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Parent activist Helen Gym receives Eddy Award

This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.

Helen Gym (left), an organizer for Parents United for Public Education and Asian Americans United, accepted an Eddy Award presented by Sandra Dungee Glenn, School Reform Commission chair, at the annual award ceremony of the Philadelphia Education Fund on November 8.

Gym, a board member and former editor of the Notebook, was honored for her activism as part of Parents United, an independent parent group formed in 2006 by her and others to create a more open and accountable process around school budgets. The group has played a leading role in the past year’s debates about budget cuts and in advocacy for school funding.

The Eddy awards, presented by the Education Fund since 2005, recognize individuals, organizations, and businesses that have made an impact on public education in the Philadelphia region. The ceremony was at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.

Gov. Ed Rendell was presented with a “Star Leadership for Education Eddy,” acknowledging his work to increase public education funding in Pennsylvania.

Other honorees at the 2007 Eddy Awards were:

  • Dawn Staley, head coach of the Temple women’s basketball team and creator of a foundation supporting inner-city youth
  • Azsherae Gary, a participant in the Fund’s College Access Program who became a Philadelphia Scholar and is now a Bryn Mawr College freshman
  • Congreso de Latinos Unidos, a nonprofit organization that addresses education and other social issues facing Latino families
  • IBM, for support of education and technology initiatives in the region.