The Keller Grants

The Keller Grant is the largest monetary grant made by the Foundation, at $20,000.  Annually the Foundation makes one Keller grant to support new initiatives, or programmatic expansions, that can make significant contributions to the life of the Capitol Hill community.  To learn more about applying for a grant, please visit our Apply for a Grant page.

2019: Eastern High School Marching Band

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Eastern High School’s Blue and White Marching Machine — consistently ranked one of the best marching bands in the mid-Atlantic — received a well-deserved boost this month with the receipt of a $20,000 Arnold F. Keller Jr. Grant from the Capitol Hill Community Foundation (CHCF). The grant recognizes the outstanding commitment of the band’s student members and all-volunteer leaders and instructors by responding to the urgent need to repair and replace its aging instruments.

To learn more about the Foundation’s efforts to support the repair of additional instruments and replace the band’s formal uniforms moving forward, click here.



With about one-third of its students living in shelter at D.C. General, Payne Elementary School has challenges beyond those faced by other Capitol Hill primary schools.  Historically, its student test scores have been dramatically lower than at neighboring schools, but recent changes are encouraging. Following its two-year modernization, and buoyed by an increasingly engaged parent body, community support, and an outstanding new principal who introduced elements of Responsive Classroom techniques, Payne saw an almost 90 percent improvement in test scores in one year. It is poised and eager to build on this momentum.

The Responsive Classroom program is an innovative approach to developing students’ social and emotional skills. Focusing on making students feel welcomed, acknowledged and safe, it creates a setting that facilitates learning. The program has been demonstrably effective in enhancing the educational environment and improving academic performance.

Affirming its commitment to educational excellence benefitting all our neighborhood’s youth, the Capitol Hill Community Foundation presented Payne Elementary School its 2018 Keller grant to fund in-depth Responsive Classroom training and follow-up observation and consultation for 30 Payne teachers.

Learn more about Payne Elementary School at and Responsive Classroom at