Knowledge Center

WSFS Grant Helps 4th-Dimension Leaders Develop Transformational School Administrators

educating-myself | Read Time: 2 minutes

By WSFS Contributor | Published: December 2020

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Founded in 2015, Wilmington-based Lead for Delaware’s goal was to train school leaders who could create meaningful change in high-need schools throughout the state.

From its early roots as a Teach for America program, Lead for Delaware grew rapidly and in 2019 became a self-sustaining organization, 4th-Dimension Leaders. While the organization’s name changed, its goal remained the same—train and develop transformational school leaders to help provide Delaware students with a high-quality education, regardless of their zip code.

“WSFS was one of our original supporters back in 2015,” said Angela Harvey-Bowen, Founder, 4th-Dimension Leaders. “The grants from the Bank have allowed us to increase internal capacity and grow the program.”

Through 4th-Dimension Leaders’ Lead for Delaware initiative, teachers and school employees undertake a two-year, alternative-route development and certification program focused on providing soft skills such as building social capital through networking to benefit schools and students.

The program includes more than 1,500 hours of professional learning and clinical practice, including reflection and conversation on race, gender, identity or other structural barriers to transformation as well as thoughtful exposure to different cultures and education systems.

“Strong, positive and well-equipped leaders are crucial to success for students,” said Vernita Dorsey, Senior Vice President, Director of Community Strategy, WSFS Bank. “We’re proud to support 4th-Dimension Leaders and the work they are doing to ensure students in high-need schools receive an equitable education.”

Lead for Delaware has already produced more than 20 program alumni who earned a Delaware principal certification at course completion.

“We have a duty to make sure schools educate the community and help it grow to be a better version of itself,” said Harvey-Bowen. “One of our biggest goals is to create a pipeline of leaders for schools throughout the state to access. Our partnership with WSFS has allowed us to provide continued development opportunities and post-program support to our graduates to further build this pipeline. We couldn’t have grown the program statewide into what it is today without WSFS.”

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