Mission and History
The Newport Public Education Foundation empowers teachers, administrators and community partners to provide enriching educational experiences for the students of Newport Public Schools.
- Collaborate with Newport Public Schools administrators and school committee to mutually review strategic goals, priorities and initiatives. Identify potential areas for NPEF involvement and support.
- Expand and develop fundraising objectives and activities that are aligned with NPEF and Newport Public Schools initiatives. Adopt best practices for nonprofit financial management.
- Develop criteria and preferred outcomes for program grants while also giving district staff and community partners the flexibility to design and implement.
- Conduct post-award assessments in collaboration with district staff and community partners to evaluate outcomes and provide continuous improvement quality feedback.
- Identify and prioritize specific activities that foster broad-based community participation in educational initiatives, such as experiential projects, mentoring, career exploration, place-based learning, equality and inclusiveness.
Founded in 1991 as an independent 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, the Newport Public Education Foundation is dedicated to the students and educators of Newport’s public schools. We work in partnership with the schools to support educational opportunities that are not funded through the district’s budget. Over the past 30 years, we have awarded more than $650,000 in enrichment grants to educators and community partners. Initiatives that promote literacy, collaboration and experiential learning are especially encouraged.
Since our founding, partnerships with community agencies have played an integral role in our grant programming. An early partner was Newport Hospital, which for many years supported Thompson Middle School’s human services mall, an innovative model of on-site social agency interaction. During the 1990s, the Newport Historical Society provided opportunities for students to explore Newport’s unique architectural heritage, and Salve Regina University provided office space and newsletter publication. Today, organizations such as the Newport Restoration Foundation, Boys and Girls Clubs of Newport County and Sail Newport offer experiential opportunities to students.
In the late 1990s, we played a leading role in the $1.35 million capital campaign to equip and furnish the renovated Thompson Middle School. The late Noreen Stonor Drexel was critical to this campaign, obtaining a $1 million donation from the Alletta Morris McBean Charitable Trust. When Pell Elementary School opened in 2013, we played a key role as the fiscal agent for the school’s technology campaign. In 2020, the campaign reached its goal to establish a million-dollar endowment for the support and replenishment of technology at Pell. Grants are regularly awarded from investment earnings.
Most recently, we have been focused on improving the performance of all students in Newport Public Schools by funding innovative educational experiences and by expanding broad-based community support for excellence in public education.