Jack Baldwin Memorial Fund Supports Outdoor School 2015

Our grant writer has been hard at work getting a jump start on planning for Grade 6 to attend Outdoor School in May 2015.  A big “Thank You” goes out to the Jack Baldwin Memorial Outdoor Education Fund of the Gorge Community Foundation for supporting White Salmon students to study science and nature in their own backyard.  The more students connect their surroundings with their classroom learning they become more engaged, inquisitive, seeking more knowledge. What more could we ask for, real life experiences to complement the work of our teaching staff. Thank you to Miss Erkila for heading up the Outdoor School program and to Leigh Hancock our fabulous grant writer.

And to the White Salmon community who helps support the costs of writing grants to outside sources, without you this would not be possible – thank you!

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

New CNC Pro-Router in Columbia High School

John Hadley, Columbia Woodshop / Material Science Instructor, is taking advantage of a gift from donors to bring a CNC Router machine to his program.

For the last several years John has been perfecting teaching Sketchup to his Woodshop students. These drawings of student projects can output CAM files. Last year he used his budget dollars to buy a computer that will drive the interface software. Now he and his advanced students are ready to program the robot router and make parts. They will be able to take full advantage of the 5 period day with its longer classes.

“The idea is that motivated advanced students can go from concept (3D computer drawings) to fabrication using industry appropriate tools. As advanced students make parts everyone becomes familiar with the process. This will lead the way for more students to incorporate this process into their projects,” said Mr. Hadley.

“The clear intention is to support students’ aspirations of entering associated career pathways from engineering, material science, to machine technician.” Eventually he hopes to bring in a 3D printer and a laser CAM.

Steve Sliwa started it all with a vision in Spring 2011 of a CNC machine in our high school. He backed up his idea with the offer of a $3,000 community matching donation through the WSVEF. SDS Lumber chimed in for $2,000 and then at the Grape Escape in October 2011, thirteen other individual donors gifted another $1,000 for the equipment, to complete the match. ICE has also donated a selection of router bits and expertise to build and instruct Mr. Hadley in its operation. Thank you to those  who believed in this endeavor.

The vision is coming to fruition. It’s another exciting example of community members, local business, the WSVEF and the school district working together to bring applied science opportunities to our kids.

Students with marketable skills graduate from White Salmon Schools!

 

Posted in Accomplishments, Grants | Comments Off

BPA – Funds Climate Change/Hydropower Curriculum Development

The Foundation received a phone call today telling us that our recent grant application had been approved.  We were awarded $3,300 from the Bonneville Power Authority to create and implement “an engaging, rigorous curriculum designed to help students master science education standards by exploring the relationship between climate change and hydropower in the Pacific Northwest.  This scientifically accurate curriculum will be designed for high school students (grades 9-12) and will include lesson plans for 10 in-class science lessons, 3 field trips, and detailed instructions to guide high school students into teaching core concepts of the curriculum to younger students in 4th and 7th grade. This curriculum will give all students, including second language learners and those with special educational needs, the opportunity to enjoy and excel at scientific investigation.”

Caitlyn Cray will design the curriculum and assist CHS high school teachers in its implementation.

Thank you BPA for bringing relevant local STEM education to our students. Another project that would not have happened without the grant writing support of the WSVEF.

 

Posted in Accomplishments, Grants, Uncategorized | Comments Off

CenturyLink Connects with Whitson

The CenturyLink Clarke M. Williams Foundation partnered with the Organization for Educational Technology and Curriculum (OETC) to award $100,000 in grants to Washington K-12 educators who demonstrate a transformative use of mobile technology with students and teachers.

On May 22, 2014 at the school board meeting, CenturyLink awarded Whitson Elementary $5,000 to buy a 10-pack bundle of iPads, plus covers, for use in its eSpark pilot program for all second graders. Fourth grade teachers and students will also use this program.  All teachers will receive training and suport through eSpark. The main goal of this project is to use digital technology to provide individualized learning for every second grader at Whitson Elementary.

