News

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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Youngest learners benefit from donation

Pictured: Students participate in Marshall Elementary’s 2018 evening preschool program. The program, already in nine schools, will expand to additional locations next year thanks to a substantial gift from an anonymous donor. Photo credit: Vancouver Public Schools. Source: Vancouver Public Schools, Communications department. (2018, June 6), http://vansd.org/youngest-learners-benefit-from-donation Vancouver Public Schools’ early learning programs and elementary schools received a substantial boost thanks to a donation of $541,300. The money, donated to the Foundation for Vancouver Public Schools by an anonymous donor, will benefit early learning programs in the district from 2017 to 2020. It is the largest single gift the foundation has received in...
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$250,000 Raised During Annual Luncheon

Community Members Gather to Celebrate 30th Anniversary of Foundation for VPS Foundation for Vancouver Public Schools Announces Record High Pledge of $500,000 More than 500 community members gathered at the Foundation for Vancouver Public Schools (VPS) annual luncheon, celebrating the organization’s 30th anniversary and raising over $250,000 to support VPS students. During the event, Executive Director Nada Wheelock announced the largest single individual donation ever pledged, $500,000, by an anonymous donor. “In our 30th year, support for students has never been stronger,” said Wheelock. “We are grateful to our generous event sponsors and all of our donors for demonstrating their...
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$100,000 in Engagement Grants Awarded in 2017-18 School Year

Digital story-telling with animation, robotics equipment, a song-writing workshop, a trip to the Portland Art Museum and a student-led glass-fusing workshop are among the experiences granted to Vancouver students through Foundation for Vancouver Public Schools Engagement Grants. “Each year, thanks to generous community contributors, the Foundation for VPS provides Engagement Grants so that thousands of students have the opportunity to explore learning through enriching activities,” explains Nada Wheelock, Executive Director, Foundation for VPS. “This year, we are pleased to award over $100,000 in grants to 62 different projects and programs at 33 schools which will impact over 16,000 students. To...
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VPS families avoid homelessness through Foundation for VPS Housing Stability Fund

For 30 years, the Foundation for VPS has worked to remove barriers so VPS students can come to school healthy, happy and ready to learn. One of the most prevalent barriers for families is housing instability. Hundreds of Vancouver families struggle to find and keep stable housing—and the fight to do so takes a toll on children emotionally, physically, and scholastically. Students without stable housing are at higher risk for low academic achievement and graduation rates, student behavior issues, and high dropout rates. To help prevent homelessness, the Foundation for VPS created a Housing Stability Fund, which provides families with...
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VPS Staff Campaign and Student Chest Drive raise over $263,000 for the Foundation for VPS

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. 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...
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School Grant Program Expanded for 2017-18. Applications due January 31.

(Image: Grant-funded mural created by the M.E.Ch.A. student group at Fort Vancouver High School and displayed at the Vancouver Police West Precinct.) During 2016-17, the Foundation for Vancouver Public Schools invested over $130,000 to fund more than 50 enrichment activities and 9 mentoring programs, which benefited over 20,000 students at all VPS schools. To better align with the strategic efforts of Vancouver Public Schools and to provide more flexibility to each school, the Foundation for VPS has announced the expansion of the school grant program for the 2017-18 school year. Beginning this fall, the new Foundation for VPS “Engagement Grant”...
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Foundation for VPS Launches Annual Staff Campaign and Student Chest Drive

Click here to visit Annual Campaign site. The 2017 Annual Staff Campaign is taking place in all district buildings between now and November 17. Student-led fund-raisers will run November 6-17. The district’s annual employee giving campaign allows VPS employees to donate to nonprofit organizations which benefit VPS students. Employees can designation contributions through payroll deduction or other methods to the Foundation for Vancouver Public Schools, Citizen’s Committee for Good Schools, or the United Way of the Columbia-Willamette. During the 2016 campaign, over 50% of staff made a contribution, giving nearly $198,000. Of the total, $177,000 was designated to the Foundation...
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Help students be successful this fall: Write from the Start

The Write from the Start School Supply Drive presented by Dick Hannah Dealerships is July 20 – August 20.  Did you know that over 50 percent of students enrolled in Vancouver Public Schools qualify for free or reduced-price lunch, an indicator of poverty? In addition, the number of district students who are homeless or living in transition is at an all-time high of more than 1000 during the last school year. For these students’ families, and many others, new school supplies often are difficult or impossible to afford. Not having the right tools makes it hard for these students to begin...
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Foundation for VPS awarded $50,000 from Firstenburg Foundation for Community Schools Initiative

