Wellington Community Foundation Awards Grants To Schools

The Wellington Community Foundation recently awarded more than $8,000 to three Wellington elementary schools: Binks Forest, Elbridge Gale and Panther Run.

“The foundation solicited all elementary schools in Wellington to participate by completing an ‘Our Schools’ grant application that went before the board of directors in March,” Wellington Community Foundation Chair Tom Wenham said.

The board put together the new grant initiative to help principals meet the needs of students not already budgeted for during the 2017-18 school year.

Grant dollars funded by the Wellington Community Foundation were raised during various fundraisers the nonprofit held over the course of its first year in private existence. Board members were proud to present funds to cover items such as reading materials and practice workbooks for third-graders through fifth-graders in reading and math.

“We are very thankful to receive this grant, as it has provided much-needed materials for our struggling students,” Elbridge Gale Principal Gail Pasterczyk said. “We were able to purchase ‘Reading A to Z’ materials for 10 teachers. This program includes leveled take-home books for students to practice with after school. We also purchased standards-based practice workbooks for our third-graders through fifth-graders in reading and math. These books will allow students to have additional practice with standards that are taught and not mastered on the original assessments. We are grateful to have such supportive partners in educating our students.”

The grants are also designed to meet some of the needs of students who would like to attend off-campus trips and the fifth-grade safety patrol trip.

“Panther Run Elementary School was honored to receive an ‘Our Schools’ grant from the Wellington Community Foundation,” Principal Edilia De La Vega said. “The grant will provide much-needed financial help to Panther Run Elementary by enabling the school to purchase 10 phonics-based intervention kits to be used by pre-K through first-grade teachers in their classrooms. These resources will allow us to align our efforts in meeting one of Superintendent Dr. Robert Avossa’s strategic initiatives of having 75 percent of third-graders reading on grade level by 2021. The funds will also be utilized to assist families in need who would like to have their child attend the annual fourth-grade St. Augustine trip and our fifth-grade Washington, D.C. safety patrol trip.”

Additionally, the foundation also funded two new Chrome laptops so students can check them out to use at home if they do not have their own.

Binks Forest Elementary School Principal Michella Levy also thanked the foundation for its support.

“This grant will help Binks Forest Elementary School provide uniforms to children in need, and school supplies and backpacks as well,” Levy said. “This year we received laptops to assist families who do not have a home computer, so district computer programs and educational games can be utilized at home. Binks Forest is a strong community of parents, students and teachers, and everyone is very appreciative of the support provided.”

The foundation plans more outreach to schools.

“This is just the beginning,” Wellington Community Foundation Board Member Maggie Zeller said. “There are needs in our Wellington schools that are being overlooked, and our foundation intends to continue supporting area principals to meet those needs. All the grant recipient schools were also in need of back-to-school supplies, backpacks and school uniforms, all of which the board has agreed to provide again this year.”

“Nothing is more rewarding than helping kids,” added Mickey Smith, secretary of the foundation. “This grant project helps children right here in Wellington, and that is what this foundation is all about — helping our neighbors.”

The schools are already feeling the results of the work of the Wellington Community Foundation. Local students have benefited, and will continue to benefit from the efforts of the Wellington Community Foundation.

“Thank you again to the Wellington Community Foundation for helping our school community reach new heights,” De La Vega said.

The Wellington Community Foundation is a charitable organization committed to benefiting the residents of Wellington by supporting and improving their quality of life. For more information on how you can get involved, call (561) 333-9843 or visit www.wellingtoncommunityfoundation.org.