Philadelphia, PA April 15, 2024 − Last Friday State Senator Nikil Saval and State Representative Mary Isaacson celebrated a $500,000 grant to Zhang Sah Martial Arts & Learning Center through the commonwealth’s Local Share Account–Philadelphia program, an initiative that awards funding to economic development, neighborhood revitalization, community improvement, and public interest projects in the City of Philadelphia. 

“Zhang Sah is a wholly unique space, offering top-rate early childhood education, after-school opportunities, and day camps that nurture the minds, bodies, and hearts of children, in addition to comprehensive martial arts education for all ages,” said Senator Saval. “Zhang Sah is the only institution of its kind in the country, and Philadelphia is so lucky to claim it as our own. This award is a recognition of its current importance for our region and an investment in its expanded success and service.”

“Zhang Sah has been an asset to the community and our youngest learners for almost three decades now,” said Representative Mary Isaacson. “I am proud to see them be able to move into their new permanent home in Queen Village with this funding and look forward to visiting one of their classes with all of the new students they will be able to serve in this larger space.”

Founded in 1998, Zhang Sah provides high-quality educational, cultural, and athletic programs, incorporating research-based human development strategies with multidisciplinary martial arts traditions to support all facets of the health and wellbeing of its students. Zhang Sah serves children, youth, and adults with educational programs and classes.

“On behalf of the Zhang Sah Community, we are very grateful for the public support from Senator Nikil Saval, Representative Mary Isaacson, and Councilmember Mark Squilla,” said Dr. Salvatore Sandone, EdD, founder and executive director of Zhang Sah. “For the past 27 years, we have been striving to elevate what a Martial Arts School could be by developing it into a true community asset. We are dedicated to continuing this important work by supporting families and improving the lives of our students.”

Zhang Sah will use the state grant to aid in its purchase and renovation of a larger facility, allowing it to expand its programs, create new jobs, and serve more than 500 children and families, contributing to the vitality of the surrounding neighborhoods in South Philadelphia.

“I am proud to have Zhang Sah in the district I represent. For 25 years, they have been a stellar member of the community and have changed the lives of so many for the better,” said Philadelphia City Councilmember Mark Squilla. “They have my unwavering support, and I wish them continued success for many years to come.”

In advance of the event, students were invited to participate in an essay contest about what Zhang Sah means to them. George Lynch, age 10, won the contest, writing that his top three reasons for loving the school are its sense of fun, its cultivation of perseverance, and its atmosphere of inclusion.

“It doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from. Anyone can join Zhang Sah,” wrote Lynch.

Full video coverage of the event is accessible here.