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MAKING AN IMPACT…Mentors making a positive connection

(Pictured, Lunch Buddy Samuel and his Buddy at Harney Elementary School) “I am incredibly grateful for the VPS Lunch Buddy program,” said Samuel, a Lunch Buddy at Harney Elementary School. “I cannot express the magnitude and impact that one hour a week makes for both the child AND adult.” “Over the past two years, I’ve watched this young man grow and succeed. I was beyond honored to be invited by my Buddy’s mom to attend his promotion ceremony and see him off to middle school.” The program, supported by funding from the Foundation, matches caring adults with elementary students who...
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“Write from the Start” sends students back to school ready to learn

Thank you to the many individuals and businesses who participated in the Write from the Start School Supply Drive this summer. Together, we collected 10,200 lbs of new school supplies for VPS students to start the school year ready to learn! An initiative of Vancouver Public Schools, Write from the Start is supported by the Foundation for VPS and corporate partners. 50 businesses and organizations held in-house collections, KOIN 6 and Alpha Media provided media coverage, Dutch Bros Coffee and Papa Murphys offered donors promotional incentives, and volunteers from iQ Credit Union and Umpqua Bank helped sort supplies. For the...
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DONORS MAKING A DIFFERENCE…iQ Credit Union

iQ Credit Union started much like the Foundation for VPS, with a schoolteacher’s shoebox and a handwritten ledger. Since 1940 they have grown to over 80,000 members at 16 branches. From the Foundation’s beginning, iQ has been a dedicated partner promoting student advancement by investing in our mission of getting kids to school happy, healthy and ready to learn. In addition to donations to the Foundation, iQ raises money for other nonprofits that improve children’s lives and works directly in schools to promote literacy and financial education. For the third year in a row, iQ Credit Union is sponsoring the...
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DONORS MAKING A DIFFERENCE…Heathman Lodge

The Foundation for Vancouver Public Schools (VPS) received a $8,000 donation from the Heathman Lodge Helping Hands Golf Fundraiser. This is the third year that the Helping Hands held a golf tournament to help the Foundation for VPS support Vancouver children and families. The Helping Hands donation will address urgent needs of students in all Vancouver Public Schools, with resources targeted to students with the greatest needs. “Almost half of the students in Vancouver Public Schools are impacted by poverty, and they are present in all 37 Vancouver schools and programs. Many students face significant challenges in their daily lives,” said...
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INSPIRING STUDENTS…School-wide reading project builds unity at Minnehaha Elementary

Creating a greater sense of unity is often difficult to achieve in a larger school, but that was the mission of Minnehaha Elementary’s school-wide reading project: One School, One Book. Organized by Teacher Librarians, Amanda Clow and Kelsey Andrewjeski, the entire school participated in reading the same book, Wishtree, by Katherine Applegate. Through a Foundation for Vancouver Public Schools (VPS) Engagement Grant, 560 students along with all staff members received a copy of the book. Students also participated in assemblies and cross-grade level activities relating to the story and themes in the book. The excitement on the students’ faces was...
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MAKING AN IMPACT…Student success starts with stability at home

(Watch video on youTube.) Stable housing has a profound impact on a child’s life. Without it, children are exposed to conditions that threaten their physical, emotional, and cognitive development. With hundreds of Vancouver families struggling to find and keep stable housing due to job loss, illness, or family crisis, the Foundation for VPS created the Housing Stability Fund, which provides families with one-time rental assistance. “I first heard about the Housing Stability Fund through the Family-Community Resource Center at my daughter’s school,” said Leigh, a parent of a VPS elementary student. “Without the assistance, I would have been homeless and...
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Dick Hannah Dealerships – Donors Making a Difference

For the third year, Foundation for Vancouver Public Schools “Community Champion” Dick Hannah Dealerships is the lead sponsor of the Write from the Start School Supply Drive, offering $10,000 in matching funds for the purchase of new school supplies and basic needs items to directly support students in Vancouver Public Schools (VPS) this fall. In the last two years, Dick Hannah Dealerships’ sponsorship has helped rally the community to provide over 10 tons of school supplies to distribute to students at all grade levels. Dick Hannah Dealerships has also invested in the Community Schools Initiative, a joint initiative of VPS...
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$100,000 in Engagement Grants Awarded in 2018-19 School Year

