We are one community. And to have a lasting impact, organizations, civic leaders, and residents must come together to develop the solutions our children need. At the Lenfest Foundation, we think the first step in collaboration is to share knowledge. We are committed to sharing valuable resources so that individuals who touch young lives can continue to learn, expand, enhance, and create a new normal.


Below are a series of articles, publications or speeches that provide some provocative information for practioners who are seeking to improve their practice.


Growing Together, Learning Together

What Cities Have Discovered About Building Afterschool Systems

This research study examines powerful impact of after-school programs and provides examples of how to strengthen programs.

Read More

Hours of Opportunity, Volume 1

Lessons from Five Cities on Building Systems to Improve After-School, Summer School, and Other Out-of-School-Time Programs

An examination of the OST systems in five city's and discoveries of how to improve the program delivery system.

Read More

The Early Catastrophe

The Thirty Million Word Gap

A pivotal 4-year study of families from different socio-economic backgrounds found a huge differences in the number of words heard by children in poor families versus those in high income families – poor children heard 30 million less words. This resulted in big differences in their skills and knowledge and follow-up studies show that there are lasting effects.

Read More

Economic Investment

The Rate of Return to the HighScope Perry Preschool Program

This study provides a sound case for the economic benefits for investing in this is the often cited paper that makes the economic argument for high-quality early learning. James Heckman, a Nobel Prize winning economist says that the rate of return for investing in high-quality early learning programs for low income children is 7-10% annually in societal, economic gains.

Read More

Brain Architecture

The Timing and Quality of Early Experiences Combine to Shape Brain Architecture

Understanding why early learning experiences matter during those critical first years of heightened brain development.

Read More

Changing Philadelphia's Education System

Stacy Holland Delivers TEDx Presentation

Stacy Holland, former Executive Director of the Lenfest Foundation, discusses increasing access to the academic, career, and support services necessary to for Philadelphia's children to build bright futures and prepare them to be leaders in the workforce.

Read More

H.F. "Gerry" Lenfest | 1930-2018

Philadelphia lost a civic giant with the passing of H.F. Gerry Lenfest, who died August 5, 2018, at the age of 88. Reflecting on his life and legacy, it’s nearly impossible to imagine the Philadelphia of today without the incomparable leadership and largesse of Gerry Lenfest. The businessman and entrepreneur turned philanthropist extraordinaire ranks among the city’s most highly-respected and influential civic leaders, and the philanthropic path he blazed with his wife Marguerite will certainly have a profound impact on the fabric of our city for decades to come.

The Lenfests became wealthy from the sale of their cable business in 2000, and were among a new breed of donors whose mission was to give away the vast majority of their fortune during their lifetime.  In less than 20 years, the couple‘s giving has exceeded $1.3 billion. While the Lenfest’s philanthropy touched on a range of issues, Gerry is perhaps best known in Philadelphia for his financial support and leadership of some of the city’s major arts and cultural institutions, including The Philadelphia Museum of Art, Curtis Institute of Music, The Barnes Foundation, and the Museum of the American Revolution. His giving also made headlines recently when he purchased Philadelphia Media Network (owners of the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News and and donated it to a newly-created nonprofit, the Lenfest Institute for Journalism, the first-of-its-kind organization dedicated to developing and supporting sustainable business models for great local journalism. 

Last year the Lenfests joined a distinguished roster of donors to be honored with the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy. The award citation noted their innate modesty and hailed them for embodying the essence of generosity, altruism, and dedication to the common good.


Read more about the incredible life and legacy of Gerry Lenfest: