Thank you to everyone who came out and supported Friends of Bache Martin in our first annual Bache in Bloom fundraiser. With your support we were able to raise $11,000 to assist in funding the Give and Go Athletics recess program for Bache-Martin. Business community members that helped make this event a success are Univest Bank, 2637Brew, Rep. Donna Bullock, FESPP, and Give and Go Athletics.

Philadelphia Film Society • AMC Broad Street 7 • Local artists Jess Husbands and Tezh Modarressi • Cadence Cycling & Multisport • Snip Hair Salon • Penn Charter Summer Camp •  Wawa • Dorney Park • Independence Seaport Museum • Sound Space Performing Arts • Federal Donuts • The Cat Doctor • Still Waters Therapies • Crime and Punishment Brewery • Fairmount Bicycles • Clay Studio • Phield House • Neighborhood Potters • Haven Wellness • Wide Eyed Studio • Blinck Photography • Ali’s Wagon • Wellpoint Oriental Medicine • Philly Tutors • High Point Cafe • Brewerytown Chiropractic • Wegmans • CoreFitness • Fairmount Art Center • Academy of Natural Sciences • Rybread • Bar Hygge • Rescue Spa • Momo’s Treehouse • Soccer Shots • Jill Ellen Designs


As a nonprofit organization, the Friends of Bache-Martin is charged with meeting the fundraising needs of Bache Martin School on a larger scale through grant writing and soliciting the financial support of foundations, corporations and individuals. We exist for the sole purpose of enhancing the educational opportunities offered by the school not funded by the School District of Philadelphia


With the Bache-Martin Home & School Association targeting student and family-centered activities and engagement, the Friends of Bache-Martin is focused on supporting school-wide initiatives that positively impact the educational trajectory and achievement of all current and future students.


The Friends of Bache-Martin is comprised of board members that hail from the community, school administration and faculty and parents of current students. We are dedicated to engaging the broader community in Philadelphia and beyond, to bring much needed resources to Bache-Martin.

About the Friends of Bache-Martin


Friends of Bache-Martin provides financial resources and facilitates community engagement to enhance the educational opportunities offered by the school.  Friends of Bache-Martin cooperates with the Bache-Martin school administration to create a community of lifelong learners, and to support the school’s mission, vision, and values.


Bache-Martin is a public neighborhood K-8 elementary school that offers student-centered academic programming in a caring, energetic, and inclusive environment.  Through innovative teaching, committed leadership, and effective community partnerships, Bache-Martin students will grow to be creative, critical, and civic-minded thinkers who are confident and well-prepared to achieve as they continue on their educational pathway from high school to college, to career, and beyond.

Board Members

To ensure the continuity of Friends of Bache-Martin as a community organization working hand in hand with the school leadership, our bylaws require that 40% of our board seats be filled by community members who do not have a child at the school. The bylaws also require that a board seat is filled by the Bache-Martin Principal (or his or her designee).

Jerilyn Dressler

Jerilyn Dressler


Jerilyn is an associate at Your Part-Time Controller, where she does accounting and financial consulting for non-profits. Originally from Queens, NY, she has lived in Fairmount for over 10 years, and parent of a kindergarten student at Bache-Martin. Jerilyn also chairs the IT Committee.

Anne Bovaird Nevins

Anne Bovaird Nevins

Vice President
Sharon DeSalvo

Sharon DeSalvo


Sharon teaches kindergarten at Bache Martin, and has been a member of the staff since 2008. She is a member of the school leadership team, and is the school partnership liaison. Sharon resides in Fairmount and enjoys her active role in school-community relations. Sharon also co-chairs the Community Partnerships Committee.

Janice Hunt

Janice Hunt


Janice has 25+ years experience in Sales, Sales Leadership, Marketing and Consulting in IT for fortune 500 size companies. Janice has volunteered for many organizations over the years primarily focused on her now grown children’s school, sports and music activities. Janice moved to Philadelphia from the suburbs in 2014 and became involved in the Fairmount community. Janice also co-chairs the Grants Committee.

Mark Vitvitsky

Mark Vitvitsky

Bache-Martin Principal

Mark is the Principal of Bache-Martin Elementary School. He is in his third year at the school and has been an educator in Philadelphia since 2007. During his time in Philadelphia, he has served as a teacher, instructional coach and principal.

Janet Carter

Janet Carter

Community Member

Janet is a longtime resident of Francisville, a Bache-Martin Elementary School Alumni, and has three great grandchildren that currently attend Bache-Martin Elementary school. Janet retired from the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society in 2006 after 17 years of service as a garden coordinator. She is currently a Legislative Assistant for State Representative Donna Bullock.

Thomas Young

Thomas Young

Community Member

Thomas is the Chief of Staff for State Representative Donna Bullock, whose 195th district includes Bache-Martin. He is a Bache-Martin Alumni and longtime resident of the Fairmount/Francisville area. His responsibilities on the board include establishing relationships with alumni, local businesses, universities and government.

