us to share and reflect on the work accomplished in 2020.

Thank you for your continued support,

Wendell E. Willis
Executive Director
What Have We Been Doing?
Covid Relief
  • Over 30,000 meals were provided to students and their families thanks to generous donations to our Covid Relief Fund in 2020.
  • We also delivered countless kits to MPS families that included everything from cleaning supplies to educational board games to ensure our families could stay safe and busy as the pandemic set in. 
  • Awarded $98,000 to 26 MPS graduates courtesy of generous philanthropists and funds
  • 1/3 of our scholarship recipients are first-generation college students and five students are refugees.
  • These students are going to college for everything from Law and Astrophysics to Arts and Music.
  • Since 2015, The MPS Foundation has provided approximately $475,000 in scholarships to MPS graduates.
Learning Journeys
  • Delivered experiential learning opportunities for 45,000 MPS students to first-class destinations throughout the city.
  • Destinations included – Discovery World, Junior Achievement Biz Town, Milwaukee Public Museum, and a number of local businesses for career exploration.
  • 500 students to Washington DC courtesy of Herb Kohl Philanthropies.
United Nations Programming
  • Expanded the United Nations Schools of International Learning (UNSIL) programming into 15 of MPS’ most diverse high schools reaching 2,800 students.
  • Students share their knowledge of countries and their cultures across the globe.
  • Students at these 15 schools speak 35 different languages.
Schoolyard Redevelopment
  • Secured nearly $300,000 in funding for the second cohort (5 schools) of Greener, Healthier Schoolyards projects.
  • Each project is tailored to the specific needs and enthusiasm of the school’s community but often involves replacing seas of asphalt with green spaces including bioswales, rain gardens, and trees.
#ConnectMilwaukee Campaign
Closing the Digital Divide for MPS families and teachers 
  • Raised $1.7 Million to help close the Digital Divide. 100% of those dollars went directly to students and teachers funding laptops, internet hot spots, and teacher training. 
  • Delivered more than 30,000 laptops to students in need
  • Donated 9,000 internet hotspots to MPS students, over half of whom are technically homeless
  • Increased the District’s strained IT department capacity, funding additional staff 
  • Funded more digital instruction coaches to support teachers in navigating the digital classroom
Join our journey...
Become a monthly sustaining donor to support students and teachers year-round!
Next month, we will be unveiling plans for 2021 and we will need your support to make them a success.