Northwest NEWS

September 21, 1998


Foundation awards 98/99 educational grants

   by Deborah Stone
   The Northshore Public Education Foundation (NPEF) was founded with the purpose of funding innovative teaching and enrichment projects which expand learning opportunities for all students.
   Each year grants, ranging from $300 - $1000, are awarded to educators at the elementary, junior high and high school levels whose proposed programs emphasize multiple methods of instruction and are targeted to reach a broad range of students.
   These projects fall outside of the regular curriculum, yet must be tied to one or more of the district's Strategic Plan goals and are unable to be supported under the current Northshore School District budget. The Foundation seeks to promote community involvement, and contributions from residents and businesses are the basis for the grants. For 1998-1999, NPEF has awarded twelve grants totaling $10,155.25.
   The programs chosen will utilize the grant money mainly for materials and supplies.
   At Woodin Elementary, teacher and project leader Laurie Torcaso received $980 for a portable work station which will be stocked with various measuring utensils and cooking equipment to be used by all classes.
   "It's actually a cooking cart on wheels," explains Torcaso, "that has measuring cups, a fry pan, portable oven, rice cooker, containers of different sizes, etc." According to Torcaso, use of the cart will help extend the curriculum in a variety of ways. She says, "As they follow recipes, students will be using their reading skills, as well as math in measuring the ingredients. They can also experiment with mixtures and solutions which is science, and then in social studies cooking can be integrated with cultural units. I see many parent involvement possibilities with this, too."
   Kenmore Junior High art teacher Gale Riley received $575.25 to use in helping to provide an authentic learning experience for her ninth grade year-long art elective students. Following a unit on Impressionism, students will go on location to the Arboretum and paint under the guidance of professional landscape artist June Johnson. "The idea is to have the students see the light changes, feel the wind, hear the sounds around them and use their sensory input as they focus on painting," says Riley. "This is what the Impressionists did and it's important that the students get a sense of what these artists were feeling and thinking."
   A sampling of other projects funded by the Foundation includes the creation of an audio/visual library of literature in Inglemoor High's Learning Center for students with learning disabilities; a reading program that expands a tutorial component for at-risk students in grade K-2 at Kokanee Elementary; a choral library for upper elementary levels at Cottage Lake, Moorlands, Shelton View and Sunrise Elementaries; "Human DNA Fingerprinting by PCR" kits which will allow Bothell High sophomores to apply thermal recycling technology to generate their own DNA fingerprints and a Multimedia Readers' Theatre for Inglemoor High's International Baccalaureate Program to give students an opportunity to explore a period in history through drama.
   For further information about the Foundation, call 489-6380. Support via time, talents or a financial gift is always welcome.