Thomas Rethage

Thomas Rethage

Community Member

Tom is a Senior Trial Attorney with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Originally from Pittsburgh, Tom has lived in the Fairmount neighborhood and Bache-Martin catchment for more than 10 years. Tom co-chairs the Community Partnerships Committee.

Barbara O’Connell

Barbara O’Connell

Community Member
Marion Hodges Biglan

Marion Hodges Biglan

Community Member
David A. Love

David A. Love

Community Member



Bache-Martin Elementary School has a long history of serving students both in the Fairmount/Francisville/Spring Garden communities as well as the city as a whole.  The Alexander Dallas Bache School was constructed in 1905.  Bache was a professor of natural philosophy and chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania, the first president of the National Academy of Sciences, the first principal and founder of the nation’s second public high school (Central High School in Philadelphia), and great-grandson of Benjamin Franklin.  The Willis and Elizabeth Martin Orthopedic School was constructed in 1936 with WPA funding.  The Martin school was the first one in Philadelphia designed specifically for teaching physically handicapped students, and was named after the handicapped Philadelphia jurist and health care reformer and his philanthropist wife.  In 1943, the school became a center for deaf, severely hard of hearing and partially signed classes.  Both schools are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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Today, Bache-Martin is a K-8 neighborhood elementary school serving approximately 450 students.  The school is slightly less diverse than the School District of Philadelphia’s (SDP) overall student demographics, with a higher percentage of African-American students.  Of note is that the percentage of students with disabilities is twice that of the SDP average.  Founded as a school serving students with disabilities, Bache-Martin continues that tradition today and houses several self-contained special education classrooms for students requiring autistic or life skills supports.

Over the last 15 years, as the SDP has found itself in increasing financial turmoil and as a result, fewer resources available at the school level, Bache-Martin has worked diligently to supplement the educational environment at the school through the establishment of partnerships with local and city-wide organizations.  Currently, Bache-Martin has in place a number of in-school and afterschool programs to provide value-added educational opportunities for its students, the most long-standing of which is the Philadelphia Reads program that has been a partner of the school since 1998.

Working hand-in-hand with the school are the parents of students, and the school enjoys a very active Home and School Association (HSA).  Over the last four years, the Bache-Martin HSA has raised in excess of $100,000 to pay for the Playworks program for the school’s students.  More recently, over 100 community and school members collaborated to raise $10,000 to fund a new K-4 science curriculum at the school. Classroom teachers have also individually successfully crowdfunded for books, materials, technology, and field trips over the years.  In the 2015-2016 school year alone, teachers have raised over $5,500 for the benefit of their students.

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Our Core Challenges


new standards have raised the bar for instruction and our teachers and students need support in order to realize their full potential,


students need more regular exposure to content that helps them build knowledge about the world and support in using that knowledge to think critically,


technology limitations make individualized learning challenging and the development of 21st century skills near-impossible.


we have come a long way thanks to the efforts of the School’s committed staff, families and community partners, yet we still have a long way to go.

Our Theory of Action

When we…

provide teachers with standards-aligned curriculum,


support teachers to deliver curriculum to students effectively,


work to retain teachers who are able to make the needed instructional shifts,


over time, we will transform outcomes for our students and become the school that they deserve.

Our Fundraising Priorities

Today’s Readers, Tomorrow’s Leaders

Reading is not only is a fundamental skill that underscores every activity we do in our daily lives – from checking out the latest headlines to knowing how to make our favorite recipe – it is also an essential skill for a lifetime of learning and achievement.

From the first steps of sounding out a new word, to moving on to early readers, to chapter books, and eventually to more complex texts of fiction and non-fiction, reading broadens our horizons, stimulates our imagination, and opens up a world of unlimited possibilities.

Five years ago, the Bache-Martin school library was shuttered due to district-wide budget cuts, eliminating a tremendous resource to our 450+ K-8th grade students. Since then, the school has been providing students as much of a library experience as they could on a piecemeal basis. Through this campaign – “Today’s Readers, Tomorrow’s Leaders!” – the school is seeking to provide students with a more holistic set of tools needed to become great readers today, and the roots needed to be the leaders of tomorrow. This goal will be achieved by giving students access to a diverse range of age-appropriate reading and literacy materials at school, at home, and everywhere they go by:

• Refurbishing the school’s library with supplies, technology, and updated age-appropriate reading materials that can be used by classrooms in the interim while a permanent librarian is sought;

• Enhancing existing in-classroom libraries with additional books geared towards student interests; and

• Providing access to online resources to augment the library experience. 

All materials to be acquired are aligned with the School District of Philadelphia and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania library guidelines.

AmazonSmile Donations

AmazonSmile is a program by which Amazon makes donations to non-profits based on the selections of its customers. You can use your existing account on AmazonSmile.

When you shop through Amazon and choose our school as your non-profit, Amazon will donate 0.5% of your purchase price from your eligible AmazonSmile purchases. There is no cost to you, Amazon makes the donation!

How to do it?

1) Use this link: and
2) You will see that “Friends of Bache Martin” is populated automatically as your charity-of-choice.
3) Shop!

