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What it takes for underdogs to win

The Eagles’ fight song is booming in hallways, restaurants, supermarkets and subways all over Philly. Naysayers’ predictions are falling on deaf ears. In nearly every state but Massachusettes, headlines about the Super Bowl declare that the underdog Eagles finally putting the Pats in their place would be a triumph of good over evil.  And, die hard Eagles fans have no doubt that a Foles-Brady showdown can only end one way–as winners

While football fans are flying high this week, every day in Philadelphia 202,500 younger players are competing in the most important quarter of their lives. They study plays just like in the NFL, but instead of mastering the art of a blitz, Philly’s other home team is following the playbooks for learning how to read, write and do math in their public school classrooms.

Like every one of the Birds, kids start out with big dreams but their classrooms don’t have enough resources to teach them the skills they need to be competitive in the game of life. Chronic underfunding has left students with crowded classrooms, paltry amounts spent on their education, and sub-par performance. In fact, compared to students in Patriot territory, our littlest eagles have already been sidelined.

In Boston classrooms there is one teacher for every 13 students. In Philly, the ratio is 40% higher at 1:18. While Boston spends more than $20,000 per student, Philly students got $13,800. That’s almost 50% less. It’s around the going price for a family of four to get tickets for the big game.  And although both cities will bask in the national spotlight Sunday, on the Nation’s Report Card Boston beat Philly by a whopping 18-point spread in reading and by 19 points in math.

For now, our kids, like the Eagles, are unfortunately the underdogs. The beauty of the game, though, is that investment is an equalizer. The pursuit of victory begins when the managers and head coaches decide to invest in a winning strategy to attract the top performers, recruit and keep the best coaching staff, pay for the most vigorous training regimen, buy the latest gear — Whatever. It. Takes. 

As we are watching the Eagles bound to the end zone, complete the passes, and kick field goals dead center, let’s not forget what had to be done to ensure they could rely on effective tackles and sacks to hold the line and prevent the underdog’s demise. Lurie and Pederson saw a need and put the resources on the line to build this great team. Of course, we all hope the Birds’ investment pays off with this ultimate win.

If we expect our students to shed their also-ran status and win in college or in their careers, shouldn’t we take a cue from what winners are doing and ambitiously invest in our classrooms, teachers, whatever it takes for schools to be great? — Whatever. It. Takes.

Greatness comes with a price.  Are you game?


We turned to you and you did not let us down!

For our week of free dental care for children, 177 generous donors helped PCCY raise $10,000! Thanks to our GoFundMe effort and some off-line donations, the 2018 Give Kids a Smile event is a GO! If you made a contribution and/or asked folks you know to give, thanks very much!

Every year, PCCY rallies some of the region’s top dental practices to offer kids a free check up, particularly for those who are underinsured or lack insurance entirely.

Thanks to your help we can do it again this year!


SERVICE WITH A SMILE! We are looking for dentists in Delaware County, Norristown, and Philly for our annual Give Kids A Smile event (March 29-April 2). We also need volunteers for various roles. 

Contact Sarah:  215-563-5848 x21


Of the nearly 700k Dreamers who face deportation should the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program expire, 8,800 are school teachers.  





States that opted for #ACA Medicaid expansion reduced infant mortality rates by more than 50% greater than non-Medicaid expansion states.

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District already a Super Bowl winner! Philadelphia schools to receive 100% of the proceeds from Lane Johnson’s clothing line, 100% of the profits from the NFL Store’s Underdog t-shirts, and all the profits from Federal Donuts ‘Iggle’ donut and ReAnimator’s limited edition ‘Foles-gers’ coffee blend.