Vancouver Public School’s annual giving campaign raised a record $263,000 for the Foundation for VPS, with 50% percent of staff participating and student drives at all district schools. In addition to support for the Foundation for VPS, VPS staff also donated $10,637 to Citizen’s Committee for Good Schools and $9,393 to the United Way of the Columbia Willamette.
Contributions made to the Annual Campaign allow the Foundation for VPS to fund students’ most pressing needs. These contributions fund basic needs support in every school, provide mentoring programs, support Family-Community Resource Center programming for families in need, and enrichment grants for innovative school projects.
“The Foundation for VPS was started 29 years ago thanks to the generosity of teachers and staff. That tradition continues with teachers, staff, students and families joining together to build a brighter future for Vancouver students by participating in the annual campaign.” said Nada Wheelock, Executive Director of the Foundation for VPS. “Together with support from our caring community, we ensure that all students come to school ready to learn, and that they have access to the experiences that help them thrive in school and out.”
Among the district’s 37 schools and programs, the Gateway to Adult Transition Education program had the highest per capita donations, with all nine of their staff participating and additional matching funds from employers of spouses. The second highest donations from staff came from Vancouver School of Arts and Academics with 68% of their staff donating to the Foundation for VPS.
Under the direction of Principal Matthew Fechter and 5th grade teacher, Dave Warner, Fruit Valley Community Learning Center was a repeat winner of the Student Chest Drive raising $3.20 more per student than the second highest school, Franklin Elementary. Since 1987, Fruit Valley has won the Student Chest Drive more than any other elementary school. Schools hosted a variety of activities during the Student Chest Drive. Hough Elementary created a “cardboard arcade,” charging admission to play on the cardboard replicas of popular arcade games. Skyview High School hosted a Trunk-or-Treat event, and along with Columbia River, donated proceeds from a volleyball game.
“The continued success of the VPS Annual Campaign is the result of the efforts and enthusiasm of the committed school staff who coordinate the fundraising activities at their schools,” said Melinda Cannell, who manages the campaign at the district level. “This is a huge community effort by individuals who recognize the impact of the Foundation for VPS for our youth and want to help remove the barriers to learning that students face due to poverty.”
Support from business partners also encouraged giving to the Foundation for VPS. iQ Credit Union sponsored the Foundation for VPS campaign, donating $20,000 in matching funds. Mark Matthias, owner of Beaches Restaurant and Bar and Warehouse ’23, will host complimentary parties for donors at every school that achieved 50% participation or was in the top 25 schools in funds raised. Other businesses made donations toward school campaigns or donated items to use as incentives.
If you are interested in contributing to the Foundation for VPS or would like more information, please call 360-313-4730 or donate online.