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In 2011, Maggie and Rob Wasserman created a culinary competition on the playground of The William M Meredith Elementary School. They invited several of their restauranteur friends to duke-it-out with their best burger – The Philadelphia Burger Brawl was born!

The Burger Brawl team partnered with The Fund for the Philadelphia School District (“The Fund”) to provide financial management and direction.  Together we engaged leadership in the Philadelphia School District (“School District”) to help identify literacy programs that required funds to be launched.

Since 2011, the Philadelphia Burger Brawl has raised over $283,000.00 to fuel much-needed programs.

In 2019, we decided to expand our reach to include elementary and middle schools.  Working with the School District, we issued a Request for Information to every school.  We want to understand the goals and needs of literacy-based programs that have not gotten off the ground due to computer needs.  Twenty-three schools responded.

The School District also developed a scoring rubric to measure the respondents level of need, goals, and assessed impact on literacy scores.

The School District has given us the funding requirement for the top 10 programs which totals $56,500.00.  This has become our 2019 Goal.

The Principals and Staff are being notified that we are all working toward achieving this goal.  Many of the Principals and teachers will be onsite with our friends from The Fund.  We invite you to speak with them to understand more about their campaigns for literacy.  

In recent years several studies have found that Philadelphia has an elevated illiteracy rate when compared to other areas.

The Philadelphia Center for Literacy estimated in 2014 that 40% of Philadelphia adults struggle with a low literacy rate…

…which means it is difficult to fill out a job application, read Doctor’s instructions and help their children with homework, for example. The Center argues further that without literacy, it is impossible to break a pattern of inter-generational poverty which defines several of our inner-city neighborhoods.

The Burger Brawl team accepts this challenge. We proudly organize this annual event with some of the top restaurants, chefs, and culinary artists in the region so that we can raise funds to finance technology-based programs in under-served Philadelphia schools and improve the prospects for the next generation as they face the needs of the 21st Century workforce.
We value our partnership with The Fund and School District in guiding the selection of programs, coordinating the implementation and measuring results. 

We invite you to learn more about Burger Brawl programs, Sponsorship opportunities, and how to get tickets.