In 2008, our founder and executive director, Justin Brown, attended a summit on “teacher free stores” and returned with a vision.
At the time, he was working as Director of the Pittsburgh Community Storehouse, an arm of Serving Leaders (formerly Pittsburgh Leadership Foundation), which donated gifts in-kind to economically disadvantaged communities and individuals in Pittsburgh and surrounding areas. But Justin sensed that program’s impact could be greater if it narrowed its focus.
And so, inspired by the success of teacher programs in other cities, and by the critical need for educational support in ours, he led the organization to adopt a more refined business model, and a new name to match. In 2009, Storehouse for Teachers was born, a Board of Directors was formed, and (501)(3)c status was obtained.
Thanks to thousands of hours of help from hundreds of volunteers, Storehouse for Teachers managed to purchase and renovate a warehouse for its headquarters, hold its first in-school supply distribution, and run its first annual Back-to-School campaign alongside Giant Eagle—all in its first year.
In May 2011, the organization officially completed its pilot program and became Southwestern Pennsylvania’s first teacher resource center distributing school and classroom supplies at no cost to students and teachers in need. And to better reflect that work, the nonprofit was renamed The Education Partnership.
Since then, we’ve served over 130,000 local students with over $17.4 million worth of supplies.
In May of 2018, Justin passed the Executive Director baton to Josh Whiteside. Josh’s experience as Co-Director of local non-profit, Beverly’s Birthdays along with his passion for empowering students to succeed made him a natural choice for the position.
As we approach our 10th Anniversary, The Education Partnership is poised to meet the ever changing needs of the 110 local schools we serve through our Teacher Resource Center, STEAM Lending Library and Adopt-A-School Programs. Justin remains committed to furthering our mission and vision as Founder/Ambassador.
To address educational inequities by providing and enabling access to the tools and resources necessary to support teachers and enhance a student’s ability to learn and succeed.