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12 Pittsburgh Public Schools Participate in “Building Pride/Building Character,” Thanks to Foundation and Corporate Support

In mid-January, PHLF received a $10,000 grant from the Alfred M. Oppenheimer Memorial Fund of The Pittsburgh Foundation that closed the funding gap needed to support its “Building Pride/Building Character” educational program.

“This generous grant, when combined with the $39,500 that we received from eight corporate contributors through the state’s Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) program, will make it possible for us to involve students (grades 3 – 8) from 12 Pittsburgh Public Schools in creative, engaging field trips and in-school programs over the next several months,” said PHLF Executive Director Louise Sturgess.

We thank the following for contributing to PHLF’s “Building Pride/Building Character” educational program in 2016-17:


  • First National Bank of Pennsylvania
  • Alfred M. Oppenheimer Memorial Fund of The Pittsburgh Foundation
  • PNC Bank


  • Eat’n Park Hospitality Group, Inc.
  • Frank B. Fuhrer Wholesale Company
  • Huntington Bank


  • Hefren-Tillotson, Inc.
  • Maher Duessel, CPA,
  • S. McKee, LP

In addition, the McSwigan Family Foundation and others provide needed support for PHLF’s educational programs.

Below is a gallery of photos of third, fourth, and fifth-grade students from Pittsburgh Beechwood, Minadeo, and Whittier, who participated in PHLF’s career-awareness program and poetry and art programs in January.

Distinguished Pittsburgh poet Samuel Hazo spoke to Pittsburgh Beechwood students during their poetry and art field trip to Carnegie Mellon University on January 26. He explained to students that in poetry “You are called upon to give something it’s right name––it’s not easy to do. Take words seriously for what they sound like, for what they suggest, and for the colors that they assume when they are next to another word.” It was an honor to have Dr. Hazo with us, explaining the art of poetry and assisting students with their individual poems.

The poetry and art program for Pittsburgh Whittier students on January 27 was especially designed to connect to the school’s Mt. Washington neighborhood and to the theme of civil rights. The fifth-graders walked along a wooded path to the Bigham house in Chatham Village, which was a stop on the “underground railroad” in the 1850s. Once back at school, they wrote poems and drew architectural details of neighborhood landmarks.

When asked to think about his experience that day, one student wrote: “I think all the kids loved walking the trail to the Bigham house. We loved learning about Mt. Washington history and poetry and art. My experience was good. I hope you continue this program. Please do.”

Another student added: “I liked walking in the woods because I felt very free. I learned about the escaped slaves and that they walked on the same route as we walked. I would recommend this program for everyone in Pennsylvania.”

We are grateful to the eight corporations and to the McSwigan Family Foundation and Alfred M. Oppenheimer Memorial Fund of The Pittsburgh Foundation for making these enriching “hands-on and eyes-on activities” possible.

Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation

100 West Station Square Drive, Suite 450

Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Phone: 412-471-5808  |  Fax: 412-471-1633