PRESS RELEASE: Fulcrum Announces $6.5M Early Childhood Education Endowment

April 7, 2022



Lee Keller



Fund will Support Western WA Students, Families, and Teachers

Seattle, WA – April 7, 2022 – The Fulcrum Foundation today announced a new $6.5 million Early Childhood Education Endowment, thanks to the vision and commitment of long-time supporters Dick Abrams and his late wife Sharon.

Founded in 2002, Fulcrum supports and strengthens Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Seattle primarily through tuition assistance, school partnerships, and transformational leader training. The median income of a family receiving a tuition assistance grant is $35,000, with 72% of recipients being people of color.

“The endowment represents a watershed opportunity for our preschools,” said Dave Mayer, the director of early childhood education at the Office for Catholic Schools. “The Abrams’ generosity will allow us to significantly increase financial support to the 1700 young students and their families in our 56 preschools.” 

Funds from the Abrams gift will be used to enhance curriculum, offer tuition assistance, fund professional development efforts for staff and teachers, and help support facility expansion and licensing. Additionally, as added incentive to fund the youngest learners, pre-kindergarten enrollment in Catholic schools nationally saw an increase of 33.5% from 2020-2021 to 2021-2022, according to the latest annual report of the National Catholic Education Association. “Enrollment of the youngest learners in Catholic schools was a driver of the overall Catholic elementary school increase,” the report said.  

The Abrams believe that all children should have access to early learning programs which provide a critical head-start to young children in their most formative years. “We must invest in our youngest students,” said Mr. Abrams. “The research is indisputable: The biggest educational impact happens with early learners – from birth to age five. It’s my hope this type of program will spur additional giving and be replicated beyond Western Washington.”

Mr. Abrams—along with many other donors —envisions that the program will benefit the children of Western Washington and, with continued growth, become an exemplary program, admired and respected across the country.

MEDIA: For video, interviews, photos and other assets, or for interviews or to tour an early childhood education facility such as the one featured in the video, please contact Lee Keller at 206.799.3805 or email at

About Fulcrum Foundation: Founded in 2002, Fulcrum Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that strives to increase access to Catholic education, especially for those furthest from educational justice. Fulcrum serves students in Western Washington of all races, genders, abilities, cultures, sexual orientations, and backgrounds through tuition assistance grants, school partnership grants, and educational leadership grants. For more information, please visit