WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (MARCH 15, 2019) — The Williamsport Area School District Education Foundation (WASDEF) has announced it has awarded $12,304 through its 2018-2019 Challenge Grant Program to benefit two district programs.
A grant of $9,600 to the district’s athletic program will be used to launch a girls volleyball team at Williamsport Area Middle School. Funding will be used to provide initial funding for the program, supporting costs associated with equipment, uniforms, transportation and coaches.
“This is an exciting opportunity we have now that the high school team is in place and experienced success this year,” said Athletic Director Sean McCann. “The next step for us is the middle school team.”
A grant of $2,704 was approved to enhance the seventh-grade robotics curriculum, as requested by teacher Dustin Brouse, who oversees the school’s new FutureLab. Funding will be used to purchase six Sphero Bolt Robots, four iPads and accessories to complete assigned projects.
“The Sphero Bolt is a great introduction to robotics,” Brouse said. “(It) has no external parts, so it lets students focus on programming instead of building.”
“The programming knowledge they gain in seventh grade will provide a skillset for students taking part in the eighth-grade robotics curriculum that focuses on the mechanical part of robotics,” Brouse said.
New to its granting process this year, WASDEF’s Challenge Grant Program allows teachers and administrators to request available funding for a clearly defined and articulated need and/or opportunity of high impact that aligns to and/or enhances district curricula. Requests also must detail program sustainability.
So far this school year, the education foundation has awarded more than $31,000 through its Challenge Grant Program to support enhancements to the district’s academic, arts and athletic programs.
“We’re proud to be able to support a number of new initiatives and program enhancements this year,” said WASDEF Executive Director Greg Hayes. “We’re especially thankful to those who continue to support the foundation. They have allowed us to grow our funding opportunities to support these grants that have significant student impact.”
WASDEF is the recognized nonprofit affiliate of the school district. The education foundation facilitates charitable giving and permanent legacies based on individual areas of interest in educational innovation, the arts, athletics and scholarships. For more information, or to make a gift to the foundation, visit www.wasdeducationfoundation.org.