Starr looks to raise 100G for Philly schools

Posted: March 06, 2014

ONE OF Philadelphia's top restaurateurs is serving up aid for the financially distressed public schools.

Stephen Starr and Superintendent William Hite yesterday announced a monthlong initiative at all 22 of Starr's Philly restaurants, hoping to raise $100,000.

"It should not be in a major city that our children [who] go to public school do not have the tools to actually have a chance," Starr said during a news conference at Parc, his Parisian-style brasserie on Rittenhouse Square. "It shouldn't be a place where just the privileged and the rich are able to send their kids to private school so they have an advantage, and the kids that don't have it just get sort of pushed away."

Starting today, Starr said, diners will be asked to include a donation on their bill for the school district. The individual contributions will be combined with a donation from Starr Restaurants to the district's charitable fund.

Hite said the money will be used to support multimedia labs; Playworks, a recess program at elementary schools; and summer internships for high-school students in partnership with WorkReady Philadelphia.

"We're thrilled to be a recipient of this," Hite said. "This is an example of how individuals can help schools using their own individual influence or their own individual organization."

Starr said he decided to get involved after Mayor Nutter's speech last month to the business community, but was particularly moved by an online platform that teachers use to solicit funds for classroom materials.

He said he would not rule out extending the initiative past April 5.

"I'm proud to do this, and I want to send a message to all my fellow businesspeople," he said. "Let's all jump on board on this one. This can only help us all."

On Twitter: @ChroniclesofSol

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