Hawkins: Sip and Spell a success for Sherwood schools
This past February, the Sherwood Education Foundation hosted the fourth annual Sip and Spell at the Sherwood Center for the Arts. It is not lost on our foundation how lucky we are that we were able to host this tremendous event before all the closures took effect. Many others have not been as fortunate, and we understand what a disappointment that must be. We are incredibly grateful for the community support we were shown and the generosity of the people who supported the Sip and Spell.
Each year, we carefully analyze our grant requests in an effort to make the largest impact with our funds, and this year was no exception. For the 2020 grant cycle we received more applications than ever before for a total of 56 grant applications, ranging from $87 to $18,000. We were able to apply funds to a majority of the requests we received, some fully and some partially, for a grand total of $80,051 in grant funding. This is the largest sum of money we have had the pleasure to award, and we are honored to be trusted with these funds.
Biztown, the Oregon Trail Overnight Fieldtrip, Summer Literacy Book Bags and Oregon Battle of the Books are a few programs we've had the opportunity to support annually. We were also able to give funding to the middle school band program to support instrument maintenance and aid with the cost of parade coaches. Overall, we granted $23,126 to be used to fund literature and $9,408 to purchase flexible seating across all grade levels. The Sherwood Education Foundation sees tremendous value in these programs and is excited to see them continue year after year.
There were several new, innovative requests we received this year as well. At the elementary level we were able to fund a grant that provides more dramatic play materials for preschool age children just getting started in our schools. We are also pleased to be funding supplies for a de-escalation room at Hawks View Elementary School. This room will provide a safe space for students to determine how they are feeling and prepare themselves to be ready to work. Grant money is being utilized for a natural playscape, as well as sensory pathways, which further our board mission.
Next year as the middle schools combine, the art department will expand and begin offering seven art sections. Although the school district is funding this, additional funds were requested to enhance the art offerings and create art lessons for students who may not have been able to participate in a traditional sense. SEF is pleased to provide over $6,000 at the middle school level to support these efforts.
Sherwood High School is gearing up to provide new programs this year as well, specifically a screen-printing unit offered through the art department. SEF is funding a grant that will be used to purchase exposure equipment as well as 20 print stations. This will surely be a popular class that many students hope to explore. Furthermore, we are pleased to award the science department $4,000, which will be used to purchase additional lab materials which will enrich their courses substantially.
A full list of grant awards can be found on the Sherwood Education Foundation website. We encourage you to visit our page and read the complete list. We are so proud of the amazing educators in our community and their desire to bring more opportunities to their students. These grants wouldn't be possible without your support, and from the bottom of our hearts, we thank you.
Please continue to stay safe and take care of one another.
Abigail Hawkins is a member of the Sherwood Education Foundation's board of directors.
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