Spring Update from the Bellingham Public Schools Foundation

A Message from the Bellingham Public Schools Foundation

Dear families and community,

What a wonderful year it’s been! This school year, classrooms and students at each of our 22 schools received nearly $400,000 in Bellingham Public Schools Foundation grants. Foundation donors provided the additional resources needed to ensure each child is seen and loved and to support for our educators to pursue exciting possibilities in the classroom. Below are some Foundation updates we are excited to share with you as summer approaches.

Boogie for our bands
Do you love good music and helping support music in our schools? Please join us for the fifth annual Brother Ray’s Benefit for middle school band programs from 3 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, June 15 in Boundary Bay Brewery’s All Ages Beer Garden.

Musicians performing that day include the Atlantics, Baby Cakes, as well as student groups. This musical celebration will raise funds for sixth grade band programs by providing skilled band tutors in the classroom, giving our future musicians extra help at the beginning of their journey.

If you have a musical instrument to donate, bring it to the event or drop it off at the District Office. We’ll get it into the hands of a budding young musician.

Poster for Brother's Rays Benefit Show

Squeals on Wheels grant update

Nearly $40,000 was awarded this year to support BIG Ideas in our classrooms. Here’s an update on the Squeals on Wheels Birchwood Mountain Bike Club BIG Idea grant.

Quote from Kelly Morgan, Birchwood teacher: “This has been the gift that keeps on giving! Kids at Birchwood are able to access the bikes for Bike Rodeo, brain breaks, and mountain bike club. Mountain biking is an important part of the Bellingham culture that kids who come from economically-challenged families may not be able to access due to logistics or finances.  These bikes allow kids who don’t have them to join the Mountain Bike Club.”

Photo below:  Birchwood students ride the local trails thanks to the “Squeals on Wheels” grant.

Kids with their bikes
Foundation Ambassador Program

This new program invites community members (students, parents, grandparents or anyone who is interested in our public schools) to join with us in supporting students. We’re excited about some new projects that the ambassador group is looking to champion this coming school year. Stay tuned for more!

Photo below:  Students ambassadors Chloe Hovdesven from Kulshan Middle School and Aviva Weinsten from Whatcom Middle School with Foundation board member Julie Batten.
Julie Batten with two students

YES cards

This amazing program allows teachers to say ‘yes’ to a child in need. From new shoes to a bus pass and everything in between, the needs are widespread and your generosity to the YES program is making a difference. The following quotes are just a few that have come in from district staff:

  • “We have two sisters whose mom is having health issues and the girls are talking about how much stuff they’re taking to the pawn shop. Their most pressing need is helping with the electricity bill…anything would help.”
  • “My student is currently homeless and living out of a hotel. A grocery gift card would be so helpful.”
  • “I have a student who needs a city bus pass so she can attend the after-school program at Shuksan for the rest of the year. Her family does not have a car and it’s too far to walk. It’d be great if she has the bus pass for this summer to access the grocery store and the public library.”

 Each of these students received support because of the belief that all children need to be seen and loved. If you’d like to support this program or others, make your gift today.

 We are so grateful to each school family that made a donation this year. Thank you!

Note: The Bellingham Public Schools Foundation is led by an active group of community members with a diversity of backgrounds and experience. If you would be interested in joining the Foundation’s Board of Trustees, you can learn more here.