PWEF Grant Awards Ceremony honors teachers district-wide: Teachers receive grants to bring new learning opportunities to their classes

Aiden Seiden, Contributing Writer

Founded 14 years ago by Port resident and former school board president Amy Bass, the Port Washington Education Foundation (PWEF) serves to unite the diverse Port Washington community and enhance the Port Washington school system.  In its first 14 years, it has funded over 350 projects and awarded 1.1 million dollars in grant money, mostly donated by community members.

The purpose of the grants is to create a more advanced learning experience for the students.  Some grants being considered by the board for this year are “Chromebook carts for English classrooms” by Eileen Mills, “Medieval and Renaissance Painting” by Miranda Best and Terri Hall, and “Vex Robotics” by Thomas Stepanek.

The grant request by art teachers Ms. Best and Ms. Hall seeks funding so that the drawing and painting students can practice traditional medieval and renaissance techniques through the creation of their own original egg tempera paintings on a panel.

“I think the Ed Foundation will continue to prosper and succeed due to the determination of the board and its newly acquired members,” said Junior PWEF Board Assistant Vice President of Grants Aaron Cotumaccio.

There are many grant requests this year, but only a few recipients receive one.  The choosing process is rigorous, and it begins with the board getting together and organizing the grants by topic, such as technology, art, science, and English.  They then organize further by dividing these topics into categories, such as number of students served, the creativity of the project, budget, and the impact on the school.

Recently, the foundation created a junior board, consisting of high school students from all different grades.  The president, Paula Whitman, the executive vice president, Laura Silverstein, and the VP of development, Karen Sloan, created the junior board.  The aim of the junior board is to get a student’s perspective on the decisions of granting awards and the growth and development of the organization.

“The junior board is a great way to educate and involve students in what the Ed Foundation does for our school,” said Junior PWEF Vice President of Grants for Elementary Schools Anna Finklestein,.

The upcoming year looks promising for the Ed Foundation, which has been working in the Port Washington School District for over ten years.

“This year alone, the value of our grants will exceed $120,000, but another truly exciting thing taking place is our junior board.  In only its second year, we will have 44 Schreiber students serving on the board,” said Vice President of Development and School Board President Karen Sloan. “We can’t wait to see all that these amazing young men and women will add to our organization”.