Order, Eat, Donate through Caviar

Friends of Bache-Martin has partnered with Caviar to bring you this fundraiser.

Order from your favorite local restaurants, enjoy meals delivered to your home or office, and get 10% of every order donated to Friends of Bache-Martin. Click on this link to start your order:

To send in your donation by mail:

Friends of Bache-Martin
PO Box 15032
Philadelphia, PA 19130

As a 501(c)(3), donations are tax deductible to the amount allowed by law. 

In the News

BalletX Teaches Philadelphia Students New Skills, Life Lessons Through Dance

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Febuary 20, 2017 – Willa Hollerbush, a third grader at Bache-Martin Elementary School in Fairmount, says through dancing she’s learned persistence and patience.

“You try until you get it, and eventually you get it,” she said.

Dancing’s taught Willa some other things about herself too.

“Dancing can help you get all your feelings out and it can make you feel really happy,” she said.

Read more

Friends of Bache-Martin Acknowledges Community Contributions on Giving Tuesday

More than $60,000 raised within first fiscal year in support of North Philadelphia elementary school

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, November 28, 2017 – The Friends of Bache-Martin – a registered 501c3 non-profit corporation committed to enhancing the educational opportunities offered at Bache-Martin Elementary School – today recognized the contributions of its community and supporters in celebration of Giving Tuesday. In the organization’s first fiscal year, which ended in June; $62,790 was raised to support programming and educational needs at the school in the Fairmount neighborhood. Funds have allowed for the following improvements and enhancements:

  • Musical Instruments – More than $8,000 raised in just over 24 hours to help replace, repair and replenish the school’s band and string instruments.
  • Teacher Coaching –  $26,000 raised to fund a part-time professional development coach for teachers.
  • Chromebooks and supplies – $10,000 raised to help the school achieve its goal of having at least five Chromebooks in each classroom. Funds allowed for the purchase of 20 Chromebooks, 3 laptop carts, 80 headphones and peripherals.
  • SPARK program – The organization received a grant from the Alston-Beech Foundation to help fund a mentoring program for 7th graders.
  • After-school programming – Post Brothers generously donated funds to support a basketball program led by Give and Go Athletics. Forty students in 3rd through 8th grades participated in the program.

“Each year, Giving Tuesday offers organizations an opportunity to run special initiatives and campaigns to meet fundraising objectives,” said Jerilyn Dressler, Board President of the Friends of Bache-Martin. “This year in the spirit of gratitude and thanksgiving, the Friends of Bache-Martin wanted to recognize and thank those who have given so generously in the past year. We are truly grateful for the support and contributions from the school and surrounding community.”

The Friends of Bache-Martin are now focusing fundraising efforts on re-opening the school’s library, which closed five years ago due to district-wide budget cuts. With a goal of raising $50,000 in the 2017-18 fiscal year, and more than $250,000 over the next five years; Friends of Bache-Martin are committed to increasing student access to books and improving educational outcomes. A September PledgeCents campaign kicked off the effort raising nearly $17,000. These funds have been allocated to the purchase of books and technology. The goal is to replenish and reopen the library in Spring 2018 with volunteer staff in the absence of a full-time librarian.

“From the first steps of sounding out a new word, to moving on to early readers, to chapter books, and eventually to more complex texts of fiction and non-fiction; reading broadens a child’s horizons, stimulates his or her imagination, and opens a world of unlimited possibilities,” said Mark Vitvitsky, Principal of Bache-Martin Elementary. “The efforts of Friends of Bache-Martin to bring this resource back to the 450+, K-8th grade students at our school is truly appreciated.”

To contribute to the goal of re-opening the Bache-Martin library, visit to make a tax-deductible donation. Contributions can also be mailed to Friends of Bache-Martin, PO Box 15032, Philadelphia, PA 19130. Please include your return address and a tax receipt will be provided.

To keep apprised of Friends of Bache-Martin fundraising progress and future efforts, follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

About Bache-Martin Elementary School
Bache-Martin Elementary School is a K-8 neighborhood elementary school serving more than 450 students. The school has a long history educating students from the Fairmount/ Francisville/Spring Garden communities as well as other neighborhoods in the city.

Founded as a school serving students with disabilities, Bache-Martin continues that tradition today and houses several self-contained special education classrooms for students requiring autistic or life skills supports, and new hearing support classrooms in 2016-17.

During the last 15 years, the School District of Philadelphia has found itself in increasing financial turmoil and as a result, fewer resources are available at the school level.  Bache-Martin has worked diligently to supplement the educational environment at the school through the establishment of partnerships with local and city-wide organizations.  Currently, Bache-Martin has in place several in-school and afterschool programs to provide value-added educational opportunities for its students, the most long-standing of which is the Philadelphia Reads program that has been a partner of the school since 1998.

Where to find us

Get in touch

Find us:
Friends of Bache-Martin
PO Box 15032
Philadelphia, PA 19130

Email us:

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Governing documents, conflict of interest policy, and financial statements are available upon request.

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