By Jenna Liston
The Westfield Education Foundation has given out $1 million worth of scholarships and grants to seniors at Westfield High School and teachers in Westfield Washington Schools since its inception in 1986.
For 30 years, the nonprofit foundation has raised money to support teachers and students who have applied for grants and scholarships. Teachers can request up to $1,000 for innovative teaching ideas that will engage students in and outside of the classroom. These ideas can include projects such as outdoor gardens, building model roller coasters to define the laws of physics and bringing in artists and programs for students to learn from.
This year, $45,850 was given to seniors who applied for scholarships in the graduating class of 2016 and $15,000 for teaching grants throughout WWS.
Fundraising from events such as the Underground Railroad Run, specified license plates purchased through the BMV and voluntary payroll deduction contributions from Westfield Washington Schools staff all contribute to the funds of scholarships and grants.
Jan Skinner, Westfield Education Foundation executive director, said working with the foundation for the past 13 years has been a very rewarding experience.
“Our million-dollar-award achievement would not be possible without the support of our dedicated sponsors, participants and volunteers,” Skinner said.
Students can apply for scholarships ranging from $500 to $6,000, online at Naviance.
Duane Lutz, president of the foundation, said he is excited to see the foundation’s growth in the upcoming years.
“As our school district continues to grow, our goal is to increase the annual awards to further promote education excellence,” Lutz said.