Highline Schools Foundation awards $10,000 Impact Grant Winner

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Impact-Grant - Global Connections HS

Pictured left to right: Scott Gifford, Highline Schools Foundation President; Dr. Susan Enfield, Highline Public Schools Superintendent; Rick Harwood, Global Connections High School Principal; Ashley Fosberg, Highline Schools Foundation Executive Director.

Global Connections High School’s new “Positive Behavior Student Advisory Council” program is the winner of Highline Schools Foundation’s first annual Impact Grant, and will receive $10,000 from the Foundation in support of this program.

This announcement, made by Highline Schools Foundation Board President Scott Gifford, kicked off the Highline Public Schools’ ‘State of our Schools’ event on Wednesday morning (Nov. 6) at the Museum of Flight.

Also, the Foundation surprised Mount Rainier High School with an additional $2,500 for their “Improving Academic Success for Latino Students” program.

Grant - Mount Rainer HS

Pictured left to right: Scott Gifford, Highline Schools Foundation President; Dr. Susan Enfield, Highline Public Schools Superintendent; Stephanie Hogan, Global Connections High School Teacher; Ashley Fosberg, Highline Schools Foundation Executive Director.

“We had 18 very high quality grant applications—all of which were based on the core pillars of the Highline Public Schools Strategic Plan. One recurring theme in many grant applications was the need to impact how students view themselves, their school, and their learning community—and the social and cultural pressures that impact their classroom performance. Funding these two programs supports direct and tangible needs on two campuses, embraces community inclusion, and gives a voice to students” Gifford said.

The $10,000 Impact Grant funds the creation, training, and implementation of a student leader group at Global Connections, called the Positive Behavior Student Advisory Council, which will adopt a peer-to-peer program that supports and intervenes with students who with behavior issues that are keeping them from learning. The Impact Grant Review committee found this grant innovative, responsive to the school’s immediate needs, thoughtful, and sustainable. “This program increases student voice, provides leadership opportunities and opportunities for critical thinking,” said Gifford. Goals of the program are directly aligned with the Highline Public Schools Strategic Plan. Among them are:

  • Students will hold students accountable for their action and will take ownership of their behavior and learning
  • 95% of the Global Connections class of 2017 will graduate
  • Increased student leadership and voice
  • Struggling students will be further supported, which will lead to increased academic success

The $2,500 for Mount Rainier’s program, “Improving Academic Success for Latino Students,” will help provide interventions that improve school experience and success for Latino students. This grant includes funds for students to attend Latino Leadership Camp, presented by the Association of Washington School Principals, during the summer of 2014.

At this camp, Latino students will learn powerful tools which will help them become leaders among their peers in their community, and they will return to school equipped with the skills necessary to make positive changes. Mount Rainier’s goals are to improve daily attendance, improve graduation rate, and improve student connection among the Latino community.

The $10,000 Impact Grant was funded by Alaska Airlines and Matt Griffin, both valued partners of Highline Schools Foundation. The Impact Grant Review Committee consisted of representatives from funding organizations, the Foundation Board of Trustees and Highline Public Schools.

The additional $2,500 grant was awarded as a symbol of extra support from the Foundation for the District’s Strategic Plan, and as a way to thank the community at large for its participation in its two major fundraising events in October, the Burien Brat Trot and the Oktoberfest Dinner, Dance and Auction. Both exceeded income expectations, allowing Highline Schools Foundation to provide even more funds to District students, schools and programs.

To learn more about the Highline Schools Foundation, please visit www.highlineschoolsfoundation.org.

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