Home Arts Grant Awarded to White Salmon Valley Education Foundation

The White Salmon Valley Education Foundation (WSVEF) was recently awarded  a $2,000 grant from the Gorge Community Foundation. The Joan Burchell grant will fund Home Arts opportunities for students in 4-12th grade to acquire skills in gardening, sewing, and cooking.  Once part of “Home Economics” classes, these topics are no longer part of state school curriculum. This project will build on the success of Whitson’s K-3 School Garden program, in which every student, as part of their science curriculum, participates in ‘hands-on’ learning about plant life cycles and growing food.

At the Wallace and Priscilla Intermediate School (grades 4-6), the Home Arts program will build on the gardening principles introduced in elementary school. The first stage will take a look at soil health and preparation, including various composting methods that students will coordinate with the school lunch program.  Fourth grade teacher Becky Williams, a passionate and experienced home gardener, will lead this part of the Home Arts program.

Henkle Middle School’s participation in the of Home Arts program, led by Language Arts teacher Ashley Howe, includes a sewing and textile skills elective class that will be open to any 7th and 8th grade student.  This class will also be offered to students in the Community Learning Center after school program.   

Columbia High School Health teacher Caitlin Cray will lead  a “Locavore Cooking Challenge” for 9-12th graders in her Health and Fitness classes. Groups of 3-4 students will compete to cook healthy, tasty dishes, using only locally grown ingredients. Students will prepare their entries in class, and contest winners will compete locally and regionally. Judging criteria includes taste, presentation, timeliness and execution; with the overall goal to spark interest in cooking and eating locally sourced foods.

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. For more information, to make a donation, donate supplies or sign up to volunteer, email Amanda@wsvef.org or call (541)490-3466.