Annual fundraiser helps local teachers through grants for everything from musical instruments to rain gear
Ashland Schools Foundation seeks to raise $100,000 by April’s end to support next school year’s grant-giving to improve educational opportunities in Ashland School District schools.
Ashland Schools Foundation (ASF) launched its 2022 Annual Fund Drive on Friday, April 1. The foundation is collecting donations from community members toward the $100,000 goal through April 30 to replenish funds distributed via their Classroom Impact Grant and Education Support Grant programs. Money raised this April will become available to Ashland School district educators who apply for grants in the 2022-23 school year.
Since 1989, ASF has been striving to secure a vision for a vibrant, holistic education for every student in Ashland schools by bridging the gap between district funding and teachers’ great ideas for their classrooms. The foundation collects community support in the form of donations and distributes it to teachers in the form of grants, which they request via application. By the end of this current school year, $125,000 in regular grant funding and an additional $40,000 in special project funding will be distributed to the Ashland School District.
Grants of all sizes have been awarded over the years, ranging from funds to purchase classroom sets of books to supporting major capital campaigns, such as this year’s purchase of new instruments for the middle and high school band programs. In recent years, the foundation has risen to meet the needs of changing classroom landscapes by providing additional resources to support distance learning and to promote equity among students.
This spring at John Muir Outdoor School, one Classroom Impact grant was awarded to initiate a “Rain Gear Library” that makes quality outdoor clothing available to every student who participates in outdoor learning. Additionally, a larger Education Support Grant has been issued to train educators across the district on facilitating social-emotional circles amongst students and staff — a practice that addresses the needs of students that have become a priority in the past 24 months. This fall, every incoming kindergarten student will receive a special welcome readiness packet that will include supplies and materials to help them prepare for elementary school in the fall.
“Teachers have so many brilliant ideas for projects and programs they want to share with their students,” explains ASF Executive Director Erica Thompson. “It’s an honor to have the opportunity to hear their proposals and to have the resources to meet their needs, thanks to the enthusiastic support of Ashland residents who see the value in quality education.”
This year’s Annual Fund Drive campaign will feature stories of students, supporters, educators and district leaders who have been impacted by the community’s generosity. Video clips, interviews, photos and quotes will illustrate these stories across the foundation’s social media platforms during the month of April.
“My class has benefited so much from (ASF grant funds),” grant recipient and Walker Elementary teacher Ky Ferguson says in a heartfelt, self-made video. “Monthly, kids have been able to take home a cooking kit and join in a Zoom cooking class. During COVID and distance learning, this has really helped build community.”
“It was just amazing to learn how to cook because I got to learn with my family,” shares Wesley Koning, a student who participated in Ferguson’s virtual cooking class. “We tried a bunch of new things. It was just an amazing experience.”
More video inspiration can be found on the Ashland School Foundation’s social media profiles over the course of the month, as well as on its brand-new website, hosted by Project A. The new website also features a full list of this year’s grants, as well as a progress wheel that shows supporters where the foundation stands in reaching its $100,000 goal. As of Sunday, April 10, the wheel showed about $40,000 had been raised toward the goal, with $60,000 to go.
More information about the foundation, grants, and ways to support the annual und drive can be found at the all-new ashlandschoolsfoundation.org.
Source: News release from Ashland School Foundation. Email Ashland.news Executive Editor Bert Etling at email@example.com or call or text him at 541-631-1313.