Education Fund Supplies Grants for Eugene Schools

Article excerpt

Byline: Anne Williams The Register-Guard

Holding true to its ask-and-you-will-receive tradition, the Eugene Education Fund will award grants this fall to nearly every school in the Eugene School District.

The 56 grants, mostly ranging from $500 to $2,000, totaled a record $100,506. They'll be formally announced at a ceremony today at the Education Center.

While most of the grants go to individual schools, the total also includes $7,382 from Symantec for elementary school science kits; $6,400 for districtwide beginning Spanish lessons for faculty and staff; and $2,000 for materials for high-functioning autistic students throughout the district.

Every school that applied received at least one grant, EEF Executive Director David Meredith said, and a few got two or three. One, Howard Elementary in north Eugene, received four, totaling $6,208.

In reviewing the grant applications, Meredith said the seven-member EEF board favors schools such as Howard, which has a comparatively high percentage of low-income students. Forty-four percent of the grants went to the least-advantaged third of schools, he said.

Only three schools opted not to seek grants: Awbrey Park, Spring Creek and Eastside Alternative. Meredith said he wasn't sure why they didn't, but he speculated that perhaps no one on staff had time to put together a proposal. "The schools are busy places," he said.

Among this year's grants are $2,000 for ceramics equipment for North Eugene High School; $500 for an after-school choir at Kennedy Middle School; $2,000 for an overnight trip to the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry for Howard Elementary; and $750 for taiko drums and other materials for the annual Asian Celebration for Gilham Elementary. Many schools sought grants for software, books and other materials to aid struggling readers.

Formed by parents and teachers in 1993, the EEF is a private nonprofit foundations that raises thousands of dollars each year for Eugene schools from individual and corporate donors. The bulk of funds for the grants comes from donations not earmarked for particular schools. The EEF also applies 5 percent of designated donations to the grant fund.

The EEF is still seeking donations to cover proposals that were left out, and has a list of the "Top 10 Almost-Funded" on its Web site at www. The site also offers full descriptions of all the grant proposals.

The recipients and awards are:

The school district: Hands-on physical and life science kits for all elementary schools, $7,382; education-specific Spanish language courses for teachers and staff, $6,400; curriculum materials for students with high-functioning autism, $2,000.

Adams Elementary: Clocks, cubes and other items to teach math, $500; high-interest nonfiction library books, $2,000.

Buena Vista Elementary: Materials and training to implement full-immersion Spanish curriculum, $2,000.

Charlemagne at Fox Hollow Elementary: Skill-appropriate books and CDs to boost literacy, $1,998.

Cesar Chavez Elementary: Field trips to enrich the curriculum, $2,000; shed for gardening and composting project, $1,000.

Bertha Holt Elementary: Month-long teacher-in-residence program with a citizen of Ghana, who will share the country's culture and history, $2,000.

Churchill High School: Library books for struggling readers, $2,000; books for the Bookworm Club, $1,350.

Coburg Elementary: More hours of library staffing, $2,000; new wall-mounted United States and world maps, $1,991. …