The Issaquah Schools Foundation (ISF) recently hosted its 21st annual Nourish Every Mind Luncheon on May 3 at the Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue.
Established in 1987, ISF has raised more than $12 million in private fundraising dollars to support students and educators of the Issaquah School District (ISD).
ISF supports various programs for ISD such as Cultural Bridges, Tools4Schools, After School Homework Labs and Feeding Student Success. A full list of programs can be found on the ISF website (http://isfdn.org/our-purpose/).
The annual luncheon served as an opportunity for Issaquah parents and community members to continue to support ISF programs and services.
Cougar Ridge Elementary School principal Drew Terry highlighted one of the programs ISF supports — the After-School Assistance Program (ASAP). For Terry, it all began many years ago with his own son who struggled with reading. After working with the principal at his son’s school to start a homework club, his son’s reading improved.
“We started with just one grade level, with just one subject,” he said. “A lot of kids just need a little extra help and support.”
In the program’s first year, more than 50 students received support.
“It was getting so big… We knew we had to keep going,” Terry said. “We needed more teachers and more sustainable funding. That’s when I turned to the Issaquah Schools Foundation.”
Through ISF’s support, the ASAP program is in every ISD elementary school. Cougar Ridge Elementary fifth-grade student Colby Chambers said the ASAP program has helped him become more confident in math.
“Math was always hard for me to understand,” he said. “Being in the ASAP program made it easier for me to ask questions and feel more confident.”
Aside from academics, ISF also supports the fine arts through its fine arts fund. Robin Wood, Liberty High School’s choir teacher, stressed the importance of the fine arts for student success.
“The arts are fundamental to education,” she said. “Music has the power to electrify learning.”
The Liberty High School jazz choir performed at the beginning of the luncheon. Wood said without the support of ISF, there wouldn’t be nearly as many music and arts programs, much less the students to participate in them.
Liberty High School jazz choir junior Alison Fullington said being a part of the music program has had a great influence on her.
“Music can alter the way of thinking,” she said. “Music connects us, it connects communities, it connects emotions… The fine arts are irreplaceable.”
In the closing of the luncheon, Costco’s assistant vice president of international finance and administration and ISF’s treasurer John Gleason encouraged luncheon attendees to donate.
“Every child deserves the opportunity to reach their potential,” he said. “Think about the power you have to change students’ lives. Please give heroically.”
ISF will be hosting another Nourish Every Mind fundraiser breakfast on May 14 at Eastridge Church in Issaquah. For more information about ISF go online to http://isfdn.org/.