The 2020-21 school year has been overwhelming not just for teachers, but for our communities, schools, students and families who have all experienced the stress of learning outside the classroom through the uncertainty of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Over a year ago, teachers across the region were asked to change their way of teaching midstream by putting on hold the classes, schedules and activities they had planned and replacing them with Zoom or online classes. Teachers made plans for how they would make connections and build relationships with students they had not met in person, constantly rethinking their tactics, because no one was really sure how the year might progress.
It’s no wonder the past school year was fraught with worry and anxiety for students and teachers alike. The North Central Education Foundation Board worked tirelessly the past year and a half to ease the fears and meet the needs of teachers during this unprecedented time of Covid-19’s impact upon education. We are amazed how the extraordinary teachers in our region have learned to adjust and rethink how to engage students and deliver the best education possible. Teachers sought funding in ways to fit their needs during a year when teaching was required both online and in the classroom.
How did NCEF adapt to meet teachers’ needs?
- Teachers were surveyed to ask what we as a Foundation could do to help with their needs during Covid-19 restrictions.
- An online application was created for teachers’ convenience.
- Flexibility for deadlines was offered on projects that were delayed due to school closures.
- Thanks to our generous donors, for the first time NCEF was able to fund all applications (in the amount of $300, a total of $34,000).
Grant funding was awarded in a number of categories, including:
- STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math)
- Health/Social Emotional & Behavioral Wellness
- Financial Education
As shared by Dr. Sue Kane, who wrote the foreword for “It Goes On,” our 19th edition of Teachers Make a Difference, “Ms. Terri Wydner was one of those teachers with years of experience who made all the difference for my youngest son. As if she had done it hundreds of times (even though I know this wasn’t the case), Ms. Terri recorded the ‘circle time’ for her asynchronous students, welcoming each one by name with a song. My son’s face brightened when he heard his name and he asked to watch that video back a dozen more times that week. Her voice brought a calm intention to the morning and he felt seen and important to her – even at a distance. My heart is still filled with gratitude for Ms. Terri and so many others who realize the powerful way they impact young lives with their attention and care.
“In a typical year, these men and women are truly worthy of this recognition and celebration for the way that they bring their whole hearts and minds to their profession. They bring new ideas and opportunities to our students, and inspire youth to find footing on a path of fulfillment. This year, there aren’t enough words to show these educators how much they are needed and appreciated. They are the guiding lights that helped us keep our bearings. They are incredibly brave and dedicated professionals who gave our students, schools and communities hope and pride.”
Remarkably, as shown by the evaluations returned by our Teacher Classroom Grant award winners, the projects these resilient teachers selected enhanced their teaching and helped engage students while experiencing the difficulty of learning online. NCEF helped teachers meet essential classroom needs during this challenging year – and we couldn’t have done it without you! We would like to express our heartfelt appreciation for the sponsors of past and present Teacher Classroom Grants, including:
- 9/11 Spirit of America Memorial
- Chelan-Douglas Land Trust
- Clear Risk Solutions
- Community Foundation of NCW
- Confluence Health
- Crunch Pak
- Friends of Lower Grand Coulee (FLGC)
- LASER Science/Pacific Science Center
- North Cascades Bank
- Olive Garden
- Plan Member Services
- School Employees Credit Union
- Washington Association of Grants Managers
- Wenatchee Rotary
- Woods Family Music & Arts Fund
- Young Adult Consumer Education Trust (YACET)
- NCESD and NCEF Board members
- Many other generous individuals in our community and region
North Central ESD plays a major role in providing support for the North Central Education Foundation Teacher Classroom Grants. The ESD’s partnership with the North Central Education Foundation is invaluable in providing funding for teacher classroom grants and other services for the students, teachers and schools in our region.
As a foundation, we will continue to secure the funding needed to support teachers’ projects in our region. We are so appreciative of our remarkable educators who have learned to adjust and rethink how to engage students and deliver the best education possible. We anticipate that our teachers will continue to seek funding in ways that don’t fit our usual grant categories, so we will continue to update our categories to be more relevant in these ever-changing times.
If you or your organization would like to join us in making a lasting impact on students by supporting the teacher grant program, please contact Eldene Wall, our Liaison with NCESD, at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also contact any of our board members.
Teacher Classroom Grant Awards
Each year a special Teacher Classroom Grant Award reception is held in October to honor teachers whose applications have been approved for awards. Unfortunately, because of Covid restrictions, it was not possible to hold the event in 2020. See a list of teachers who received awards in 2020
Learn more and apply for a 2021-22 grant! Our 2021 Award Reception is scheduled October 28 at Pybus Market and we hope you will be able to attend.
Fresh Off the Presses! Teachers Make a Difference IXX “It Goes On”
The 19th edition of Teachers Make a Difference “It Goes On” features stories students have written about their teachers that were included with their Teachers Make a Difference scholarship applications. The book features our 2020 scholarship winners:
- Daniela Carvajal Macias, 2020 graduate of Wenatchee High School
- Tanner Sackman, 2020 graduate of Omak High School
- Nadia Verduzco Farias, 2020 graduate of Manson High School
Also featured is a foreword by Dr. Sue Kane, Co-Director of the Apple STEM Network and director of the NCESD STEM Initiative and a story by 2021 Regional Teacher of the Year Jackie Hentges, Brewster School District.
We are also pleased to include stories from our 2020 NCEF Teacher Classroom Grant award winners. These stories demonstrate the outstanding work of our resilient teachers during this unprecedented year impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
You can help support our Teachers Make a Difference by making a donation to our scholarship fund that benefits students who have a goal of earning a teaching degree. Make a donation to our Teachers Make a Difference scholarship project in any amount and receive your copy of the 2020 Teachers Make a Difference book.
Another great way to donate to North Central Education Foundation is to choose NCEF for Amazon Smile Donations.
Thank you to our Business & Community Partners