The grant writing was made possible by our community through their donations to the White Salmon Valley Education Foundation.

Posted in Accomplishments, Grants, Uncategorized | Comments Off

Harvest Night Out for Schools a Success!

Thank you to all those who came out and saved up their shopping to generate a 5% net sales donation from Harvest Market last week, Thursday May 8. Many shoppers braved the intense rain that evening and Harvest Market was able to donate $800 to our schools through this event!!!!  This can help buy 3 Chromebooks for classrooms, or 1 iPad 3, or an artist-in-residence or many other resources.  THANK YOU!

Our School Staff Appreciation raffle winners were: Steve Larsen and Gayle Barnes – Thank you for all that you do for our children.

Harvest Market would like to offer this again in the last half of the year and we hope to grow this opportunity.  There is no limit to the donation the store will make – the more people who shop on that particular night, the more the store donates. Please share this with your friends and family in the future.  Our rural schools have many needs and every dollar makes a difference!

Thank you for your support! And thank you to Harvest Market, for when we shop local, our money stays local.

Anne-Marie Slater
Director, White Salmon Valley Education Foundation

Posted in Accomplishments, Events, Uncategorized | Comments Off

WSVSD & WSVEF Win Harvest Foundation Grant – $10,000

Great news! The WSVEF received a $10,000 grant from the Harvest Foundation to support professional development in technology in White Salmon schools.  We are very grateful to receive these funds; this will further progress towards 21st century learning in our district.

The overall goal of this initiative is to prepare our 7-12th grade teachers to fully utilize instructional technology in the adaptation and implementation of curriculum to meet our diverse student needs in alignment with Common Core State Standards.

Jerry Miller, the District Instruction and Curriculum Facilitator, worked with Leigh Hancock, WSVEF Grant Writer, to compile a plan and make the proposal.  Thanks to the community, through the Foundation, as always, for supporting outside grant writing.

Proposal objectives include:

  • 20  7-12th grade teachers trained to integrate technology (iPads, Chrome Books, Google Docs, and other software)  in instructional delivery, collaborative projects, feedback, and cumulative assessment in their classrooms
  • 20 7-12th grade teachers trained to create instructional units of study that integrate instructional technology and are aligned to the Common Core State Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards (when applicable)
  • 20 7-12th grade teachers will integrate instructional technology into 3 or more class periods per week AND will use technology for homework and extended projects.
  • at least 400 students will use  Google Docs on a regular basis to create group and individual projects, to give feedback to one another, to receive feedback from peers and teachers, to research, and to create and post assignments.

Specific professional development opportunities:

  • Summer Institute.  Our second annual White Salmon Summer Institute for Teachers will include a technology strand for teachers interested in integrating digital technology more fluently into their classrooms.
  • On-site facilitated trainings.  We will use trainers from our hardware and software providers (Google, Adobe, etc.), as well as from our local ESD and private sources to provide targeted professional development in instructional technology.
  • Peer mentoring groups.  7-12th grade peer mentoring groups, arranged by grade or subject, will work together to plan, experience and debrief their experiences adapting and  integrating technology into their classrooms.
  • Atomic online.  Teachers will receive online professional development on an ongoing basis through our subscription to Atomic Online.
  • Northwest Council for Computer Education Conference.  We will send a small group (2-6) of teachers (2-6) to the NCCE conference in Portland in March 2015.  They will present what they have learned through their mentoring groups upon return

WSVEF will receive and disburse the funds according to their usual process with the District.  Funds should be available by the end of May, if not sooner.

 

 

Posted in Accomplishments, Grants, Uncategorized | Comments Off

A Letter to Honor Our School District Staff 2014

Letter to the Editor of The Enterprise

It is Teacher Appreciation Week and on behalf of the White Salmon Valley Education Foundation (WSVEF), we would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to all of the educators in our school district.

