Brewster, Bridgeport schools receive Community Foundation grants


The 12 members of the Brewster Elementary Robotics Team pose with their award plaque from the VEX IQ Challenge.

Brewster Elementary literacy coordinator, Karla Phillips explains the Book Up Summer program to a group of kindergartners prior to letting them select free books from the assortment on the shelves behind Phillips.

BREWSTER-BRIDGEPORT - The Brewster and Bridgeport school districts were among nearly two dozen North Central Washington elementary, middle and high schools that shared more than $80,000 in Stronger Schools Grants from the Community Foundation of North Central Washington (CFNCW).
The Brewster School District received $5,000 for its Robotics Team and Brewster Elementary was given $2,500 for its Page Ahead Children’s Literacy “Book Up Summer” Program.
Brewster Elementary Principal, Lynnette Blackburn robotics grant will be applied to the purchase of five laptops for coding and programming, Ozobots for color coding and customized VEX IQ Super kits.
“We believe with this program, our students will be future engineers,” Blackburn said. “They will be designing, constructing and programming customized robots.”
Students will work with Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) related concepts, develop critical thinker skills and the passion to pursue a job in a STEM field future career, Blackburn said.
Brewster Elementary School’s literacy coordinator, Karla Phillips commented on the Book Up Summer grant.
“Studies show that children, without the structure of school, instruction of teachers and access to reading materials, loose on the average more than three months of reading over summer,” said Phillips. “This is referred to as the ‘summer slide’.”
Phillips said students in kindergarten, first and second grades will each receive 12 new free books of their choosing during the final week of school.
“Studies have also shown that if a child chooses a book, that child will be more likely to read it,” Phillips said.
Since this is the third consecutive year Brewster has received the grant, students in second grade that have been in the Brewster School District during kindergarten and first grade will have received a total of 36 new books.
Bridgeport High School was awarded $4,000 for its Robotics program and $3,000 for the school district’s Summer Reading Program.
The school’s robotics team just started this year, but is already making progress.
“We made it to the finals, but did not place,” said coach Ian Hughes. “Pretty well for an all-novice team.”
Hughes said the class will use the grant funds to purchase computers “so we no longer need to borrow the school laptop cart in the library for our class to work on programming,” said Hughes. “We will be purchasing new robot components to expand our build limitations.”
Hughes said the latter is especially important since next year’s tournament “requires a more complicated design to manipulate the field elements.”
Grants ranging from $2,500 to $5,000 were awarded to three high schools, five middle schools, five elementary schools and seven school districts in Chelan, Douglas and Okanogan counties. Stronger Schools is a competitive program that supports enriched student experiences and teacher development opportunities in K-12 schools in the three-county area.
“The foundation feels strongly about supporting education across North Central Washington, specifically those innovative, supplemental programs and projects that take a classroom or school to another level,” said CFNCW’s Director of Community Philanthropy, Denise Sorom.
Schools and school districts can apply for $5,000 each to benefit school programs or district-wide needs and initiatives.
“This year we received more requests from schools than ever before – some that we haven’t supported in the past,” Sorom said.
CFNCW was established in 1986 and manages $64 million in assets through 400 individualized funds. It has awarded more than $35 million in grants and scholarships.

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