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Since Walter Annenberg unveiled his $500 million "Challenge" for school reform in December 1993, 21 grants have been awarded from his gift. The Challenge generated more than $600 million in matching grants from private and public sources and spent $1.1 billion on initiatives at 18 sites.

Nine grants were awarded to major urban areas. These awards included matching grants ranging in size from $10 million to $53 million. Sites included Boston, Chicago, Detroit, the Houston metropolitan area, the Los Angeles metropolitan area, New York City, Philadelphia, the San Francisco Bay metropolitan area and South Florida.

Five special opportunity grants ranging from $1 million to $4 million were awarded to Atlanta, Chattanooga, Chelsea, Salt Lake City, and West Baltimore.

$50 million was awarded to set up the national Rural Challenge that involved over 700 schools across the U.S.

The Challenge became a major benefactor of arts education projects in New York City and Minneapolis as well as a national arts education program (TETAC).

Grants were also awarded to Brown University's Annenberg Institute for School Reform (AISR), New American Schools (NAS), and the Education Commission of the States.