Learning to play traditional drums from Ghana, flying through zero-gravity space, reading one book as a school and giving back to the community are among the experiences granted to students through the annual Foundation for Vancouver Public Schools Engagement Grants. This year, the Foundation for VPS awarded $100,000 in Engagement Grants to fund 52 projects and programs at 31 schools,” explains Nada Wheelock, Executive Director, Foundation for VPS. “Thank you to the generous individuals, businesses and organizations whose donations funded these opportunities which impact over 13,000 students. Enriching experiences, inside and out of the classroom, spark student interests, connect them...
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Making an Impact: Alaia’s Story

Image: High school senior, Alaia with Foundation Executive Director Nada Wheelock and Family-Community Resource Coordinator, Chelsea Unger. Transforming a Student’s Life For many teens it can be difficult to ask for help. For 17-year-old Vancouver Public Schools (VPS) student, Alaia, who grew up being told “money doesn’t grow on trees,” lack of adequate food, clothing, and school supplies was an accepted way of life. “Not having what I needed made me feel less,” Alaia says. Her life was transformed thanks to her high school’s Family-Community Resource Center (FCRC) and the meaningful support from the on-site coordinator, Chelsea. How can students...
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Engagement Grant Inspires Cultural Awareness for VPS Students

Image: Ghanaian drummer, Alex Addy, teaches workshop at Lake Shore Elementary View youTube “Quick Look” video produced by Vancouver Public Schools Deepening cultural awareness and sensitivity among students can improve learning outcomes and foster equity. Hoping to inspire this in her students, Vancouver Public Schools (VPS) Creative Movement teacher Wendy Thompson used a Foundation for VPS Engagement Grant to bring renowned Ghanaian drum artist, Alex Addy, to Lake Shore Elementary as a month-long artist-in-residence. “Drum circles offer ethnic and cultural bridges; they harmoniously bring diverse people, instruments and musical styles together,” said Thompson. Bringing diverse people and instruments together is what...
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Annual Luncheon Raises Record $300,000

Foundation for Vancouver Public Schools Raises Record $300,000 from Luncheon Including $50,000 Grant from the Firstenburg Foundation VIEW PHOTO GALLERY The Foundation for Vancouver Public Schools (VPS) held its 17th Annual Luncheon on May 7, 2019. The event saw its largest attendance to date and raised a record $300,000 in support of the 23,000 students in 37 VPS schools and programs across the district. During the event, it was announced that the Firstenburg Foundation awarded the Foundation for VPS a $50,000 challenge grant in support of Community Schools to fund basic needs, family-stability services and enrichment activities in schools across...
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2019 Heathman Helping Hands Charity Golf Tournament

Golf for Kids!  The Foundation for VPS invites you to The Heathman Helping Hands 3rd Annual Charity Golf Tournament. Gather with friends and colleagues for a full day of fun in support of Vancouver Public School students. All proceeds raised go to the Foundation for VPS. DETAILS Tuesday, August 20, 2019 8:00 AM Check-in 9:00 AM Shotgun Start Camas Meadows Golf Course Camas, WA COST Single Player – $162.50 (includes lunch for 1) Foursome Entry – $650 (includes lunch for 4) EARLY BIRDIE SPECIAL Register before April 30 and receive 15% off registration! BECOME A SPONSOR Interested in sponsoring this...
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Community Champions Circle contributes $2.4 million in the last two years

Members of the Foundation for VPS Board of Directors and honorary Community Champions Council recently hosted an event to thank Community Champion supporters and to celebrate a milestone achievement. The Community Champions Circle recognizes contributors of $5,000 or more in a year and/or pledged support of $10,000 or more over three years. Since the Foundation for VPS started Community Champions in 2016, these leaders have collectively committed $2.4 million toward building a brighter future for Vancouver’s children. Support from Community Champions funds direct support for students: removing barriers to learning and providing enrichment to students’ school experience. During the event,...
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Cashback Day at Warehouse 23

