— Originally Published May 28, 2021. Adapted from ScripType (source)
In a school year like no other, Highland Local School District teachers and staff are finding creative ways to keep learners engaged. The Highland Foundation is supporting these efforts with the announcement of two new grants that will immediately benefit students.
The One District, One Book grant at the elementary school level and the Orchestra Artist-in-Residence grant at the middle and high schools provide more than $17,000 in funding that 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,” said Theresa Wright, executive director of The Highland Foundation. “Yet these grants do just that, creating programs that connect students with common experiences while deepening their educational opportunities.”
One District, One Book grant funds will be used to purchase a book for each K-5 student in the district for the eighth consecutive year. Students read the book collectively with parents, teachers and classmates and activities in the school and community help 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 School 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 as it is 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 master class with acclaimed string musician Tracy Silverman. Students will participate in sessions with Silverman for the remainder of the school year and will participate in a three-day, hands-on live workshop set 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 School District truly special.”
For more than 15 years, The Highland Foundation has helped acquire and distribute resources that supplement learning opportunities for students to the Highland schools. Twice a year, the foundation accepts grant applications from district faculty and staff. Visit highlandfoundation.org to learn more or to donate. ∞