Issaquah Schools Foundation awards Kateri Brow enrichment grants

April 10, 2012

By Tom Corrigan

Celebrating receiving an Issaquah Schools Foundation Kateri Brow grant at Issaquah Valley Elementary School are (from left) teacher Heidi Jones; Robin Callahan, foundation executive director; Principal Diane Holt; foundation board member Neva Luke; and teacher Julie Ann Enyeart. By Tom Corrigan

Late last month, the Issaquah Schools Foundation awarded $66,505 worth of grants to 17 teachers or groups of teachers at schools throughout the local school district.

Named for a past superintendent of the Issaquah School District, Kateri Brow Big Idea Grants are awarded “for programs that reflect vision and innovation in education,” according to the ISF website.

At Issaquah Valley Elementary School, teachers Julie Ann Enyeart and Heidi Jones received almost $2,000 for their “Buddies, Books and Bags” program. The idea is to increase student access and interest in reading, Enyeart said.

Statistics cited by Enyeart show the average middle class home has about 199 books in it. The number drops significantly for those in the lower middle class. For those in the lowest income levels, the number is .4 books. Enyeart remarked she doesn’t understand how anyone can have less than a whole book. During their sales pitch to the foundation board, Enyeart and Jones stacked 199 books to show the board what such a collection might look like.

For their program, Enyeart said the teachers will purchase books appropriate for the youngest readers in kindergarten through second grade. Students will be allowed to take home two books at a time. The program also will provide students with a stuffed reading buddy and a bag to carry the books and the reading buddy. Enyeart believes the buddies provide a feeling of safety for the children and also give them a friend to read to.

“Because it’s all in a bag, it can go anywhere,” she added.

If students need to accompany a parent to work, for example, the bag, books and buddy easily could go along for the ride.

“We really believe it will make a difference,” Enyeart said.

On the Web

See a complete list of Issaquah Schools Foundation grant winners at www.issaquahschoolsfoundation.org.

Other Kateri Brow grants were spread around the district. Cindy Parsons, who teaches at Discovery and Challenger elementary schools, won $1,900 to implement robotics partnerships for highly capable students at various elementary schools. One of the biggest awards went to an instructor at Issaquah High School for a forensic science program. The grant totaled $9,939.

Earlier in March, the foundation handed out its Classroom Enrichment Grants to 11 projects in the district. The Classroom Enrichment Grants are smaller, ranging up to $1,000. Winners included Apollo Elementary School Principal Susan Mundell for a summer reading program. Instructors Karen Kline and Sandy Mulls will purchase library books to support the science program at Sunset Elementary School.

Tom Corrigan: 392-6434, ext. 241, or www.tcorrigan@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

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