Foundation invests more than $350,000 in schools

Lake Washington Schools Foundation support ranges from classroom grants to district-wide programs.

  • Thursday, June 21, 2018 8:30am
  • Life

It was a red-letter day in local schools as the Lake Washington Schools Foundation announced its grant recipients for the 2018/2019 school year.

The Lake Washington Schools Foundation has pledged more than $350,000 in classrooms grants and district-wide programming funding to support students, families, and teachers in the coming academic year.

The Foundation’s long-running Reach for Success grant-making program is perhaps its best-known opportunity for classrooms, clubs, and schools to receive targeted financial support. Guided by a team of community readers, Lake Washington Schools Foundation trustees approved funding for twenty-two Reach for Success grants. Nineteen schools applied for a Reach for Success grant this year.

“We made sure we funded at least one grant from every school that applied for our Reach for Success program,” noted Lake Washington Schools Foundation trustee and Reach for Success program chair Nancy Colburn in a press release. “From John Muir Elementary’s plans to cultivate a school-wide culture of kindness, to Juanita High School’s intention to triple the number of books in its Spanish library, these grants give schools an opportunity to deliver resources and programming that are specific to the needs of its student population.”

Grant recipients across the district were delighted to learn of their program’s funding.

“I know students, staff, and families will be excited to have this new resource as part of our library collection,” responded Melissa Reinardy, teacher/librarian at Audubon Elementary, whose interactive e-book grant application received funding.

“I am so excited. Thank you so much. This is the best news,” wrote Danielle MacDonald in a press release.

MacDonald is a Rose Hill Middle School counselor who will send a group of Hispanic students to the La Chispa conference in November to help build self-confidence, strengthen cultural identity, and increase academic success.

Redmond Middle School robotics club coach Justin Young Kim was also pleased to learn of his program’s award

“It is truly exciting news and will be effectively used for STEM education through Robotics,” Kim said in a press release.

Lake Washington Schools Foundation is also providing start-up funding to the PTSAs of Clara Barton Elementary and Ella Baker Elementary, both slated to open next year.

District-wide, programs impacting multiple schools will also receive funding from the Lake Washington Schools Foundation next year. LWSF continues its longtime support of AVID, the structured college preparatory system that provides direct support for first-generation college-goers, as well as LINKS, which pairs an adult mentor or tutor with a child who could use additional support.

New for next year is the Lake Washington Schools Foundation’s creation of a fund to sponsor need-based scholarships for summer school. Lake Washington Schools Foundation ran a community campaign this spring that gathered more than $15,000 in donations to sponsor fifty kids who applied for need-based summer school scholarships.

“This scholarship campaign has made an incredible difference for kids,” wrote Heather Sánchez, LWSD director of Accelerated Programs, Choice and Innovation in a press release. “These scholarships enable the students to participate in Jr. DigiPen courses, STEM, Drama and Integrated Art/Writing Camps and a wide variety of core academic courses. These students will experience academic support and unique enrichment opportunities this summer. We are so thankful to the Foundation and all the individual donors for making this a special summer for kids.”

This also marks the first year that the Lake Washington Schools Foundation has offered post-secondary scholarships to graduating high-school seniors, granting two $10,000 awards to deserving local students. At a reception held June 4, scholarship donors Ben and Nancy Remak were on hand to congratulate recipients Tyler Zangaglia of Eastlake High School and Scott Cavanagh of Tesla STEM High School.

“Tyler and Scott have each shown incredible strength of character, an unlimited capacity for achievement, and the drive to change our world for the better,” said Lake Washington Schools Foundation executive director Larry Wright in a press release. “We’re pleased to have this opportunity to assist such admirable and promising young people pursue post-secondary education.”

Lake Washington Schools Foundation continues its commitment to Pantry Packs in 2018/2019, providing funding and organizational support to the volunteer-driven program that provides more than 850 packs of food each Friday during the school year to food-insecure students. After many months of searching for space, the Pantry Packs team is excited to move into its new storage and packing facility on Willows Road, where it will have the ability to engage with more community volunteers and provide even better support to families in need.

For the complete list of the Lake Washington Schools Foundation’s 2018/2019 Reach for Success grantees, locals can visit www.lwsf.org/RFS2018.

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