FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...In a school year like no other, Highland teachers and staff are finding creative ways to keep learners engaged — and The Highland Foundation is supporting these efforts with the announcement of two new grants that will benefit students immediately. The One District, One Book (ODOB) grant at the elementary school level and the orchestra artist-in-residence grant at the middle school and high school provide $17,000+ in funding, and will touch nearly every student in the district.
“Over the past year, finding ways to bring students and the community together has become more challenging than ever. Yet these grants do just that, creating programs that connect students with common experiences while deepening their educational opportunities,” says Theresa Wright, Executive Director of The Highland Foundation.
The ODOB program is a popular one within the elementary schools. For the eighth consecutive year, grant funds will be used to purchase individual copies of a book for each K-5 student in the district. Students then read the book collectively: with parents, their teachers and their classmates. Activities within the schools and throughout the community help to boost enthusiasm for the shared reading experience. The book title is revealed to much fanfare within the schools, with teacher videos, teaser events and more leading up to the announcement.
“In a year where so much is different, I am so excited to share this experience with all of our elementary students,” says Sharon elementary teacher Julie Boggs, who co-wrote the grant with fellow Sharon teacher Kris Kosta-Stalder. “Students have been asking and waiting all year to learn what book we will be reading, and I love the excitement that comes from all of us reading the same book at the same time! This year's title is especially topical – it’s an inspiring story of determination, friendship and perseverance.”
At the middle school and high school, a separate Foundation grant is helping orchestra students participate in a “Masterclass” with acclaimed string musician Tracy Silverman. Foundation support allows students to participate supports in sessions with Silverman for the remainder of this school year, as well as a three-day hands-on live workshop for next school year.
“These grants wouldn’t be possible without the support of our donors,” says Wright. “They reflect the commitment of our community as well as the hard work of our teachers. They are what make the Highland district truly special.”
For more than 15 years, The Highland Foundation has helped acquire and distribute resources to Highland Local Schools – resources that supplement learning opportunities for students. Twice a year the Foundation accepts grant applications from district faculty and staff. Visit highlandfoundation.org to learn more or to donate.