Recognizing that a good education is indispensable in today’s world and that it opens doors to opportunity and advancement, the Foundation seeks to improve the quality of elementary and secondary education. Particular focus is placed on students’ development of essential skills and on expanding school options. The Foundation supports K-12 institutions that are alternatives to traditional public schools and that are models of effective teaching and high student achievement. The Foundation expects that these schools will be the examples that spark constructive competition and innovation. This support includes, but is not limited to, religious schools, other independent schools and public charter schools, private scholarship programs, and policy research in the areas of education choice and reform.
Recognizing the connection between religious values and a free society, and the fact that personal faith generally has a positive effect on the decision-making and life prospects of youth, the Foundation seeks to increase the ability of faith-based institutions to provide for the needs of youth and foster faith among them. This support includes, but is not limited to, mentoring programs, after-school and summer programs, youth engagement in program leadership roles, and research that examines the role of religion in modern life and defends religious liberty.
Recognizing that children need protection, nurturing, discipline, stability, and positive examples from adults, the Foundation seeks to support organizations that help strengthen families, or that bring other caring and competent adults into the lives of children. This support includes, but is not limited to, programs to foster positive parenting skills, mentoring programs, and research on the best ideas for strengthening families and building constructive relationships between caring adults and children.
In its direct service portfolio, the Foundation focuses primarily on two geographical areas: Jersey City and the South Bronx. To carry on the longstanding interests of Mr. Simon's family, direct service grants also are awarded for programs in Morristown, New Jersey.
Public policy grants are awarded to select institutions that have either a national or in some cases, regional, focus in the chief areas of the Foundation’s charitable work: K-12 education, faith, and family.