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MAKING AN IMPACT – Help for Students in Need

One by one, cars enter the parking lot of Harney Elementary. Drivers are greeted by Hilda Lail, the school’s Family-Community Resource Center (FCRC) coordinator. Wearing a face mask and gloves, Hilda and other staff members hand out food bags for families impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Many families, even those who used to be able to afford groceries, now struggle to put enough food on the table. Despite school building closures in early March, the district’s 20 FCRC coordinators are doing everything they can to safely make sure children and families have access to basic needs and the latest information....
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$250,000 Raised in Virtual Event

The Foundation for Vancouver Public Schools’ (VPS) biggest community fundraiser of the year raised over $250,000 in donations from generous businesses and individuals through an online giving event. The total includes $80,000 in matching funds from the “Give a Fox” Fund, a partnership between LSW Architects and Slumberkins. Over 600 guests initially planned on attending the Annual Luncheon in person. “We are thankful to the Vancouver community, organizations, our Community Champions Circle, and event sponsors who stepped up and supported our mission through our online event despite these incredibly challenging times,” said Nada Wheelock, Executive Director. “Now, more than ever,...
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DONORS MAKING A DIFFERENCE – LSW Architects

For over 30 years, the Vancouver community has come together to support families in need by donating to the Foundation for Vancouver Public Schools (VPS). LSW Architects is one of our “Community Champions” who has stepped up to support VPS students and families for many years in many ways, including providing Thanksgiving dinners for families, funding school events and programs, and sponsoring the annual Foundation Luncheon. Last November, LSW Architects teamed up with Slumberkins and raised over $200,000 at their first annual Foxgiving fundraiser to raise awareness and provide resources for homeless children and families in Clark County. When the...
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Annual Luncheon will be Virtual

Out of an abundance of concern for the safety of students, guests, and community, the Foundation for Vancouver Public Schools (VPS) has canceled its annual Luncheon scheduled for March 19th. Instead, the non-profit will host a Virtual Luncheon with details to be announced next week. The Luncheon is the biggest community fundraiser for the Foundation for VPS, expecting to draw 600 people. The online event will highlight the talents of students, share impact stories of students and families who’ve benefited from Foundation for VPS support, recipes from VPS Culinary Arts students, and more. Financial donations to the Foundation for VPS...
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MAKING AN IMPACT…Keoni’s Keychains

(Pictured: 8-year old Keoni presents check to Franklin Elementary School Principal, Woody Howard after selling keychains to pay off classmates’ cafeteria debt. Photo courtesy, April Ching.) An act of kindness by a Franklin Elementary School second-grader has received national attention and made a big impact for students with cafeteria debt. Keoni Ching, 8, wanted to do something special for “Kindness Week,” an annual event celebrated in many VPS schools. He heard his mother and father discussing NFL player Richard Sherman’s recent donation of $27,000 toward student lunch debt in Washington and California. Keoni had his own experience with an overdrawn...
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ENGAGING STUDENTS…McLoughlin students see nature from new angle

Most of Celia Antonini’s students had never experienced the natural beauty of the Columbia River Gorge until a Foundation for VPS Engagement Grant funded an 8th grade trip to Multnomah Falls. The students were not there just for recreation, or to study natural science, they would be learning linear functions. As part of their math curriculum, the students had been working on the concepts of slope, initial value and how it relates to the world. Antonini applied for the grant hoping that the trip would help the students develop a “concrete understanding of how graphs, tables, equations and scenarios are...
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Donors Making a Difference: Beaches Community Fund

For more than 20 years Mark Matthias has supported the mission of the Foundation for VPS through the Beaches Charity Fund, personal contributions, and events at his restaurants – Beaches and Warehouse ’23. A former Foundation for VPS board member, Matthias has been a leading champion of Foundation for VPS initiatives, pledging $100,000 over four years in 2017 to support expansion of basic needs support throughout the district. He has also encouraged donations to the Foundation by providing incentive parties to teachers and staff who give through the annual Staff Campaign. A hero for many non-profits and causes, Matthias and...
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Sign up for the 2020 Couve Clover Run

6TH ANNUAL COUVE CLOVER RUN/WALK – 3, 7 or 10 mile routes Sunday, March 22, 2020 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 12 and under get to race the 5K for FREE! Ages 13-17, half-price. Strollers permitted. REGISTER AND FIND DETAILS AT: http://bit.ly/Race4FVPS THREE OPTIONS TO BENEFIT THE...
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Foundation for VPS welcomes new board members

Vancouver, WA (February 27, 2020) – The Foundation for Vancouver Public Schools (VPS) announces additions to its board of directors. Joining the board of directors in a 3-year term are Diana Avalos-Leos, Program Manager, Healthy Living Collaborative of SW WA; Jeff Fisher, Owner, Jeff Fisher Agency; Trevor Hayward, Director of Planning, Hayward Uskoski and Associates; Cyndi Holloway, Governmental and Community Affairs Director, Waste Connections; Sean Moore, Senior Project Manager, Workforce SW WA; and Jeff Peterson, Attorney, Percipient Law. Beginning terms as ex-officio officers are; Darci Fronk, Principal, Alki Middle School; Kyle Sproul, Director, Vancouver Public Schools Board of Directors; and...
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MAKING AN IMPACT…School community rallies to support struggling student

(Pictured: As a senior at Skyview High School, Caiti wanted to “give back” as a volunteer at the Foundation for VPS 2019 Annual Luncheon) Teachers see challenges daily…students who come to school without basic necessities, facing additional barriers to learning. With support from donors, the Foundation for VPS can help change that scenario by directing resources so students get what they need, when they need it. And in Caiti’s case, receiving wrap-around support during her time of need made all the difference. In September 2018, Caiti moved to Vancouver from Arizona, hoping for a healthier home environment to finish her...
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ENGAGING STUDENTS…Eisenhower Elementary unveils book vending machine

There’s a new vending machine at Eisenhower Elementary, but rather than dispensing a sugary snack, this machine is parent and librarian approved. Funded by grants from the Foundation for VPS and Eisenhower PTA, “Bookworm,” is a book dispensing vending machine that provides a fun, unique way to reward students for good behavior and encourages literacy skills. “The vending machine supports our commitment to lifelong reading and Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS),” said Principal Jennifer Blechschmidt. Students will earn “Eagle Coins” for books of their choice by following the school’s “RESCUE” standards: Respect, Effort, Safety, Cooperation, begins with YOU and...
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Donors Making a Difference: Craig Stein Beverage

Craig Stein Beverage is matching donations through the end of the year, up to $2,000! Over the last 10 years, CSB has invested over $100,000 to support the mission of the Foundation for VPS, supporting many areas affecting student success. Funds were used for Basic Needs support, including the Emergency Checkbook Program (available for each of the 36 VPS principals), Winco gift cards, gas cards, and Goodwill vouchers which provide families with access to food, gas, clothing, and household goods. Their recent donations have also gone to support mentoring programs like Lunch Buddies, provide family engagement and nutrition programs, and...
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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 school teacher’s shoe box 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...
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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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