Our Work

Our Goal

Our Goal

Investing in our public schools means investing in the very heart of Milwaukee's future!

At the Milwaukee Public Schools Foundation, our unwavering mission centers around the pursuit of equitable opportunities for every student, teacher, school, support staff, and family within our vibrant community. It is with your invaluable support that we transform our schools into vibrant centers of learning where students thrive.

What we do

Helping Schools & Students Succeed

Our work is a multi-faceted tapestry, with funds meticulously raised and thoughtfully distributed across a spectrum of vital areas, including:

Classroom Support Fund

Classroom Support Fund

In response to over 90 percent of teachers paying for school supplies out of pocket, we have recognized the need for a transformative approach to classroom supply fundraising in Milwaukee. 

In its pilot year, the fund, presented by Educators Credit Union, will provide 26 schools with dedicated funds that can be used throughout the 2023-2024 school year for traditional school supplies as well as out-of-the-box items like classroom equipment, personal supplies, technology, playground equipment, health and wellness materials, classroom grants, and more.

A partnership with EZ Office Products, the school district, and the MPS Foundation will allow teachers to shop online and order supplies to be delivered directly to their schools when they need them.  

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Learning Journeys Program

Learning Journeys Program

These educational field trips provide classroom instruction with real-world experiences at Wisconsin’s finest museums, cultural institutions, and more. Learning Journeys are provided at no charge to all students in grades K-8.

Each Learning Journey is designed by MPS subject area experts in collaboration with community partners. The goal of the program is two fold: to connect children to their communities through formative experiences, and to support and enhance classroom instruction with hands-on activities.

Learning Journeys are funded primarily by partnering organizations as well as through allocations from the Milwaukee Board of School Directors to MPSF, along with fundraising support.

2023-24 School Year Partnerships

  • K5 will visit Oak Ridge Farms
  • 2nd graders will experience Survive Alive House with the Milwaukee Fire Department
  • 3rd graders will learn about history at the Milwaukee Public Museum
  • 4th graders will learn about STEM and exploration at Discovery World
  • 5th graders will visit Junior Achievement's BizTown
  • 8th graders will visit Junior Achievement's Business Park
  • 9th graders will take a special trip to Washington DC – Funded by Herb Kohl Philanthropies

Two other new Learning Journeys will be announced soon. Stay tuned!

at Norcross HIgh School in Norcross, Georgia on Tuesday December 8, 2015. Photographer: ©2015 Chris Rank/ Rank Studios.

Junior Achievement 3DE Model

Junior Achievement 3DE Model

Junior Achievement’s 3DE model is a curriculum designed to introduce students to the higher-order thinking required for workplace success.

The MPS Foundation board agreed to support this initiative with $80,000 per year for two years. Due to that seed funding, this new instructional model is being piloted at Bay View and Marshall High Schools during the 2023-23 school year. 

Milwaukee high school students will engage with local and national businesses to solve real-world, real-time problems. Through small group discussions, collaborations, and debate students will work with mentors and volunteers provided by local and national case partners to work through unique business challenges created just for them. The curriculum is competency based and integrated into all subject areas.

Fundraising efforts continue to ensure the longevity and expansion of this promising program in Milwaukee schools.

UNSIL Instruction and World Fair

UNSIL Instruction and World Fair

The United Nations Schools of International Learning, or UNSIL, program is implemented in grades 4 through 8 at 16 MPS’ most diverse schools, where more than 2000 participating students speak 35 different languages. In the program, students learn about the United Nations and its 193 member countries throughout the world. They think critically about real-world problems, research solutions, and work together to develop a global perspective.

Each year culminates in a World Fair where students present their work to each other and to the community and enjoy cultural performances from fellow MPS students. Through this experience, students master critical academic skills such as research, writing, and presenting with a focus on world affairs and current events. Students gain skills in debate, negotiation, and conflict resolution, and they develop empathy and tolerance—all competencies that will serve them well in college and career.

The World Fair is made possible by visionary local philanthropists: the Annette J. Roberts & Joan R. Robertson Fund for World Peace, World Law, and Peace Education. Through the MPS Foundation and the Greater Milwaukee Foundation, the trustees of this fund established the United Nations Schools of International Learning curriculum in MPS.

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The district-wide MPS STEM Fair showcases the best of the best STEM projects from around the district. The majority of the students and their projects have participated and done well at their school-level STEM Fairs. Students of all ages, from four-year-old kindergarten through 12th grade, will bring hundreds of projects to life and share them with attendees and judges.

Student projects include engineering solutions to solve everyday problems as well as investigations designed around scientific questions of interest to students. Projects are divided into three categories: Science Inquiry (answering a question), Engineering Design (solving a problem), and Research Study (high school only). Volunteers from the community representing education partners, businesses, and higher education institutions collaborate to judge the students on a variety of criteria.

In 2023, more than 600 students from 54 MPS schools displayed their science and engineering expertise at the Fair. With more students and schools participating than ever before, this was the largest district-wide STEM Fair since its inception in 2007. The event is made possible by the MPS Foundation and GE HealthCare. Support for an educational event like the MPS STEM Fair is key to serving Milwaukee’s future STEM professionals.

Let Us Play

Let Us Play

Let Us Play transforms outdated and deteriorating outdoor schoolyards into dynamic and functional green spaces for MPS students, athletes and neighborhood residents while increasing access to high-quality shared public spaces that improve quality of life and educational outcomes.

Under the umbrella of the MPS Foundation, the collaborative joins Milwaukee Public Schools, Milwaukee Recreation, and the Green Schools Consortium of Milwaukee led by ReFlo.

The goal is to deliver annual funding for the revitalization of schoolyards. This unified fundraising effort brings outdoor spaces back to life while leveraging existing funds for green infrastructure and building an endowment for programming and future maintenance.

To learn more about the process and how schools are selected visit Reflo's website.