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Pennsylvania Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) Program and WITF’s Explore In The Classroom

WITF’s EITC approved education outreach program, Explore In The Classroom, is designed for kindergartners and first grade students from underserved school districts. The program uses beloved PBS characters to engage children in literacy, science and math experiences and gives each child books to take home (often the very first books brought into his or her household).

With your help, WITF can reach more children to engage them in learning right now. WITF has once again been approved by the PA Department of Community and Economic Development as an Educational Improvement Organization (EIO) eligible to receive EITC contributions.  If your business participates in EITC, we ask you to support us.

With its second year of funding, Explore In The Classroom will provide:   

  • Educational enrichment with a focus on literacy, science, and math to the 710 Kindergarten and 1st grade students at Ferguson and Devers K-8 schools in the York City School District and at Benjamin Franklin Elementary School in Harrisburg School District.
  • Content that teachers described as “very relevant,” that they used after the sessions, and that they would recommend to other educators.
  • 2,100 take-home packets for the children, including 2,100 brand new books.
  • Resources for teachers to assist them in their instruction.

What are teachers saying about WITF’s Explore in the Classroom program?

  I so appreciate the dedication of WITF/PBS to bring these classes and resources for our students.  These resources and opportunities will reach our community (maybe more than you or I will ever know).  Thank you!!

Ben Franklin Kindergarten Teacher (HBSD)

  I loved the stories and books. We used our binoculars to go on a nature walk. We used the book for cloud observations and writings. We love this program! The presenters are fabulous with kids. 🙂

Devers Kindergarten Teacher (YCSD)

  Thank you so much for coming to Downey again this year and loving our kiddos!!! They will continue to talk about these experiences for a long time!! Hoping that I will get an email from you next school year!

Downey Kindergarten Teacher (HBSD)

  I loved having the program in my room. My students were very excited and engaged throughout every activity. I thought that this was such a positive experience for all of our students. They loved all of the activities and all the books they got to take home!

Hannah Penn Kindergarten Teacher (YCSD)

How can I learn more about the benefits for my business?

WITF likes to publicly thank the businesses that support the Explore In The Classroom program.  Please reach out to Sarah Sheehan, Manager of Content Sponsorships, to learn more. 

Sarah Sheehan
WITF Manager of Content Sponsorships

What is the Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) Program?

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania created the EITC Program to stimulate giving to innovative educational organizations. Qualified businesses can earn significant tax credits equal to 75% – 90% of its contributions to approved Educational Improvement Organizations.

WITF is approved as an Educational Improvement Organization (EIO) and is eligible to receive EITC contributions for its Explore In The Classroom program. 

Does my business qualify?

Speak to your accountant.  Businesses in Pennsylvania that pay any of the following taxes are eligible to apply for EITC credits:

  • Personal Income Tax
  • Capital Stock/Foreign Franchise Tax
  • Corporate Net Income Tax
  • Bank Shares Tax
  • Title Insurance & Trust Company Shares Tax
  • Insurance Premium Tax (excluding surplus lines, unauthorized, domestic/foreign marine)
  • Mutual Thrift Tax
  • Malt Beverage Tax
  • Retaliatory Fees under section 212 of the Insurance Company Law of 1921

How much of a Pennsylvania Corporate income tax credit can I get for my business?

  • 75% of every dollar contributed for a 1-year contribution (up to a maximum $750,000 per taxable year.)
  • 90% of every dollar for a 2-year commitment of the same amount each year

How does my business apply?

Pennsylvania businesses apply online for EITC credits through DCED’s electronic single application system. This link has more details and how to submit the online application.

Tax credit applications will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis by day submitted. All applications received on a specific day will be processed on a random basis before moving on to the next day’s applications. Applications will be approved until the amount of available tax credits is exhausted.

*It should be noted that in 2016-2017, ONLY those applications that were submitted on July 1 were considered for the tax credits.  Demand is so high that even if you submit on July 1, businesses are not guaranteed to receive the credit for which they applied.

What are the deadlines?

  • May 15 – Business applicants who have fulfilled their 2-year commitment and wish to reapply in FY 17/18 to renew their 2-year commitment.
  • May 15 – Businesses who are in the middle of their 2-year commitment.
  • July 3 – All other businesses including initial applicants.

How does WITF use the EITC funds it receives?

EITC contributions to WITF go towards the Explore In The Classroom program.  This program works with kindergartners and first graders in the York City School District and Harrisburg School District. WITF visits each classroom three times and with a different PBS character, (like Curious George, Clifford the Big Red Dog, or Daniel Tiger), and engages the students in math, literacy and science curriculum.  The fun continues with a 5-minute clip for a PBS television show, two educational interactive activities, a story time, and hugs and high-fives with the character.  Each student receives a copy of the book from story time to take home to keep and share with their families.

And special thanks…

To these generous businesses who contributed to WITF’s Explore In The Classroom program in the 2016 – 2017 year. Due to their support, WITF will provide educational enrichment and three free books to the 710 kindergartners and first graders at Benjamin Franklin Elementary School in Harrisburg School District, and at Devers and Ferguson K-8 in York City School District.  Thank you!