American Girl founder donates $14 million to One City Schools

Published: Mar. 23, 2021 at 9:25 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 24, 2021 at 6:49 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The founder of American Girl donated $14 million to One City Schools, making it possible for the school to buy a facility to become a permanent space for its K-12 public charter schools.

The schools’ Board of Directors announced the plan Tuesday after receiving a donation from Madison philanthropist Pleasant Rowland, saying they will buy a 157,000 square foot space for $12 million from WPS Health Solutions.

“This is an extraordinary moment for One City Schools, for the Greater Madison community, and for Wisconsin,” said One City Founder and CEO, Kaleem Caire.

One City Elementary School currently enrolls students in grades 4K through second grade, but the board said it will add third and fourth grades this fall. The board also noted they have been approved to open One City Preparatory Academy for sixth through twelfth graders in September of 2022.

“We are going to ensure that our children achieve to their full potential and are prepared to pursue their post-secondary education and career goals before they leave our nest.”

By the fall of 2024, One City plans to have a minimum of 954 students ages two through twelfth grade to be enrolled at the schools.

Rowland previously donated $5 million to One City’s operating budget in 2019, making Tuesday’s donation the second major gift to the school. She also awarded $10 million in February to go toward a new transplant clinic at University Hospital.

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