October 2, 1940 – December 4, 1999
Philadelphia Daily News columnist Russell Byers believed that the greatest gift you can give a child is roots and wings. In his columns for the paper, Russell wrote frequently and passionately about how to improve the city of Philadelphia and was most passionate when writing about public education. He thrived on the excitement of city life and believed that a solid education has the power to change the life of a child... thereby changing the world.
Russell died on December 4, 1999, when he was murdered during an attempted robbery. As a tribute to his life, the columnist's family—Laurada Byers, his widow; his daughter, Alison Byers; and his son Russell Byers, Jr.—have founded a charter school that honors Russell's lifelong commitment to civic responsibility, community service and academic excellence.
With tremendous community support, the Russell Byers Charter School opened its doors on September 11, 2001 to 120 students in grades 4K-2nd in the diverse Spring Garden neighborhood of Philadelphia. We are thrilled to now be in our eighteenth school year with over 710 students in grades 4K through 8th and in our current beautiful home at 1911 Arch Street.