AIM Academy Gets $1 Million for Scholarship Fund
The money will fund scholarships for three years and launch an endowment campaign.
Parents of children with learning differences know that finding programs that support specific educational needs are hard to come by. But thanks to a $1 million donation, one local school that focuses on those issues will be able to welcome more need-based students through its doors.
AIM Academy in Conshohocken specializes in kids with language-based learning differences, offering an education that’s specifically tailored to fit their individual academic and social needs. The donation will support AIM’s need-based scholarships for the next three years, and $700,000 of the donation is being used to create a scholarship endowment campaign.
The unnamed donor said the ability to provide student scholarships will enhance the school’s goals of emphasizing diversity, according to a school press release.
“This donation will help remove the barriers to an AIM Academy education for both current and future students and will help increase overall diversity at the school by attracting new students and families,” the donor said.
The 11-year-old school — which has quickly built a national and international reputation — has 315 students from first through 12th grades, using an art-focused curriculum to address language-based learning disabilities such as dyslexia, dysgraphia, and dyscalculia. Located on a 4 ½ -acre campus alongside the Schuylkill River, the school recently expanded to accommodate its growing arts department, as well as a gymnasium, stage, green screen space, and fitness center.
The school prides itself on sending 100 percent of its graduates to college. AIM is also a hub for research on learning differences, and shares what works at the school with parents and schools around Pennsylvania and the country through its Institute for Learning and Research.
AIM Academy currently has 79 scholarship students; 49 of them attend because of donation incentives such as the Educational Improvement and Opportunity Scholarship tax credits. The scholarship endowment fund will let the school expand its financial aid considerably.
Nancy Blair, AIM’s associate director and co-founder, said the impact of the new scholarships extends beyond the benefits to individual students, and that welcoming more students will “allow us culturally enrich our community.”
That means not just giving more students with learning disabilities the opportunity to thrive and grown in a highly-structured environment, but also showing that there are more options for children who learn differently. While the donor is helping current and future students, they also hope to set an example for others who want to make a difference in the lives of need-based students.
“I also hope this gift will encourage others to support the scholarship initiative so that any child who learns differently can access AIM’s specialized services regardless of financial circumstances,” the donor said.
Photograph courtesy of AIM Academy.