The Firstenburg Foundation has awarded the Foundation for Vancouver Public Schools (FVPS) a $25,000 grant in their latest grant cycle. This grant is in addition to a $25,000 awarded December 2016. The grants will be used to support the expansion of the community schools model in Vancouver Public Schools (VPS). “The community schools model builds on an understanding that schools do not thrive on taxpayer support alone. Private contributions play a key role in direct support for students, while taxpayer funding supports staff and organization of schools to more effectively engage community support,” says Nada Wheelock, Foundation for VPS Executive...
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Foundation for VPS welcomes new board members, Encore Fellow

The Foundation for Vancouver Public Schools (VPS) announces additions to its board of directors for 2016/2017 and welcomes an Encore Fellow to its staff. Joining the board of directors are Nichoel Casey, Assistant Vice President, Risk Consultation and Compliance Officer, Umpqua Bank; Felisciana Peralta, Adjunct Professor and Director of Student Inclusion and Equity Services, Clark College; and Marla Rapp, community member. Beginning terms as ex-officio officers are; Anita Chase, Associate Principal, Lieser Campus; Michelle Giovannozzi, Vice President, Vancouver Public Schools Board of Directors; Heather Lindberg, President, Vancouver PTA Council, and Mark Stoker, Director, Vancouver Public Schools Board of Directors. “We...
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VPS bond passes with overwhelming support

Source: Vancouver Public Schools, Communications department. (2017, February 15). VPS bond passes with overwhelming support. [Press release]. Retrieved from http://www.flashalert.net/id/VancouverSchDist The Vancouver community showed its support for schools on Tuesday, Feb. 14. The $458 million bond measure is currently passing with nearly 70 percent approval. Voters overwhelmingly approved the capital construction bond measure for Vancouver Public Schools with 69.74 percent (updated 2/16/17). Validation of the measure came a day after the election. An updated ballot count provided the required 27,000 votes to validate the measure. VPS has received a total of 28,660 votes, 19,969 of which were “yes” votes. The...
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Foundation for Vancouver Public Schools Receives Umpqua Bank Community Giving Grant

Umpqua Bank’s Charitable Foundation has awarded the Foundation for Vancouver Public Schools an $8,000 Community Giving grant. The funds will be used to expand family engagement activities in Vancouver Public Schools, including experiences and academic-focused events for parents to become involved in their child’s academic success. Umpqua Bank recently announced Community Giving grant awards totaling more than $311,000, with recipients in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California and Nevada. Since 2014, the Umpqua Bank Charitable Foundation has invested in organizations focused on children’s education and well-being. The bank’s Community Giving grants fund programs that create opportunities for early childhood and K-12 youth...
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5th Grader Raises $700 to “Give Back” to Hazel Dell Elementary

With the end of the school year approaching, Hazel Dell Elementary School fifth grade student Sarah Payne wanted to do something to give back to her school. She recalled learning about the importance of community giving from her first grade teacher and worked with her parents to organize her own fundraiser, “Sarah’s Give Back Campaign”. “As I get ready to move into middle school next year, I want to give back to my elementary school that’s given me so much over six years,” stated Sarah in her fundraising materials. Sarah chose to do a triathlon doing the activities she loved; swimming,...
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Nada Wheelock Selected as Executive Director of Foundation for VPS

Interim Executive Director Nada Wheelock rises to the top in national search for the Foundation for Vancouver Public Schools Executive Director position. Wheelock has served as the interim executive director since July, 2016. She previously served on the Foundation’s Board of Directors and the Vancouver Public Schools Board of Directors. Wheelock is a senior leader who brings to the Foundation strong change management and leadership skills. She has a proven track record of building and cultivating personal and professional relationships and managing multiple stakeholders across organizations to collaborate and achieve mutually beneficial outcomes. She will be charged with growing capacity,...
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Vancouver Students Celebrate “Read Across America” Week With Help From Community Partners

Over 2,000 first-graders in Vancouver Public Schools were joined by family members last week to enjoy a free breakfast of green eggs and ham and embrace the value of reading. Part of a week long celebration honoring the birthday of children’s book author Dr. Seuss, the breakfast is a 21 year-old tradition begun by Beaches Restaurant and Bar owner Mark Matthias. With assistance from 125 volunteers, Beaches served green eggs and ham to first graders and their families at all elementaries in the Vancouver and Evergreen districts as well as others throughout the county, reaching a total of 51 schools....
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Family Engagement Project Awarded Vancouver Energy Community Fund Grant

Vancouver Energy announced that the Foundation for Vancouver Public Schools is the recipient of a $12,000 Community Fund Grant to help fund the Family Engagement Project. This project promotes engagement at all levels – from the school to the parents and students, extending to the business community and community at large – in order to achieve lasting educational success. As part of its 2015 funding cycle, the Vancouver Energy Community Fund awarded grants to six local organizations. Visit Vancouver Energy’s website to find out more about the Community Fund or click here to read the Vancouver Business Journal article.