Foundation for Vancouver Public Schools awarded $50,000 Firstenburg Foundation grant.

In the spring of 2023 The Firstenburg Foundation recently awarded the Foundation for Vancouver Public Schools a $50,000 grant which will be used to provide basic needs support along with educational engagement and enrichment opportunities for all students.

Approximately 22,000 students attend 40 schools and programs in Vancouver Public Schools. Over 55 percent are from families with incomes that qualified them for the free or reduced-price meal program last school year (a federal poverty indicator). The Foundation for VPS is responding to a record demand for housing assistance, with over 1,200 VPS students experiencing homelessness during the 2022-23 school year.

Working in partnership with the school district and a network of Family-Community Resource Coordinators (FCRCs), the Foundation for VPS directs funds to remove poverty-related barriers to learning and increase student engagement in ways that are culturally responsive and tailored to the needs of students and their families.

The Firstenburg Foundation grant allows the Foundation for VPS to quickly and confidentially respond to emerging needs, helping students to come to school happy, healthy, and ready to learn, and providing them with equitable opportunities to succeed in their education.

“The Firstenburg Foundation understands the importance of removing barriers for students and their families, so they can show up and be ready to learn. It is difficult for students to engage in the classroom when they are worried about where they will sleep at night. Basic needs including food, safe and supportive housing, access to mental and physical healthcare are critical components of a child’s success in school. We are a proud partner in this effort,” said Jennifer Rhoads, Firstenburg Foundation Executive Director.

Founded in 2003, the Firstenburg Foundation is a philanthropic organization with a strong desire to give back to the communities of Southwest Washington. The Firstenburg Foundation’s provides annual grants, which for the 2023 cycle ranged from $5,000 to $50,000 to fund initiatives supporting basic needs, health and human services, and education.