SWSF is pleased to act as fiscal agent for the Growing Our Potential campaign:
Dear South Whidbey,
Many thanks to those of you who contributed to the Growing Our Potential Campaign through the South Whidbey Schools Foundation (SWSF) this past spring! We truly appreciate your generous support of our schools, and firmly believe that these funds have already made an important difference in the lives of our kids.
The money we raised together has been used to implement three important programs.
The first is our Music Program, which will see our K-4 students doing everything from playing marimba or ukulele to singing songs from the Sound of Music or The Greatest Showman, depending on grade level. These classes–instructed primarily by professional musicians from South Whidbey– began in late October, and will culminate in a Community & Family Winter Concert on Thursday, December 19th at 6 pm. Please save the date–we hope you will attend!
The next is a robust Community and Parent Volunteer Program, helmed by our new and wonderful Volunteer Coordinator, Brooke Cornwell (whom some of you may know from her continued efforts as founder and primary dynamo behind Go Blue). Brooke has been busy creating partnerships with community organizations and individuals, parents, grandparents, and other relatives, to bring more and more support into our schools. Her own parents have even become regular fixtures in SWES classrooms!
Lastly, Growing our Potential funds help to support an Environmental and Sustainability Program for our K-8 students. A No Child Left Inside State Grant also supports a piece of this program, specifically for middle school girls. Environmental and Sustainability Coordinator Lori O’Brien has been hard at work bringing educators from the Orca Network in to our schools to educate all K-8 students about orca whales, coordinating opportunities for older students to spend time on a scientific research vessel with Salish Sea Expeditions or aboard the historic tall ship the Lady Washington, and connecting with the local Audubon Society to enhance the First Graders’ annual owl studies. Lori is also in the process of forming SWSD green teams that will focus on reducing waste and composting throughout the district.
We hope that these enrichment opportunities will continue to grow into the near and distant future with the support of parents and community partners, but they are currently funded just through this first semester. We ask for your continued support, and would be thrilled to see you all at our upcoming FUNdraiser…A pajama-clad morning screening of Sing at The Clyde Theatre on Saturday, November 9 at 10:30 am.
For more information about Growing Our Potential, please like the South Whidbey Schools Foundation’s Facebook page.
Sara Kelly and Katie Shapiro
Growing Our Potential Co-Chairs
We are writing to you because you care deeply about South Whidbey Elementary School (K-6).
While our district faces funding shortfalls and cuts due to declining enrollment, teachers and staff continue to do amazing work with our children every day. Unfortunately, the gaps in the budget will detract from the education and experiences of our children if we do not step in as a community. To that end, South Whidbey Elementary PTA (SWEPTA) and the South Whidbey Schools Foundation (SWSF) are partnering to raise the supplemental funds necessary to realize our students’ full potential.
All across the state and country, communities have rallied behind their children by raising private funding for critical school programs and educational opportunities that are not funded – or are only partially funded – through the budget. In many surrounding communities, PTA’s and community groups raise as much as $300 per child annually to fund programs such as enrichment specialists, school counselors, literacy programs, school clubs, facilities improvements, specialized curriculums and more. That funding comes from community support and the support of families.
SWEPTA recently met with Susie Richards, the 2019-2020 incoming principal, to identify a list of key programs and urgent needs that can be addressed through community support. This “wish list,” generated in conjunction with our K-6 teachers (and included on the flipside of this letter), includes critical funding in the areas of:
- Environmental/Adventure Education
- Social/Emotional Development
- Garden Program
- Volunteer Coordinator Position
- Continuing Education Opportunities for Teachers
SWEPTA encourages you to donate to the “Growing Our Potential SWE K-6” funding campaign to make this “wish list” a reality list! Our goal is to raise $75,000 before the end of June. This number averages just $125 per child. A dedicated group of parents, grandparents, former teachers, school board members, and current school administrators have already pledged a $10,000 match. With your help we can reach our goal. An investment in our schools is an investment in the future of our youth and our community.
To make your donation, CLICK HERE or visit the homepage at www.swsfoundation.org and scroll down to the “Growing Our Potential” logo on the right-hand side. Cash or check donations may also be mailed or presented to the North or South campus front offices. All funds raised through this campaign will be distributed by SWSF as restricted grants to SWE K-6 for the programs listed on the reverse of this letter.
Whether or not you can contribute financially, we welcome you – and need you – as active members of SWEPTA and our school community. To join, or to volunteer, please visit www.swepta.org. To learn more about the work of the South Whidbey Schools Foundation, visit their website (www.swsfoundation.org). Stop by the SWEPTA booth at the Orca/Cougar Night on June 6th to learn more about our campaign.
With gratitude for your support,
Sara Kelly, Katie Shapiro,
South Whidbey Elementary PTA, & The South Whidbey Schools Foundation
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2019-2020 WISH LIST
Music Program: Funding would allow students to attend weekly music classes (November-April) provided by local professional musicians during their regular school day. (There is no music teacher on staff for the upcoming school year–this funding is our chance to keep music in our children’s schedules!)
Volunteer Coordinator: Funding would support a part-time volunteer coordinator position to grow and sustain parent and community volunteer programs, supporting everything from literacy, to lunchtime clubs, to day-to-day classroom assistance.
Professional Development: Funding would allow teachers to visit model schools with their teams, observe other classrooms, and participate in critical trainings. Funds would also allow our district to bring trainings in to our schools.
Curriculum Fund: Funding would allow the district to purchase supplemental materials for our Literacy and Social/Emotional Learning Programs
School Farm Program: Funding would be used to sustain the farm support team, helping to ensure that the integrity of the Garden Program is maintained through the staff transitions brought on by “right-sizing.” If you would like to make a donation directly to the School Garden Program, you can do so here: https://donorbox.org/south-whidbey-school-farms
Environmental/Adventure Education Programs: Funding would support the district-wide goal of providing a K-12 continuum of environmental education programming. This would include “keynote” experiences at each transition level – including grades 4 and 6. These funds would be used for sailing expeditions, camps, and outdoor experiences (such as Fort Casey, Camp Orkila, Nature Bridge out of Olympic National Park, Salish Sea Expedition Programs, etc)
Special Assemblies & Productions: Funding would be used to bring in the 5th Avenue Children’s Theatre, Seattle Science Center Vans, and various other arts and education performing groups and opportunities.
Contract for Lunch-Time Clubs / Activities: Funding would be used to establish or reestablish lunchtime clubs or activities, such as Jump Rope & Juggling, Ultimate Frisbee, Choir, Drama, and/or Knitting during lunch or recess. These clubs provide opportunities for kids to have supervised play that is both fun and structured. Not only do they expose kids to all sorts of activities, but they are especially important for kids who struggle socially. Many of these will be provided through small contracts or community volunteers.
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