Major Taylor Association Supports WEDF’s Connected Kids Campaign

Worcester Educational Development Foundation thanks the Major Taylor Association for its generous contribution to our Connected Kids campaign. The funds have provided Worcester Public Schools students with Chromebooks, a much needed resource during the district’s shift to remote learning.

Leveling the playing field was central to the struggles and successes of 1899 world cycling champion Major Taylor, aka “the Worcester Whirlwind.” As an African American, he was often denied equal footing, in his career and in other aspects of his life, because of his race. He used the term “square deal” 30 times in his autobiography, and he prefaced the chapters with verses about “a fair field and no favor.” He addressed advice directly to youth. 

Through its free downloadable curriculum guide, as well as events and activities of Major Taylor cycling clubs across the country, the Major Taylor Association aims to teach and learn from Major Taylor’s trailblazing experiences to help shape a fair future for all.

“When we saw how the COVID-19 pandemic forced a sudden and speedy transition to online education, and how it exposed inequities on many levels, we looked for a way to respond to this urgent need,” said Lynne Tolman, president of the Major Taylor Association. “We’re grateful that the Worcester Educational Development Foundation got right on it, and we’re pleased to be able to help the Connected Kids effort to bridge the ‘digital divide’ and ensure all Worcester students can participate fully in their education.”

To learn more about the Connected Kids campaign, or to donate, click here.

Worcester Resident Runs Marathon to Support WEDF’s Connected Kids Campaign

On Sunday, August 30, Ken McCormack of Worcester ran a marathon distance around Worcester’s North Pond. He took on this challenge to raise funds for WEDF’s Connected Kids campaign. To date, his fundraiser has raised almost $2,000 from nearly 40 donors.

“I couldn’t have asked for better running weather in August,” noted Ken after completing his run.

Ken launched his fundraiser in late July. “Recognizing the many uncertainties faced by school communities ahead of the fall semester, I felt compelled to chip in however possible,” he said. “Combating uncertainty with programs like Connected Kids highlights the critical role WEDF plays in supporting Worcester’s schools.”

WEDF congratulates Ken on both completing the marathon and surpassing his fundraising goal. We are incredibly grateful for his commitment to this fundraiser. Huge thanks go out to Ken, as well as everyone who donated on his behalf.

Worcester Alumni & Friends, WEDF’s new network and community of support for the Worcester Public Schools, allows anyone to set a goal and run a personal fundraiser. If you’re interested in learning more, or starting a fundraiser of your own, email

Worcester Public Schools College Matriculation 2020

At WEDF, we know that Worcester Public Schools alumni go on to do amazing things. To celebrate our college-bound WPS grads, we wanted to share this list of over 100 institutions in more than 20 states WPS grads will be attending.

2020 WPS College Matriculation

  • Adelphi University
  • Andrews University
  • Anna Maria College
  • Assumption College
  • Becker College
  • Bentley University
  • Berry College
  • Boston College
  • Brandeis University
  • Bridgewater State University
  • Catherine E. Hinds Institute of Esthetics
  • Central State University
  • Champlain College
  • Clark Atlanta University
  • Clark University
  • College of Our Lady of the Elms
  • College of the Holy Cross
  • Columbia University in the City of New York
  • Concord University
  • Curry College
  • Dean College
  • Delaware State University
  • Emerson College
  • Emmanuel College – Boston
  • Endicott College
  • Fairfield University
  • Fayetteville Technical Community College
  • FINE Mortuary College
  • Fitchburg State University
  • Florida Institute of Technology
  • Framingham State University
  • Franklin Pierce University
  • Full Sail University
  • Georgia State University
  • Gordon College
  • Grand Valley State University
  • Harvard College
  • Hollins University
  • Irvine Valley College
  • Johnson & Wales University, Providence
  • Keene State College
  • Lasell University
  • Lincoln Technical Institute
  • Lincoln Technical Institute – Rhode Island
  • Louisiana State University
  • Marist College
  • Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (MCPHS)
  • MassBay Community College
  • Merrimack College
  • Middlebury College
  • Montserrat College of Art
  • Morgan State University
  • Mount Holyoke College
  • Mount Saint Mary College
  • Mount Wachusett Community College
  • New England College
  • New England Institute of Technology
  • Nichols College
  • Norfolk State University
  • Northeastern University
  • Northern Essex Community College
  • Norwich University
  • Pennsylvania State University
  • Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Harrisburg
  • Porter and Chester Institute
  • Princeton University
  • Quinebaug Valley Community College
  • Quinnipiac University
  • Quinsigamond Community College
  • Regis College
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • Rob Roy Academy
  • Rochester Institute of Technology
  • Roger Williams University
  • Sacramento City College
  • Salem State University
  • Skidmore College
  • Smith College
  • Southern Connecticut State University
  • Springfield College
  • Springfield Technical Community College
  • St. John’s University
  • Stonehill College
  • Terra State Community College
  • The College of New Jersey
  • The Peterson School
  • Toni & Guy Hairdressing Academy
  • Tufts University
  • United States Navy
  • Union College – Schenectady
  • United States Army
  • Universal Technical Institute
  • University of Bridgeport
  • University of Central Florida
  • University of Central Missouri
  • University of Connecticut
  • University of Delaware
  • University of Hartford
  • University of Maine
  • University of Massachusetts Boston
  • University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
  • University of Massachusetts-Amherst
  • University of Massachusetts-Lowell
  • University of New England
  • University of New Hampshire-Main Campus
  • University of New Haven
  • University of Rhode Island
  • University of South Carolina-Aiken
  • University of South Florida
  • University of Vermont
  • Utica College
  • Valencia College
  • Virginia Tech
  • Wentworth Institute of Technology
  • Western New England University
  • Westfield State University
  • Worcester Polytechnic Institute
  • Worcester State University

Did You Know?