We are fortunate to Teacher Appreciation Week 2014live, work and raise our families in one of the most beautiful places in the country and are truly blessed to know that living in a low population, rural area does not mean our children will not receive a high quality education. Our small community has award winning schools, highly educated, competent and professional teachers, and our students consistently perform above the state average academically. Our high school graduation rate is one of the highest in our state and students who graduate from White Salmon schools are well prepared to find success in college and beyond. The small size of our school district does not limit our educators from offering diverse and challenging programs. Thanks to the creativity, resourcefulness and dedication of our administrators, teachers and staff, students in our schools can participate in year round sports, take online and advanced placement classes, travel abroad, learn career and technical skills, join in school sponsored after school activities, plant and grow a garden, play in a band, create art, learn a foreign language, and so much more.

 Although diverse programs, challenging coursework, and extra-curricular activities are important, what truly makes a difference in the success of our children in school is the relationships they develop with their teachers. Our educators respect, value and care about the students they teach; they have a positive impact on those children that is immense. Despite the many recent changes and struggles in education–the demands of testing, the unfunded mandates, the economic woes that send many of our students to school hungry–our teachers are forging ahead, working above and beyond the call of duty to provide the best education they can.

How many of us have spent time volunteering in our child’s classroom and left thinking, ‘I don’t know how they do it?’ They do it because they care. They truly believe that the work they do makes a difference. They believe in the ability of all children to grow and reach their full potential and they dedicate their time, energy, heart and soul to making it happen. We owe them a great deal of gratitude for willingly taking on this challenge.

So for this week and all year long, we say THANK YOU, for everything you do for our children and our community. The White Salmon Valley Education Foundation will continue to support the great work you are doing in our schools for many years to come.

 Jason Spadaro, President
White Salmon Valley Education Foundation (WSVEF)
On behalf of the WSVEF Board of Directors

Posted in Board Discussions, Events, Uncategorized | Comments Off

NIGHT OUT FOR SCHOOLS Get your Groceries on May 8th!

Harvest Market and the White Salmon Valley Education Foundation (WSVEF) invite you to shop local, and support education, with the “Harvest Night out for Schools” on Thursday, May 8, 2014.

On this special evening, the local grocer will donate five percent of all net sales made from 3 pm to 10 pm, to the WSVEF to support our schools. When you shop, Harvest Market donates.

“As a local business, we feel it is crucial to invest in White Salmon’s future,” said Harvest Market owner Jeff O’Neal, “and helping out schools is one way we can all contribute to our community.”

“We’re proud of our partnership with Harvest Market,” said WSVEF Executive Director Anne Marie Slater.  “This latest joint campaign is just one more way that they are helping our community enhance education.”

In addition to using your grocery dollars to help kids, shopping local will help out your community as well.   By keeping your money in your neighborhood, you help supply jobs for locals.  You’re also helping the environment by driving less, saving gas, and decreasing pollution.

So shop local with Harvest Market’s “Night out for Schools”, and help us help local kids.

“I’ll be doing my grocery shopping on May 8th!” said Slater.  “I hope you will, too.”

The WSVEF is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit corporation dedicated to enhancing the quality of public education within our community by creating a stable source of supplemental funding for curriculum enhancement and investment in our teachers.

 

#####

Posted in Events, Uncategorized | Comments Off

WSVEF ANNOUNCES BOARD CHANGES

Spring is the season of growth and change, and the White Salmon Valley Education Foundation (WSVEF) is no exception.   The organization today announced the departure of two long-time board members, and the arrival of a new recruit.

Founding member and past President Sue Davis will be leaving the organization after eight and a half years of tireless efforts and gratifying achievements. “I’m grateful to have been able to work closely with our dedicated administrative team, to review and fund many excellent projects that have come before our board from teachers and community members, and to have learned so much from fellow board members,” said Davis.  “I feel that one of our biggest achievements has been to raise community money to help our schools bring back the kinds of enrichment that declining federal and state dollars no longer allowed.”

