- Announcement - National Friends Education Fund
- National Friends Education Fund
- Quaker students who received tuition aid: 2017-2018
- The Journey to NFEF
- One Former Head's Commitment to NFEF: David Girardi
- What Donors are Saying
- What Heads of Schools are Saying
- Make A Gift!
National Friends Education Fund (NFEF) is a tuition aid fund to support Quaker children in Friends schools across the country.
Friends Council on Education is committed to sustaining and nurturing the Quaker nature of Friends schools.
We Believe in supporting Friends in Friends Education
- Increasing the presence of Quaker students and families enhances the Quaker character of Friends schools.
- Grounded in Quaker practice, robust Friends schools are instrumental to the sustainability of the Religious Society of Friends.
Growth of the National Friends Education Fund through contributions will enable Friends Council to do more to provide tuition aid that can serve as a tipping point for Quaker families to attend Friends schools across the country. Make your gift today.
Quaker students at the following Friends schools received tuition aid in 2017-2018
Friends Western School
Wilmington Friends School
The Friends School of Atlanta
Chicago Friends Schoo
Friends Community School
Friends Meeting School
Friends School of Minnesota
Arthur Morgan School
New Garden Friends School
Friends School Mullica Hill
Haddonfield Friends School
Moorestown Friends School
Princeton Friends School
Westfield Friends School
Brooklyn Friends School
Oakwood Friends School
Westbury Friends School
Abington Friends School
Buckingham Friends School
Delaware Valley Friends School
Frankford Friends School
Friends’ Central School
Friends School Haverford
Friends Select School
Germantown Friends School
Greene Street Friends School
Greenwood Friends School
Gwynedd Friends School
Lansdowne Friends School
Media-Providence Friends School
Newtown Friends School
Plymouth Meeting Friends School
State College Friends School
Stratford Friends School
United Friends School
West Chester Friends School
William Penn Charter School
Tandem Friends School
The Journey to NFEF
National Friends Education Fund has been created to simplify and amplify Friends Council on Education's tuition aid initiative. There is now one tuition aid program: National Friends Education Fund.
How did we get here? For the past few years, Friends Council administered two tuition aid programs for Quaker children attending Friends Schools. The first program, Friends Education Fund (FEF) came into existence more than sixty years ago as a donor-restricted fund to provide tuition aid for Quaker families of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting (PYM) to attend PYM Friends schools. Friends Council began administering FEF several years ago.
More recently, Friends Council on Education established the National Endowment for Quaker Children (NEQC) - a fund and three-year pilot program to provide tuition aid for Quaker children across the country to attend Friends Schools.
Now, in the spring of 2018, Friends Council on Education is bringing together these two tuition aid programs to create the National Friends Education Fund.
Friends Education Fund + National Endowment for Quaker Children = National Friends Education Fund
FEF + NEQC = NFEF
What does this mean for donors, schools, and Friends Council's tuition aid program?
- There is one tuition aid program administered by Friend Council on Education. It has national reach and impact.
- The endowment monies for Friends Education Fund (FEF) and National Endowment for Quaker Children (NEQC) both remain intact, each continuing to meet its explicit purpose, and will continue to support Quaker children in Friends schools in alignment with donor wishes.
- Donors who feel strongly about Philadelphia Yearly Meeting-area schools may continue to restrict their gifts to PYM-area schools as they wish.
- National Friends Education Fund builds on the more than sixty year legacy of Friends Education Fund.
One Former Head's Commitment to NFEF: David Girardi
David Girardi has devoted his life to education. As an educator with 50 years of experience serving at the elementary, middle, high school and university levels, Girardi concluded his educational career serving as head of High Point Friends School in North Carolina. “My ten years at High Point Friends were the most rewarding of my career due the phenomenal growth evidenced by the students in mind, body and spirit,” says David.
When asked what he values about Quaker education, David shares, “Quaker education allows each student to develop individually and to stretch academically, spiritually, physically and socially. It recognizes “that of God “in each person. It enables students and staff to continue their spiritual development and to put it into practice in so many ways to help build a better society.”
As the head of a Friends school for ten years, David was able to witness first-hand the impact of Quaker education on young people. “Students were challenged educationally and developed a real sense of self-confidence,” says David. “Being strengthened spiritually through Meetings for Worship and a supportive Quaker environment helped each student to become a more mature, caring and involved person.”
