During the first half of February, the Foundation for Edmonds School District (FESD) received multiple financial grants totaling $20,000 during February 2019. The FESD raises and distributes funds to support students and programs in the Edmonds School District (ESD).
The Norcliffe Foundation awarded the FESD a $10,000 grant to expand the College Access for All program. Additionally, the Inspirus Credit Union recently gave the FESD a $10,000 gift to be used in all of its programs.
The FESD’s College Access for All program helps knock down barriers to higher education for students enrolled in the ESD. The program primarily provides stipends and scholarships for ESD students identified as coming from low-income families.
Financial assistance is offered by the program for college entrance and world language exams, College in the High School course fees, summer school credit recovery and scholarships for post-secondary schooling programs. In 2018, the College Access for All program served over 3,000 high schoolers in the ESD.
The Executive Director of the FESD, Deborah Anderson, expressed gratitude for the Norcliffe Foundation’s grant.
“It’s a known fact that access to education after high school has become a prerequisite for skilled employment and careers of the future,” Anderson said. “Underwriting the cost of exams, college-credit courses, summer school and post-secondary tuition is a common-sense approach that opens doors for more of our students. We thank The Norcliffe Foundation for supporting them with this generous grant.”
The Norcliffe Foundation was established in 1952 as a family-operated foundation that has provided grants to non-profit organizations involved in human service, healthcare, civic and community service, education, arts and culture. Donations are made to organizations within the 11 counties of the Puget Sound region for capital and infrastructure projects, program and project support, general operating and program capacity building.
The $10,000 gift from Inspirus Credit Union will be used by the FESD to fund all of its work, which includes creative classroom and school-wide grants, summer school credit recovery class fees and digital literacy. Additionally, the Nourishing Network, which focuses on providing meals and other essential services to hungry and homeless students to help reduce stress student families may face over basic needs, will also be supported with this new funding. Finally, FESD funding also helps cover world language, PSAT and College in the High School test fees.
“Inspirus has a long history of investing in public education and strong communities throughout Washington State. We are honored to be among the organizations it supports,” Anderson said. “Partnerships are at the heart of the Foundation’s 35-year history, so I’m pleased to count Inspirus among our partners as we continue to implement programs designed to ensure that every student in our district has the resources to learn, thrive and contribute to our vibrant community.”
The Seattle-based Inspirus Credit Union, established in 1936 by a teacher, has over 80,000 members with over $1 billion in assets. Inspirus has a particular focus on using its financial assets to benefit schools and educational institutions across Washington state. In 2017, Inspirus gave $390,873 to Washington educational organizations.
Inspirus Community Engagement and Partnership Coordinator Pamela Shelp expressed the reasoning behind the donation.
“It is evident that the Foundation for Edmonds School District creatively and effectively bridges barriers to school success,” Shelp said. “Our two organizations share a common belief that quality public schools and secure families make for thriving communities. This gift is an investment in those priorities.”
The ESD services over 20,200 students, of which approximately 33 percent are eligible for free and reduced and around 600 of which will face homelessness each school year. In 2018, the FESD donated over $600,000 to programs that aid students enrolled in ESD schools. The FESD was founded in 1984 and is managed by an all-volunteer board.