As the 2021-2022 school year rages on, the Northshore Schools Foundation is continuing to find new ways to remove barriers for students in the Northshore School District.
NSF Executive Director Carmin Dalziel said the pandemic forced the nonprofit to shift focus on its goals, rather than hindering its mission.
“We just keep adapting,” she said. “I feel like there are still kids out there who need help. We are thrilled that the new way we distribute is reaching so many more of our secondary kids [6th through 12th grade].”
The foundation recently published its annual report with an overview of the impact from the 2020-2021 school year.
According to the report, the foundation updated 14 school libraries to represent diverse student communities and to offer access to information about social justice. In addition, 31 schools were granted $12,400 to replace popular books in their libraries.
During the height of the pandemic, the nonprofit’s bookmobile program delivered more than 20,000 books to help students built their own libraries at home.
Through the Opportunity Fund, 333 families were able to receive support for personal and classroom needs. In total, about $86,000 was dispersed to families in need.
The Basic Needs Aid Fund, which offers a short-term solution during an immediate crisis, assisted 104 families across the school district. Throughout the 2020-2021 school year, over $20,400 was granted to families.
As far as support for teachers, the Educator Crisis Fund distributed about $6,622 to 13 NSD staff members. According to the report, scholarships were also offered for 31 teachers earning their national teacher certifications.
In the last school year, the foundation spent 54% of its funds on programming, 21% on fundraising and 25% on management, the report stated.
The nonprofit collected 12% of its income through grants and one-time gifts, 22% from corporate sponsorships and 5% from event sales. About 60% of funds were donated from individuals in and around the community, the report states.
When the pandemic first closed public schools, Dalziel said, the foundation sent mass communication to all NSD educators saying the nonprofit wanted to help.
Dalziel said one teacher didn’t have a desk at her home for remote teaching. The educator had just graduated from college, she said, so the foundation granted her funds to purchase a desk.
In another instance, she said, an educator wanted to have a virtual ice cream party with her students. In response, the foundation bought ice cream coupons for them.
“Our board is very passionate about funding every last dollar,” she said. “When we know our community really cares about something, and it’s in alinement with the project we’re doing, it’s easy for us to say we’re happy to help.”
When students returned to in-person classes last spring, the foundation handed out about 200 backpacks and 300 supply kits, Dalziel said. This fall, the nonprofit gifted roughly 700 backpacks to students across the district. She said typically 1,000 backpacks are collected every year.
Dalziel said the foundation collaborates with Northshore Rotary, Bothell Kenmore and Woodinville chambers, as well as numerous local partners. However, she noted, the organization is always looking for more volunteers.
On Oct. 13, there will be a volunteer orientation via Zoom for those interested in getting involved with the foundation. Community members can sign up for the meeting on Eventbrite at bit.ly/3CwGzFz.
To access the NSF annual report, visit flipsnack.com/NSdfoundation/2020-2021-northshore-schools-foundationannual-report.html.