Issaquah Schools Foundation thanks locals for fueling success

Nourish Every Mind events raised more than $734,000 for schools in Issaquah, Bellevue and Sammamish.

The Issaquah Schools Foundation thanked the community for its generosity and announced that its Nourish Every Mind fundraisers raised more than $734,000 to fuel success for every student in every school.

Funds raised at the luncheon and breakfast events will go directly to support more than 21,000 students in the Issaquah School District in the communities of Issaquah, Bellevue, Sammamish, Newcastle and Renton.

Foundation programs impact 24 schools in the growing District, with a focus on building academic foundations, exploring limitless opportunities, and launching students successfully into their futures. STEM clubs, art instruction, robotics, teacher professional development, mentoring, homework support, fine arts, and clothing and food aid programs are among the programs funded by the Foundation.

These programs, and many others, help students find their spark – a connection to their education and their schools. Today, thousands of children throughout the District are learning, exploring and connecting to their education because of programs funded by the Foundation.

Locals can watch how programs help students find their spark here. Foundation programs include:

Artistic Support: Art education in elementary schools is solely funded by PTSAs, with volunteer art docent training provided by the Foundation’s Artistic Support Program, which includes monthly seminars with professional artists. During the 2017-2018 school year, more than 550 volunteer art docents provided 8,500 hours of classroom instruction.

Tools4School: A partnership between the Foundation and Issaquah Food & Clothing bank, Tools4School provides new backpacks filled with school supplies for more than 900 students who need support as they head back to school.

Robotics Clubs: Robotic Clubs are supported by the Foundation at two elementary schools, and every middle and high school in the District. Schools compete in local and regional competitions, with the possibility of advancing to the world competition.

Classroom Enrichment Grants: Each year, the Foundation awards grants to enhance the learning environment of classrooms, libraries, computer labs and resource centers. In 2018, for example, grants funded the creation of a peer helpers program for a school playground and the purchase of Sphero robots to teach coding.

Feeding Student Success: One in seven families in the community will have difficulty feeding their family during the school year. Feeding Student Success combats hunger in schools by providing free snacks, breakfasts and lunches to students in need.

Basic Student Needs: The Foundation works to lower barriers to academic success for financially challenged students by funding a range of programs, including the Nurses Fund that helps students with clothing, food and housing.

VOICE Mentors: More than 330 students are mentored by community members through the VOICE mentoring program each year. Volunteer VOICE mentors support social skills and set positive goals, and work as academic mentors.

Cultural Bridges for Education: A family engagement program that serves as a communication bridge between the District and families who are culturally and/or linguistically diverse, Cultural Bridges helps families overcome barriers. The program, which also publishes a quarterly magazine in Spanish, Chinese and Korean, empowers the community to help students to be successful in school.

Kateri Brow Big Idea Grants: These Foundation grants are up to $10,000 for programs that respond to a compelling need and reflect vision and innovation in education. Recipients range from a middle school after-school math club and high school horticulture program to elementary school CS/STEM explorations and the purchase of equipment for welding.

About the Issaquah Schools Foundation: Established in 1987, the Issaquah Schools Foundation (an independent 501(c)3 organization) has raised more than $12 million in private fundraising dollars to support the students and educators of the Issaquah School District. The district covers 110 square miles in the communities of Issaquah, Bellevue, Sammamish, Newcastle and Renton, and supports more than 21,000 students.