With two of its largest public fundraisers, the Burien Brat Trot and the Oktoberfest Auction, recently completed, the Highline Schools Foundation is now making plans to distribute the funds the organization raised directly to schools through its two grant programs: the Highline Schools Foundation Impact Grant, and Highline Schools Foundation Excel Grants.
The Impact Grant program, now in its second year, is partially funded by Alaska Airlines. The grant is a tool in which the Foundation awards $10,000 to one school or program in the district for an opportunity that aligns with the Highline Public Schools strategic plan in a way that impacts a large number of students. This year’s Impact Grant winner, announced at the State of our Schools event today, is a grant called “Making an Impact: Building Bright Futures for Young Women in Computer Science. It was written by Royce Badley, Assistant Director of Career & College Pathways, and Julie Burr, Career Access Manager, for Highline Public Schools.
This grant provides funds to help increase the number of high school females in computer science classes, to spark their interest in technology related careers, and to help them graduate prepared for a future in the computer science field. This Impact Grant funds educational, recruitment, retention and support programs on all four high school campuses –all related to computer science and information technology. This grant includes funding for: An after school “apps” club; career exploration field trips; a district-wide event called “apps day”; a luncheon with women role models in the computer science field; and hand held devices or programmable robots on which students can learn and practice coding.
“We are thrilled to be able to offer Highline’s female students the opportunity to learn about and be supported in pursuing careers in the high tech industry. We live in an amazing place surrounded by a thriving high tech industry which offers high-wage, high-demand jobs. Unfortunately, young women are not preparing for these careers. These funds will help our program will change that –by enabling our female students to envision a future in this industry–and in turn find meaning and purpose in their current classes,” said Impact Grant winner Royce Badley.
Highline Schools Foundation reaches a great number of schools with funding on a smaller scale, through its Excel Grant program. Excel grants are awarded each fall, and they can be for as little as $50 and as much as $1,000. “We make a concerted effort to align our grant giving with the district’s strategic goals, and we also strive to award excel grants to a variety of programs, schools and grade levels,” said Ashley Fosberg, the Foundation’s Executive Director. “We receive grants for everything from field trips to the State Capitol for high schoolers, to books that engage boys in reading, to science kits for 1st grade,” Fosberg added. In 2013 the Foundation awarded 77 Excel Grants totaling nearly $50,000. “We have every intention of awarding even more grant dollars in 2014,” said Fosberg.
The Impact Grant and the Excel Grant programs are two of many ways the Highline Schools Foundation gets resources to students in Highline. They help fund sports participation fees for students in need, summer art camps, back to school fairs, college scholarships, and resources for our most vulnerable students and families. The Highline Schools Foundation’s mission is “to raise funds, gather resources, and build partnerships that support the students in Highline Public Schools.” To learn more about Highline Schools Foundation, please visit www.highlineschoolsfoundation.org.