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Education Foundation Funds All Fall Applicants

Winter cycle deadline is Feb. 17

The White Salmon Valley Education Foundation (WSVEF) has fully financed all applications received for the Fall 2007 funding cycle.

From mushing in Alaska, to musicals and modern day mathematics, area kids are in for some valuable learning opportunities.

"These are exciting, well thought-out programs that will benefit our community's children," said WSVEF Vice-President Anne-Marie Slater. "And for the first time, we have been able to fulfill all requests received. That's a great feeling,"

The WSVEF received three very strong applications with requests totaling $11,080 for programs at the elementary, middle, and high schools.

The largest grant will aid several different levels of mathematics classes at Columbia High School. The $5000 award will be used to purchase a classroom set of 30 Texas Instrument graphing calculators, a document camera, and a multimedia LCD projector.

Students in Algebra I and II will be primary users of calculators. Students in geometry, college algebra, elementary functions and calculus may also benefit.

Additionally, the document camera and projector will enable students and teachers to make and view virtual presentations on problem solving, which can be used in the classroom, posted on blogs, or various math-related websites.

This cutting-edge application of technology will allow students not only to access web-based video explanations of complex mathematical processes, whether at home or school, but it will also allow Columbia High School students themselves to author, produce, and post explanations of mathematical applications for viewing of anyone, anywhere in the world.

The old adage "teach someone else and we teach ourselves" goes high-tech at Columbia High.

While some students at the school have the means to purchase their own TI 84 Graphing Calculator, for most students, the cost of a calculator makes getting one improbable.

"These calculators are very expensive. And while some students have the means to provide their own, many do not," said Slater. "We're thrilled to be able to provide students with the latest technological tools that they otherwise would not have."

The second largest grant ($3580) went to Whitson Elementary School for a program which uses experiential learning principles to teach and reinforce goal setting, problem solving, risk taking and team building skills for both second grade students and teachers.

Students will take virtual part in the Alaska's Iditarod race by forming musher teams, and using Interactive maps to track progress of the race. It will also fund three field trips. Second graders will participate in a day of dog sledding and survival skills training, as well as a day of training and team building at a Ropes Course in The Dalles.

A team of Whitson teachers will also participate in a day of ropes course training and team building.

The final grant of $2500 goes to Henkle Middle School for the dramatic production of Mulan, a full scale Disney musical. The production will intertwine the middle school's art, drama and music departments.

In addition to providing experience with such things as acting, choreography, lighting, and sound, students will learn about China through mini-lessons tied directly to aspects of the script.

The project will culminate with six performances for the community and its schools.

"This is our second year in operation, and a tremendously exciting time for us. We are encouraged by the continuing community support of our efforts, and hope to get a growing number of applications with each funding cycle," said Slater.

Grants are awarded bi-annually. Programs funded are those that will enrich school curriculum and elective offerings; support staff development; and create education, business and community partnerships.

Members encourage all local educators to apply for these monies.

The deadline for the Winter 2008 cycle is Feb. 17.

For applications, more information, or to make a donation, go to www.wsvef.org or call 493-1175.

"We have program funds to help enhance our children's educations," said Slater, "and we are ready, willing, and able to help educators successfully apply for them."

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