In addition to helping found the WSVEF, Davis served as Board President for three years, Vice President for two years and was the Founding Secretary. She was also a crucial player in the planning, organization, and success of the Foundation’s annual Gorge Grape Escape fundraiser for many years.

“Sue has been a driving force and invaluable member of the organization,” said Board President Jason Spadaro.  “We will miss her energy, ideas, and contributions.”

Also stepping down is Board Secretary Peggy Neuman.  Neuman has been with the WSVEF since September 2008 as a liaison between the different PTO’s and the Foundation.  She has also played an invaluable role in the development and streamlining of the organization’s granting process since 2010.

WSVEF Executive Director Anne Marie Slater says the group’s granting process was cumbersome initially.  “It took a long time and a lot of paperwork to apply back in the day,” said Slater.  “Peggy has been key in working with the district to streamline and fine-tune the application process, bringing it to the much more simplified place it is today. She has been very constructive. We will miss both of these board members dearly.”

“It was an honor to help the Education Foundation grant funds to meaningful projects in our schools,” said Neuman.  “I am proud of all the WSVEF has been able to accomplish in the eight years since its inception.”

The organization today also voted to elect a new member to the Board.  Kirsten Dennis currently is the Office and Human Resources Manager at local firm Zepher, Inc, but she’s probably best known to most community members for her many years teaching kindergarten and first grade at Whitson Elementary School.

Dennis began working in education because she believes it is the great equalizer, allowing all children to have the same opportunities for fulfilling lives. She’s still passionate about it.

“Working with young children has always been a big part of my life, and even though I’m no longer working as a classroom teacher, I still want to be involved in education.  Working with the Foundation can help me do that,” said Dennis.  “I know I can help make a difference, and do something worthwhile for our schools.”  Dennis has a daughter currently attending Columbia High School.

Meantime, Board elections reconfirmed Jason Spadaro as President for another term.   Kate Stevenson serves as Vice President, while Matt Hanson continues in his role as Treasurer, and Dawn Hulbert was voted Secretary.  Other board members are Esina Alic, Doug Miller, Scott See and Anne Stringer.

The WSVEF is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit corporation dedicated to enhancing the quality of public education within our community by creating a stable source of supplemental funding for curriculum enhancement and investment in our teachers.  At least 25% of every donation goes to the WSVEF’s endowment fund, which will allow for continued grant funding into the future.  For more information, or to make a donation, visit www.wsvef.org or call (509)493-1175.

#####

Posted in Accomplishments, Events, WSVEF Board Related | Comments Off

A Call for Volunteers

For Immediate Release

WSVEF Puts out Call for Volunteers

  After seven plus years of hard work, the White Salmon Valley Education Foundation (WSVEF) is proud to say it’s raised $1.63M for our local schools in grants, pass-through funding, and endowment funding.  But right now, money is not enough.  Time from volunteers is sorely needed to continue the good works underway, and to help pave the way for the organization’s future works.

  Dozens of volunteers have given thousands of hours to assist on various committees, make participation in community events like the Grape Escape and SpringFest parade possible, to review grants, and to provide special skills for some of the grants themselves.  Many of those volunteers are now moving on, and the Foundation needs help.

  Do you have a few hours you can give to help local schools?  Do you know somebody who does?  Whether you have one hour, one day a month, one week a year, or something in between, the WSVEF NEEDS YOUR HELP! 

  For a list of current volunteer opportunities, go to our website, or contact WSVEF Executive Director Anne Marie Slater at info@wsvef.org.

Your small time contribution can make a big difference for kids.  Volunteer today.

The WSVEF is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit corporation dedicated to enhancing the quality of public education within our community by creating a stable source of supplemental funding for curriculum enhancement and investment in our teachers.  The WSVEF has granted or secured grants for more than 102 projects/programs totaling over $1.15M since 2006; in a school district of approximately 1200 students, community support makes an unbelievable difference. 

 

#####

Posted in Accomplishments, Events, Volunteerism | Comments Off