The Wilton Education Foundation (WEF), a charitable nonprofit organization that provides funds for educational excellence and innovation within Wilton public schools, is pleased to announce the distribution of $102,000 raised in 2013.
The grants were funded by contributions from local residents, businesses, corporate donors and Ambler Farm.
The money will support district-wide projects that have a broad impact on academic and enrichment learning. Specific target areas include technology advances and implementations, supplemental tech-related classroom materials, professional development scholarships, and funds to enhance arts and music in the schools.
How Does the $102,000 Break Down?
The donation translates into $45,000 to purchase SMARTBoards and nine mounted projectors at Wilton High School and Miller Driscoll. The foundation’s gift enables the Wilton School District to reach 100% deployment of SMARTBoard technology in all core academic areas in all schools. Over the summer months, $20,000 was invested in faculty development.
A grant of $23,000 will support the I-pad institute. The I-pad institute will offer targeted training to staff members Pre K- 12 to ensure that technology in the classroom is optimized to benefit students.
Middlebrook and Wilton High School were allocated $4,000 to support their I-STEM programs. Middlebrook 6th grades will now have access to Lego Mindstorms Kits previously only offered to 7th and 8th graders.
Both Middlebrook and Wilton High School will so use the I-STEM grant to purchase camcorders to enable students to record and present their projects.
A grant of $5,000 will assist in offering a range of enrichment programs to support performing arts.
WEF's Board of Directors is committed to the belief that excellent public schools are essential to the social and economic fabric of the Wilton community. As the new school year commences, the organization is actively strategizing, refining and enhancing its current programs, developing fresh initiatives, and implementing a number of strategic transitions.
WEF Expanded Leadership
Scott Weber and Matthew Greene will continue their roles at Co-Chairman. In addition, the foundation has elected four new board members, appointed three advisors. Also announced were three new roles; one to address volunteer engagement, another to connect with faculty and students, and a third to liaise with the Board of Education.
“It’s meaningful to collaborate with this impressive group of community leaders who graciously give of their time and resources," said WEF Advisor, Heidi von Hoffmann in a release.
Nine Signature Benefits, Five Educational Programs
Each year, the Wilton Education Foundation hosts nine signature benefits and five educational programs. These initiatives are comprised of “Reading Rocks!,” a read-a-thon promoting literacy in elementary students; “Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader,” a game show pitting fifth graders against teachers and older students; “Career Awareness Day” and “Real World,” opportunities for students to gain exposure to various professions; the “Get Smart 5K;” “Acoustic Wilton,” a showcase of local talent, and more.
Upcoming events include “Read Aloud Day,” which is held in October at Miller-Driscoll and Cider Mill schools, and the “Annual Appeal,” which kicks off in November.
“The community’s support of our work enables us to not only raise money for our schools, but also allows us to develop creative programs and inspiring events that help bring the people of Wilton together while illuminating the amazing talents and aptitude of our students,” said Scott Weber, Co-Chairman in the release.
The Wilton Education Foundation provides a vehicle for the entire community to support district-wide initiatives. The organization exists not to replace public school funding dollars, but to improve public education, enhance available opportunities, and bring additional resources. Many worthwhile projects that add substantial value to Wilton schools receive a significant jumpstart as a direct result of the foundation. To establish funding priorities on quarterly basis, WEF works closely with Gary Richards, Superintendent of Wilton Schools, and the Board of Education. According to Superintendent Richards, "One of the most rewarding things I do in my position is to find ways to support innovation in the classroom. The immediate impact these investments have on the students never ceases to amaze me."
About the Wilton Education Foundation
The Wilton Education Foundation is dedicated to enriching the learning experience for Wilton students by providing ongoing professional development for teachers, the latest in innovative and interactive teaching tools, support for music and the arts, and “beyond the classroom” experiences to provide our children with the confidence and skills to succeed in college and beyond. For more information, please visit the Wilton Education Foundation website.