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Play On, Philly! Receives Major Support to Expand Its Impact

Carole Haas Gravagno and H. F. "Gerry" Lenfest commit $1 Million to POP's Growth

Play On, Philly! (POP), the El Sistema-inspired social development and music education program, today announced the matching gifts totaling $1 million from the CHG Charitable Trust and H. F. "Gerry" Lenfest. Provided over the next three seasons, the funds will help sustain the pilot program at St. Francis de Sales School while facilitating the launch of the second POP program at Freire Charter's middle school campus.

"Replicating the initial success of POP's 2011-2012 inaugural season and scaling the program will take greater focus and additional resources to create higher levels of social impact" said Stanford Thompson, CEO of Play On, Philly!. "These funds will allow for us to remain flexible to funding opportunities in Philadelphia while placing the building blocks that will catalyze our future growth and sustainability."

The program launched last year with the guided support of the CHG Charitable Trust as recommended by Carole Haas Gravagno who also serves as the President of the POP Board of Trustees. "I have faith in the ambitious social mission of this organization and was pleased to accept Mr. Lenfest's challenge to match his contribution to POP", said Carole. "The impact of this program is clear as these children work hard each day and we seek to provide more children access to these opportunities."

Play On, Philly! is an after-school orchestral music education program inspired by the long-successful El Sistema music education system of Venezuela. Play On, Philly! seeks to prove with a 3-year pilot study that music education can be a force for social change in Philadelphia. The music instruction is delivered by professional Teaching Artists from the Philadelphia region and each student receives three hours of instruction each weekday throughout the school year and summer. The pilot is collecting data to show that students in the program improve their self-perceptions; academic motivation, achievement, and school attendance; social-emotional and behavioral development; and complex cognitive processes, all while learning to play and perform a musical instrument. For more information on Play On, Philly!, please visit


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