The Woodward Education Foundation was established in 1989 by citizens of Woodward who had the foresight to see the need for an outside resource or private investment in the Woodward Public School System. They also believed that the quality of life and economic development are directly correlated to the quality of the educational system.
The Foundation (WEF) is a non-profit organization currently consisting of 13 volunteer board members, superintendent, a Board of Education representative and a teacher representative. There are four main functions of the foundation: Scholarships, Staff Development Grants, Grants to Teachers and Experts and Artists in Residence.
Thursday was the day to deliver the news to the teachers in Woodward that applied for the grant. Their items were either totally funded or partially funded. These grants are for teachers to use items that are innovative approaches to stimulate learning and encourage excellence in the school. They are designed to bring in equipment, technology, programs or any other item that will improved the learning experience for the students.
Staff Development Grants promote improvement of instruction by providing funding for teachers to attend seminars, institutes, conferences, workshops or by bringing in outside expertise to the teachers. This year, Ellie Pryor and Cynthia Davis from the ECC will get to attend the Frog Street Splash Early Educator Conference in Grapevine, Texas.
Individual grants were awarded to Abby Hawley, Mandy Hensley and Sarah Roach, teachers at the ECC. A group of ECC teachers applied and received a grant for their science classroom. The group consisted of Angela Branson, Cynthia Davis, Lee Ann Ferrell, Abby Hawley, Jennifer Kornele, Paige Luetjen, Ellie Pryor and Sarah Roach. The grant title was ‘Pre-K Loves to Learn All About Science’.
Highland Park teacher, Anni Stolzy received her grant named ‘Organized and Ready to Learn’.
Woodward Middle School FACS teacher Denise Clark also was awarded a grant to buy sewing machines for her students under the grant title ‘So, you want to sew’.
Woodward High School teachers Dalissa Cruz, Lavonna Hopkins, LuAnn O’Hair, Illana Spicer received their individual grants titled: language lab, junior novel study, and a Pre-AP Summer Reading Program and student choice literature circles.
The Experts and Artists in Residence program is designed to bring in expertts from different disciplines directly to the students of the WPS system. It gives students the opportunity to work with and learn from prominent professionsals.
Since the inception of the foundation, over $500,000 has been awarded to scholarships, staff development, teachers and experts and artists in residents.
Grants are awarded in the spring and fall.