Peterson Family Foundation donating $1M to Teach for America

WASHINGTON — A million dollar gift isn’t pocket change — that’s how much a foundation funded by the developer of National Harbor is donating to benefit Prince George’s County Schools and the D.C. region’s Teach for America program.

The Peterson Family Foundation announced Monday that it is donating the money to Teach for America’s D.C. region for its work in Prince George’s County Schools.

Peterson Family Foundation is funded by the Peterson Companies. One of its higher-profile developments is National Harbor in Prince George’s County.

“Education is the best investment,” says Director of the Peterson Family Foundation Lauren Peterson.

“Education is the best equalizer as far as what you can really do for children that will make a difference,” says Lauren Peterson.

Teach for America recruits and trains recent college graduates and professionals of all backgrounds to work in schools with low-income children to help boost their educational opportunities.

The Peterson family usually prefers to keep quiet about its philanthropic efforts.

But Lauren Peterson says her father, Milt Peterson “has worked very hard to promote total quality of life” in communities in which the company works. She says her father has done a lot of work with George Mason University, Inova Health System and the Methodist Church.

Lauren Peterson says the community has been very good to the Peterson Companies and the company wants to give back.

“We have made charity a big part of what we do. We don’t talk about it that much,” says Lauren Peterson.

Since moving to Fairfax County, Va., Peterson family patriarch Milt Peterson has built one of the largest privately held real estate development companies in the region.

Lauren Peterson says Milt, her dad, has worked hard to improve the community.

“Dad has been here 50 years. He takes very personally the development of the whole community and bringing the whole community up — not just the developments that we work on,” she says.

The Peterson Company’s National Harbor site along the Potomac River could soon host a luxury casino. Also, a Capital Wheel is being built on a dock over the Potomac River.

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