It is for that reason that David continues to support Quaker education through philanthropic support of Friends Council on Education. Of particular importance to David is Friends Council’s National Friends Education Fund which provides tuition aid support for Quaker children to attend Friends schools across the country.
“Before the NFEF scholarship was established I was able to develop a scholarship program with the Trustees of High Point Friends Meeting to provide assistance to students from other area Meetings to attend High Point Friends School,” says David. “Now, through Friends Council’s National Friends Education Fund, I am able to help students anywhere who need financial assistance have the opportunity to attend a Friends School.”
David is one of many donors who have stepped up to support National Friends Education Fund. He has made multiple contributions over the past five years that have been matched by our ongoing matching challenge to donors
David plans to continue supporting National Friends Education Fund. “I believe a Quaker education is a fundamental building block for changing lives and developing a life of purpose. We must always keep in mind ‘Let your life speak.’ What is so powerful about that motto is that it is applicable to students of any age and to all us adults.”
What Donors are Saying
Paul Smith: Supporting Tuition Aid for Quaker Students Nationally
Paul Smith says he owes a lot to Quaker Education. In the late 1940’s Paul attended Haverford College where he met a number of outstanding Quakers: Gilbert White, President of the College; Archibald Macintosh, Vice President; Gilbert Hoag, Dean; Douglas Steere, Chair of the Philosophy Department; and Rufus Jones, retired Chair of the Philosophy Department. “I absorbed the character of those men,” says Paul, and indeed he absorbed a whole lot more. Paul’s experience at Haverford College led him to join the Religious Society of Friends by joining Radnor Monthly Meeting, which he calls his “spiritual home.” Eventually he was asked to be the Treasurer of Haverford Friends School, a Quaker elementary school under the care of Haverford Monthly Meeting. Paul also served as Acting Principal of this school on two later occasions.
When asked why he has supported Friends Council on Education for so many years, actually thirteen years in a row, Paul says, “Why not? The strength of Quakerism has a lot to do with their educational institutions. Many students are eventually led to join the Religious Society of Friends because of their Quaker school experience. Friends Council helps maintain and build these Quaker institutions, and that is very important.”
Recently Paul chose to extend his support of Friends Council beyond his yearly Annual Fund gift by joining the Evergreen Circle of Friends, Friends Council’s planned giving circle. Paul said, “I noticed recently that I had no Quaker bequest in my will, and I wanted to remedy that oversight.” He recently had received a mailing from Friends Council about the tuition aid to help Quaker children attend Friends schools. “I thought that would be an excellent idea.” Paul is the first Evergreen Circle member to designate his bequest to Friends Council’s endowment for tuition aid.
It was the national impact of the endowment that caught Paul’s attention and inspired him to add FCE to his will in this way. “We need to encourage more Quaker children nationally to attend Quaker schools,” says Paul. “I am very impressed with this effort. It is a very worthy cause.”
Learn more about Friends Council's Evergreen Circle of Friends.
What Heads of Schools are Saying
Quaker students enrich our entire program. They diversify our student body, and this support provides the resources to create a rich and stimulating experience for all students, so they can face tomorrow’s challenges with conscience, conviction, and compassion.
Waman French, Head, Friends School of Atlanta
I want to say how much this scholarship program has meant to Friends Meeting School. We have one Quaker student who has been with us since the third grade in 2012. Then we didn't have any new Quaker students for a long time. This year we added two Quaker students and both received tuition aid grants from the FCE. They have had a magical transfer to our school and love being in a Quaker school for the first time. One of the new students is in the third grade, so I hope she follows in the footsteps of our mighty first Friend. The second student is a junior who was home schooled for a long time. He told me on his first day here that he never realized that school could be a place where you could be happy. He now serves on our Spiritual Life Committee and is training to be a peer mediator. It makes a difference to have Quakers at our small school. Thank you for offering these two families assistance.
Mara Nicastro, Head, Friends Meeting School
Our tuition aid grant recipient is Quaker & brings a pre-existing awareness of Quaker values to our school. We incorporate Quaker values into our daily life in many ways. One is having silence built into our routines. After morning sing we have silence at the start of the day and we have silence at the beginning of every gathering. This student is very comfortable with that. When he is student clerk he is familiar with the process, enacts that confidently, and articulates that to other students.
Sadie Kneidel, Former Co-Clerk Arthur Morgan School