WEDF is working to build Worcester Alumni & Friends, a network for alumni, teachers, parents, and friends of the Worcester Public Schools.

IPG Photonics Supports WEDF’s Connected Kids Campaign

Worcester Educational Development Foundation thanks IPG Photonics for its significant contribution to our Connected Kids campaign. The funds will provide Worcester Public Schools students with Chromebooks, and supports the district’s commitment to a 1:1 student to device ratio.

IPG Photonics is a global developer and manufacturer of high-performance fiber lasers and amplifiers with world headquarters in Oxford, MA and is committed to giving back to its communities, funding educational programs and improving our environment for future generations. WEDF is grateful for IPG’s support!

To learn more about the Connected Kids campaign, or to donate, click here.

Elizabeth “Betty” Reidy Scholarships Awarded

The Worcester Educational Development Foundation, Inc. (WEDF) is please to announce the recipients of the Elizabeth “Betty” Reidy Scholarship. As a testament to her commitment to children and families, Reidy’s family has established this Scholarship for North High School graduates who intend to pursue a course of study and career in nursing, education, social work, counseling, or the ministry. We heartily congratulate Karina Herreira, Jocelin Kegbeth, Maria Morfe, Sara Sebbai, Abigail Boafo, and Dalena Le.

Mrs. Reidy, a North High School graduate and lifelong Worcester resident, dedicated her life to improving the quality of life for individuals in our community. She graduated from Emanuel College, received her Master’s in Social Work from Boston College, and later an Honorary Doctorate from Assumption College. She nurtured her own children to go on and become highly successful individuals.  

Worcester Red Sox Donate Ceremonial First Pitch to Benefit WEDF Campaign

WEDF extends a special thank you to Charles Steinberg and the Worcester Red Sox for donating the ceremonial first pitch at a Worcester Red Sox Game at Polar Park as an auction item to benefit our Connected Kids campaign. Congratulations and thanks go out to the winner of the item, Peter Caparso of Worcester.

To learn more about WEDF’s Connected Kids campaign or to donate, click here.

WEDF Presents Gurel Award to North High Student and Teacher

The Worcester Educational Development Foundation, Inc. (WEDF) is please to announce that the 2020 Dr. Lee Gurel Award for Teaching and Learning in Advanced Placement English has been awarded to student Lily Gandolfo of North High School and her teacher, Courtney Brousseau. Each year, the student honoree is chosen by lottery from the pool of WPS students who receive the highest score on the AP English exam.

Worcester Public Schools alumni Dr. Lee Gurel established this award in 2006 in honor of his 8th grade english teacher, Miss Wilmot, at Woodland Street Preparatory School. He donated an endowment for the award to thank the Worcester Public Schools for the educational foundation he received that prepared him to become a nationally recognized psychologist.

COVID-19 Message

The Worcester Educational Development Foundation, Inc. is responding to COVID-19 by doing whatever we can to keep pursuing our mission of supporting the students and teachers in the Worcester Public Schools. 

Our staff is staying safe by working remotely, but our services are up and running and we are ready to help. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any suggestions at 508-688-4773 or

2020 Worcester Public Schools Athletic Hall of Fame Inductees Announced

The Worcester Public Schools Athletic Hall of Fame honors Worcester’s elite competitive athletes.

The Hall of Fame was created to both honor our best athletes but also highlight the incredible diversity and the lifelong spirit of sportsmanship that Worcester’s athletes exemplify.

2019-2020 Inductees:

  • Robert Bailey – Burncoat High School
  • Stephen Brunelle – Doherty Memorial High School
  • Lenny Carlson – North High School
  • Richard Eid – Classical High School
  • Robert Goodney – Worcester Trade High School
  • Steven Hennigan – South High School
  • John McGrath – North High School
  • Michelle Legacy Montville – Doherty Memorial High School
  • Michael Lynch – South High School
  • Tijean Pluverge – Doherty Memorial High School
  • Matthew Powers – Burncoat High School
  • Jewel White – Doherty Memorial High School

Christina Chappell Joins WEDF as Advancement Associate

WEDF is proud to announce and welcome Christina Chappell as the organization’s Advancement Associate. Chappell will be responsible for supporting the work of the WPS Alumni Network, handling communications, and assisting with development.

Chappell holds a BA in English and Environmental Studies from Tufts University, and an MS in Environmental Education from Antioch University New England. Her career has always focused on education. She spent her early career in residential environmental education, and briefly taught in the Worcester Public Schools before becoming Manager of Education at the EcoTarium. After almost six years at the museum, Chappell is excited to help WEDF support the students and teachers of the Worcester Public Schools.

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