CASHBACK DAY AT WAREHOUSE 23 FOR FOUNDATION FOR VPS Thursday, March 7, 2019 at 11 AM – 11 PM Warehouse ’23 100 Columbia Street #102 Vancouver, WA 98660 Show your support for Foundation for Vancouver Public Schools by dining at Warehouse 23 on March 7th for Cashback Day. Let your server know you support Foundation for VPS and 50% of your dining proceeds go towards helping Foundation for VPS and our students. Enjoy delicious food with your friends and family while supporting a cause that helps 24,000 students in VPS. Reservations are advised; (360) 750-7256. For menu and hours, please...
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Sign up for the 2019 Couve Clover Run

5TH ANNUAL COUVE CLOVER RUN/WALK – 3, 7 or 10 mile routes Sunday, March 24, 2019 9:00 a.m. start time (arrive by 8:30 a.m.) GO FOR GREEN! Grab your St. Patrick’s themed running gear and accessories, bring your family and friends, and run or walk a 3, 7, or 10 mile scenic course to support local charities like the Foundation for Vancouver Public Schools. Stick around for the great post party hosted by Main Event. Kids 17 and under get to race the 5K for FREE! Strollers permitted. SIGN UP TODAY TO BENEFIT THE FOUNDATION FOR VPS REGISTER AND FIND DETAILS AT: http://bit.ly/Run4FVPS Sign up...
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School Retiree’s Association Gives $1,000 to Foundation for Vancouver Public Schools

Members of the Southwest Washington School Retirees’ Association (SWSRA) have selected the Foundation for Vancouver Public Schools (VPS) as the recipient of a $1,000 grant. The funds will be used to aid students facing learning barriers due to economic need and fund learning enrichment and mentoring programs that would not otherwise be funded by the school district. “The Foundation for VPS was started 29 years ago thanks to the generosity of teachers and staff,” 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...
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US Bank Foundation grant to help students at VPS’s Lieser Campus prepare for life after graduation

The Foundation for Vancouver Public Schools (VPS) received a $10,000 grant from the U.S. Bank Foundation to benefit the Lieser Campus. Lieser is a part of the Vancouver Public Schools and is a non-traditional option serving approximately 300 K-12 students. Funds will help support Lieser’s focused work on preparing low-to-moderate-income at-risk youth for post-secondary education and careers. Lieser Campus offers a safe and stable environment for its many students who are living in poverty or facing crisis in their home life. Lieser will use the funding to support the basic needs of students and offer experiential educational opportunities to expose...
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The Heathman Lodge Helping Hands Golf Fundraiser Benefits Foundation for Vancouver Public Schools

The Foundation for Vancouver Public Schools (VPS) received a $8,000 donation from the Heathman Lodge Helping Hands Golf Fundraiser. This is the second year that the Helping Hands held a golf tournament to help the Foundation for VPS support Vancouver children and families. The Helping Hands donation will address urgent needs of students in all Vancouver Public Schools, with resources targeted to students with the greatest needs “Almost half of the students in Vancouver Public Schools are impacted by poverty, and they are present in all 37 Vancouver schools and programs. Many students face significant challenges in their daily lives,” said...
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Requests for Foundation for VPS Housing Support on Rise this Fall

Funding for housing stability is one example of how the Foundation for Vancouver Public Schools removes barriers for Vancouver School District students. Through financial support from the Foundation for VPS and community partners, Family-Community Resource coordinators mobilize resources to help families access support services and basic needs items like food, clothing, personal hygiene items, utility assistance, transportation, school supplies, diapers, car seats, etc. The first two months of the school year have been busy for VPS staff working to prevent student homelessness. On average, the Foundation invests $100 per child through the fund, which gives a family one time rental...
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You Make A Difference: Recognizing a need and transforming a life

By Mariah McCleskey As a Board Member of the Foundation for VPS and as a parent of three students, I’m grateful to be part of a community that is so deeply committed to helping all children thrive. If students do not come to school with what they need, learning will not happen. As a teacher in the district, I have witnessed first-hand the difference it makes when we work as a community to help vulnerable students connect to needed services and support. Last spring, I was teaching an Intensive Literature class at Thomas Jefferson Middle School. The class had many...
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