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Chamber Spotlight: Public Education Foundation Charlottesville-Albemarle

PEFCA_cover-image (1)

Public Education Foundation Charlottesville-Albemarle
Charlottesville, VA

Shared by Penny Harrison, Executive Director. You can reach Penny at

What does your organization do?
The Public Education Foundation of Charlottesville-Albemarle (PEFCA) has played a vital role in meeting the educational needs of Albemarle and Charlottesville’s children since 2004.

Through community involvement and support PEFCA strives to ensure that every child in our two public school districts has access to educational experiences that prepare them for success, that every teacher has the resources to educate effectively, and that every administrator can provide exemplary support and leadership.

What's the most important thing you want people to know about your organization?
“During the Fall/Spring semesters of 2023/24, PEFCA directly impacted more than 5,000 students, 68-plus teachers, 10,000 parents – and our entire community through teacher innovation grants,” said Executive Director, Penny Harrison, announcing the 20th Anniversary campaign: Educate. Elevate. Empower: Changing Lives through Challenge and Discovery. Our goal is to give a teacher innovation grant to all schools in our two districts this year!

Tell us about something new and exciting your organization is doing.
“Our 2024/25 goal is to help fund 35 schools in our two districts with at least one funded program each, but more would be exciting.” PEFCA funded Teacher Innovation Grants, Cycle 1 in January 2024, 18 projects that spanned classroom projects such as STEM, Art Fusion and Science, Checkbook Management, a tour for aspiring marine biologists to VIMS, Force & Motion Fair, Unlocking Learning & Well-being through Nature, Learning Through Listening, ST Math, and more (see our website for a complete list). Cycle 2 will be for the Fall/Winter 2024 semester.

Tell us about one of your recent success stories.
"Thank you PEFCA for supporting 500 students and 40 teachers with the SOL Project!" - Cianna W., Buford M.S.

Our teachers are committed to the highest level of support for students! We have 18 success stories right now. Watch our website Newsfeed!

What services or products do you offer?
Financial support through grants for innovative projects for teachers, as well as . We are open to new project ideas from teachers, principals, parents and the business sector.

What makes your organization stand out?
Our recent Impact: 5,000 students in 18 schools and growing!

What accomplishments are you most proud of?
98% of this impact was made possible by local business donations. Through cooperation and support from our donors and UVA, we host 70 students from the CCS and ACPS schools each summer at STEAM and Art Camps. Over the years more than 200 students have participated in these camps.

What else do you want us to know?
We are a nonprofit organization with a Guidestar Silver Seal of Transparency. This year we are celebrating our 20th Anniversary campaign: Educate. Elevate. Empower: Changing Lives through Challenge and Discovery.

What Chamber benefits do you appreciate as a member?
Meeting the business community that is invested in the future and that supports a model public education system.

Would you recommend Chamber membership to others?
Yes. Participating and learning more about the Chamber helps us understand the business community and how to make our region more attractive to business and families.