Official Press Release
November 4, 2021
Contact: Dana Fleming, Executive Director, firstname.lastname@example.org, 541-790-7744
***For Immediate Release***
EEF Grants Over $144,000 to 4J Schools and District-Wide Programs in First of Two Rounds for 2021-22 School Year
Eugene, OR – The Eugene Education Foundation’s Board of Directors is excited to announce the distribution of more than $144,000 in grants to schools and district programs that support social emotional learning and drive literacy, science, and other subject areas to help address challenges post- pandemic. This grant cycle is one of two EEF will offer to the district in an unusual year. The second round of applications will be reviewed and awarded in February 2022 in an effort to provide ongoing support to schools and the district. An additional Urgent Needs application – created in response to families dealing with the impacts of Covid-19 – will have a rolling deadline throughout the year.
For the past 28 years, EEF grants have brought much needed enrichment and access in 4J schools. During the past two unprecedented years of distance and hybrid learning, EEF met the need for rising inequities in our community by splitting the normal granting cycle into two separate cycles, allowing more access for teachers and staff. EEF recognized that a comprehensive approach was needed again this year.
The once-in-a-lifetime disruption in learning brought on by the pandemic has impacted students all over the world, including the 15,623 K-12 students in Eugene School District 4J. Teachers and administrators made heroic efforts throughout distance and hybrid learning. Now, as students have returned to classrooms for the first time in two years, the needs of our young learners have never been so great or diverse. With the help of individual donors and corporate sponsors, EEF is able to help to meet those needs through grants to 4J classrooms and district level programs.
“Our board was impressed with the variety of grants received this cycle,” said Dana Fleming, Executive Director of EEF. “We know that the 4J community is struggling, and that psychological and physical safety underpin student success. Any way that we can help support students and staff as they reenter their classrooms is a win.”
Grant proposals this year represented a broad spectrum of subject areas, including projects in literacy, science, math, adaptive supports, health and physical education, career technical education, and the arts. Additionally, there was an increase in requests for projects that promote social emotional learning. Grant awardee Mandy Brookshear, Edison Elementary Counselor, stated well why requests in this category have grown:
“Students are coming to school overwhelmed and anxious. They have learned over the last 2 years that the world has changed. Adults are much more stressed than they were, and unfortunately, that stress is weighing significantly on children. This is causing a mental health crisis throughout our youth. This crisis looks like social and emotional behaviors of concern, but it also looks like hyper-vigilance and perfectionism. There is not one student in our school that hasn’t been impacted by our current crisis and we need to methodically devote time, energy, and resources to address their needs!”
Examples of other grants include: Arts and Technology Academy’s Programmable Drones, which will provide the materials needed to build and operate drones in a new elective class at ATA; Buena Vista Elementary School’s Arte en Segundo Grado, through which students will hone their fine motor skills through a combination of painting, handwriting, and creative writing using the medium of watercolors; and North Eugene High School’s Library Nonfiction Renewal, that will allow Amary Taylor, NEHS Librarian, to fill gaps in content and perspective in NEHS’ nonfiction library collection. “We are SO excited to receive this generous grant from EEF! School libraries are expected to offer reliable, trustworthy, and current informational nonfiction books for students who may be curious about the world around them, about technology, about historical people and events, and about society. Unfortunately, our nonfiction section has fallen short on this promise, and the funds we’ve received will help us to renew these valuable resources,” stated Taylor.
In addition to awarding grants to each school, the Eugene Education Foundation also awarded six district-wide grants, including a grant that will fund the purchase of a 360-degree camera and related materials that will be available for use throughout the district for virtual tours and orientations, and other learning opportunities. Another district level grant will allow students with moderate to severe disabilities to engage in a variety of outings in their local community.
Since 1993, EEF has been the Foundation for 4J, connecting the generous support of donors, corporate sponsors, and school/parent partnerships with programs that create opportunities for equity, access, and engagement for 4J students. Support from organizations like SELCO Community Credit Union, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Sunrise Asian Food Market, Pape’, Bigfoot Beverages, and Rowell Brokaw Architects, along with many other businesses and individuals, make it possible for EEF to support 4J with annual grants.
Visit www.eeflane.org to learn how to support EEF, and to help make learning happen.
For a complete list of grants awarded during the 2021-22 school year, visit this link.