Highline Schools Foundation Awards Record Amount of Classroom Grants

Burien, WA – December 16, 2013 – The Highline Schools Foundation recently awarded $48,675 through 77 classroom grants at 35 different schools in the Highline School District. “The grant applications were more thoughtful and innovative than ever,” said Ashley Fosberg, Executive Director of the Foundation. “Applicants put a great deal of effort into making sure their ideas aligned with the Highline Public Schools Strategic Plan—were impressed and inspired! We’re so thrilled to be able to help classrooms and programs with more grant dollars than ever before. We owe a lot of gratitude to our community for supporting our events, and to the Foundation board for their excellent leadership,” Fosberg added.

Some of the grants were given out via the Foundation’s “Prize Patrol”—surprise visits by Foundation Trustees to staff meetings, classrooms and assemblies during which the checks are presented to excited and deserving district staff.

The Foundation’s Excel Grant program was created to support classroom innovation in our district, and to provide teachers resources they need to help our students be successful! An Excel Grant is an award of up to $1,000 for a specific project. The Foundation applauds each teacher’s dedication to providing the best possible education for our students. The Grant Review Committee (comprised of Foundation Trustees) had the challenging task of selecting the most worthwhile and innovative projects, while also spreading the grant awards district-wide.

Some of this year’s grants recipients: 

Starting Chinook's Science Olympiad Team! - Shawn Connolly - Chinook Middle School Starting Chinook’s Science Olympiad   Team! “We have the motivated students and   several interested teachers and community mentors, including a mentoring   partnership with Aviation High School. What we are missing, however, are   materials to get our program off the ground. Many of the other teams in the   competition have had years of time and PTA money to build large collections   of books for studying, chemicals for testing and tools and materials for   building that we do not have. We are left with an Internet connection and a   few old textbooks from our classes. We feel that with the funds provided by   the Excel Grant, we can give our students the materials they deserve to push   their thinking and turn their dreams of being an engineer, doctor, scientist,   or whatever it may be into more of a reality. – Shawn Connolly, Chinook Middle School

Books for New Language Arts Program - Tamara Nedell - New Start Books for New Language Arts Program I have found that New Start students are very engaged by a particular series called Next Text which is published by McDougal Littel. These books are retellings of classic works of   literature created for the reluctant reader. Books such as The Scarlet Letter, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn   and The Odyssey which are much too difficult in their regular form are easily   read and thoroughly enjoyed by all the students due to the universal themes and human experience that the characters in these stories endure. Students who were once intimidated by Shakespeare are able to read and perform scenes from “Romeo and Juliet.” The students are engaged and are excited about this   literature. They even talk about it outside the classroom because these works cross all social, economic and cultural boundaries. In short, the students can relate.– Tamara Nedell, New   Start High School

Collaboration is Motivation to Practice! - Claire Waistell - Sylvester Collaboration is Motivation to  Practice! My middle school has developed a new focus on developing grit – the ability to persevere and be resilient. I   have a new ‘Wall of Fame’ on my class website where I can celebrate students   who demonstrate grit in class each week. I’d love to add an additional   motivator for practice – contact with college students who will give us   feedback on our instrumental skills. A Surface 2 Tablet and a wireless   projector would give us a new opportunity to Skype with a professor’s music   education class. This new audience will give us immediate, specific feedback.   In the next joint class, the college students will begin by modeling   instrumental skills to support my students in developing their playing. Step   3 will be for us to practice these skills and collaborate as a band to   prepare for our next performance for the college students. `- Claire   Waistell – Sylvester Middle School

A complete list of this year’s winners can be found on our website and more photos can be found on the Foundation’s Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/HighlineSchoolsFoundation

The Highline Schools Foundation for Excellence was established in 1999 with the purpose of providing community resources to help Highline Public Schools succeed. We believe that by helping to enrich the classroom and school experience, we can engage students to reach a higher level of learning, and the entire community will benefit.  The Foundation is governed by a dedicated group of volunteer Trustees and is the only 501(c)(3) organization supporting all Highline Public Schools.

Since 1999, the Highline Schools Foundation has been supporting innovation and excellence in Highline Public Schools. Our funding priorities focus on programs to improve academic achievement, supporting college and career readiness, grants to teachers for engaging classroom projects, the arts, athletics, and programs that keep students in school and productive. Highline is a district full of need and opportunity. The Highline Schools Foundation is the only non-profit organization dedicated to all schools in our district—our goal is to help as many students as possible be successful!

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