Education Grants Fund Wide Range of Projects

The Register Guard (Eugene, OR), November 17, 2010 | Go to article overview

Education Grants Fund Wide Range of Projects

Byline: Anne Williams The Register-Guard

The flow of education dollars from state coffers may have slowed, but the pace of local donations to Eugene schools has stayed brisk.

The Eugene Education Fund announced it has awarded 105 grants to schools since the beginning of the school year, totaling $169,117 - one or more grants for every school in the district, as well as six for districtwide programs. That's twice as many grants as had been awarded by the same point last year, said David Meredith, EEF's executive director.

Annual fundraising overall lags behind last year; the EEF has taken in $650,199, nearly $62,000 less than at this point last year, Meredith said. However, an Oct. 7 back-to-school gala was the most successful ever, drawing more than 300 guests and raising $80,100, he added.

Between now and Dec. 31, more grants will be funded as dollars trickle in. In reviewing the proposals - 150 this year - the EEF board favors schools with higher percentages of low-income students. Already, 44 percent of the grant dollars are earmarked for schools with the highest need, Meredith said.

With a crushing budget shortfall anticipated in 2010-11, teachers may come to rely even more on EEF grants to provide some of the opportunities and materials they otherwise might not be able to provide students. Grant-funded projects include classroom technology, theatrical productions, field trips and guest artists.

"What stands out for me, after 17 years of grant-making, is the profound impact $500 or $2,000 can have from the perspective of a single student," Meredith said. "It's often a single field trip, or a single book, or a single school play that affects the course of a child's life - and one EEF grant provides such things for an entire classroom or a whole school."

Lisa Albrich, a Spanish teacher at Sheldon High School, will use her $500 grant to buy canvas, fabric, needles, thread and other materials for a cultural tapestry project for her advanced Spanish class. The first-time project is so important to her, she said, she probably would have paid for it herself.

"There are students who thrive on doing art projects," she said. "It's nice to have the money rather than taking it out of my own pocket, and hopefully there will be enough to carry me through for several years."

Albrich said the school is able to give teachers only about $75 each for classroom supplies. That fund could shrink next year, as one of Superintendent George Russell's early recommendations for trimming a massive deficit is further paring supply budgets.

The EEF has awarded grants to schools since 1994, the year after the nonprofit foundation was started.


For information on the EEF, or to contribute to yet-to-be-funded proposals, visit Awards thus far:

Eugene School District: Music scholarships, $9,423; science kits, $10,560; vaccinations and health clinics, $20,000; Braille book club, $500; speech pathology tools, $1,944; tutoring for students in shelters, $2,000

Academy of Arts (North Eugene): Document camera, $562; video equipment, $2,000

Adams Elementary: Field trips, $2,000; ecological mural, $2,000; food-producing garden, $486; mediation training, $500

Arts and Technology Academy: Math curriculum, $2,000; microscopes, $2,000; P.E. equipment, $500

Awbrey Park Elementary: Battle of the Books, $500; books in Spanish, $2,000; video cameras, $2,000

Buena Vista Elementary: Laptop computers, $4,000

Cal Young Middle School: Battle of the Books, $1,992; jazz band, $2,000

Camas Ridge Community Elementary: Outdoor experiments, $425; reading assessments, $500; storyteller, $2,000

Chavez Elementary: Battle of the Books, $500; community field trips, $2,000; supplies for kids in need, $500

Charlemagne Elementary: Stage risers and xylophone, $2,000

Churchill Alternative High School: Visiting music and arts teachers, $2,000

Churchill High School: Performing arts training, $2,000

Coburg Elementary: Visiting artist, $1,750; visiting storyteller, $500

Corridor Elementary: Children's theater, $2,000; choir, $500; musical instruments, $500

Crest Drive Elementary: Marine science center trip, $500; outdoor school, $2,000; zoo trip, $500

Edgewood Community Elementary: Family reading event, $500; reading evaluations, $500; visiting artist, $2,000

Edison Elementary: Behavior support, $2,000; Ocean Week, $1,000

Eugene International High School: African celebration, $2,000;

Eurasian conference, $2,000

Family School: Art classes, $2,000; community field trips, $2,000

Gilham Elementary: Marine biology field trips, $500; new books, $2,000; trip to Salem, $500

Holt Elementary: Books to take home, $2,000; phonics intervention, $2,000

Howard Elementary: Fitness room, $500; musicians-in-residence, $2,000; visit to Salem, $500

Kelly Middle School: Benito Ju[sz]rez Festival, $500; Latino student mentoring, $2,000; Peacemakers Conference, $500

Kennedy Middle School: Algebra program, $2,000; drumming fitness, $500; math manipulatives, $500

Madison Middle School: Calculators, $500; classroom zoo, $500; interactive history, $500; visiting poet, $2,000

McCornack Elementary: Mandarin instruction, $500; school play, $2,000; unicycles, $500

Meadowlark Elementary: Digital cameras, $1,946; iPods for reading, $2,000

Monroe Middle School: Oregon Museum of Science and Industry assemblies, $1,620; visiting storyteller, $2,000

North Eugene High School: Teambuilding activities, $500

North Eugene International High School: College visits, $2,000; cultural events, $500

Opportunity Center: Library books, $500; outdoor experiences, $2,000; world drumming, $448

Parker Elementary: Outdoor school, $2,000; visiting storyteller, $2,000

River Road Elementary: Kindergarten writing materials, $500; library books, $500; trip to an estuary, $2,000

Roosevelt Middle School: Family writing events, $500; study-skill building, $2,000; visiting poet, $2,000

School of IDEAS (North Eugene): Saturday school, $500; Oregon State University chemistry visit, $500

Sheldon High School: Document cameras, $2,000; Latin American weaving, $500

South Eugene High School: Garden improvements, $1,000; study skills, $2,000

Spencer Butte Middle School: iPods for reading, $500; study skills, $2,000

Spring Creek Elementary: iPods, $500; spell-checkers, $500; technology support, $1,808

Twin Oaks Elementary: Homework support, $2,000; visiting artist, $1,800

Willagillespie Elementary: Digital microscopes, $500; science curriculum development, $1,853

Yujin Gakuen Elementary: Before-school tutoring, $2,000; dance and art supplies, $500

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