Beneficial Bank, the oldest and largest bank headquartered in Philadelphia, which has historically conducted programs aimed at schools, has announced “The Beneficial Foundation School Challenge,” which will provide area schools an opportunity to compete for grants to fund education improvement grants. Funds will be awarded to schools whose students develop a project concept that will create a long-term improvement at their school.

Entries will be accepted Oct. 1 to Nov. 15, and the rules and entry form can downloaded at

Elementary and high schools in Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Burlington and Camden Counties are eligible. Submissions should be in either of two categories, grades 4-8 or 9-12.

Based on the applications, 10 schools in each of the two categories will be invited to submit a creative video showcasing their idea, and Beneficial will post it on the Beneficial YouTube channel. Winners will be selected by public vote, and grants of $5,000, $1,000 and $500 will be awarded to the top winners in each of the two categories.

“The Beneficial Foundation School challenge is a manifestation of our education mission,” said Gerald Cuddy, Beneficial Bank president and CEO. “As an education company, Beneficial has always been committed to enhancing the learning experience for students in our schools. Beginning with our School Savings Program in 1927 and leading up to today’s School Challenge initiative, Beneficial has been an integral part of the education community in this region.”

Through its predecessor, Beneficial Savings Bank, Beneficial Bank has a historic link to Philadelphia’s Catholic community. It was founded in 1853 at the urging of St. John Neumann, who was then Philadelphia’s bishop, as a savings bank that would serve the working people.