News

$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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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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