Educators teach our children much more than general subject matter. They help children grow and become good citizens by instilling core values, including teamwork, kindness and integrity. At OnPoint, we recognize the essential role that schools and educators play within our communities. We were founded by teachers, and we will continue to honor our roots by supporting education. The centerpiece of that effort is the OnPoint Prize for Excellence in Education. Part of our OnPoint Prize campaign includes our Community Builder Award, which supports school projects.
In celebration of the 10th anniversary of the OnPoint Prize, we added an additional $2,000 grant as part of our Community Builder Award, which was created to provide funding for schools to complete a project that enriches the winning school, its students and faculty. This year, four schools received the Community Builder Award, receiving $1,000 for a project of their choice. A fifth school, selected by community votes, received $2,000; there were nine finalists for this additional grant and 4,256 votes were cast. We are excited to highlight the innovative ideas of our Community Builder Award winners and share how they will use this additional resource.
Bridger Scholars Program, Portland Public Schools
Portland Public Schools was selected by our community members to receive $2,000 for its Bridger Scholars Program. The Bridger Scholars program promotes scholastic accomplishment through mentoring, recognition and support to help students achieve academic success. The program awards students who achieve Cs or higher in all classes with sweatshirts and t-shirts. Teachers also support students who have not yet met the requirement by establishing student mentor groups and meeting with students individually to address their academic, social and emotional needs. The Bridger Scholars program will use the award to provide snacks for all participants, which will ensure the students’ basic needs are met.
Friendship Courtyard, Molalla High School
Molalla High School from the Molalla River School District was also selected for the Community Builder Award and will receive $1,000 for its Friendship Courtyard project. Molalla High School will use this award to redesign its interior patio into the Friendship Courtyard, a beautiful space that will be inclusive and conflict-free. The building and design of this space will be achieved through co-curricular collaboration, with many different student groups and classes participating. The student senate will create an opening ceremony to introduce the final project, as well as plan activities in the space that promote inclusiveness and kindness.
The award will be used to purchase:
- Materials for students to build patio tables, chairs and covered structures
- Plants for horticulture students to increase the visual beauty of the area
- An updated lighting scheme designed by graphic arts and industrial arts students
- Supplies for art and metals classes to create signage that displays themes of inclusiveness, kindness and community
SUN School Homework Tutors, Prescott Elementary School
Prescott Elementary School from Parkrose School District will receive $1,000 for its Schools Uniting Neighborhoods (SUN) program. In collaboration with SEI (Self Enhancement, Inc.), the primary goal of the SUN program is to guide underserved youth to realize their full potential. The award will be used to introduce certified teaching aides to the SUN school program. These aids will offer homework help consistent with classroom learning techniques. This tutoring will provide hope to individual students and enhance the quality of community life.
Special Needs Projector and Sound System, Tucker Maxon School
Tucker Maxon School from the Portland Public Schools District will receive $1,000 for its special needs projector and sound system. This award will provide deaf children resources to succeed academically, including additional services to help them develop their comprehension and spoken language skills.
Currently, deaf and hard-of-hearing students are unable to access wireless audio in Tucker Maxon School’s new STEM lab and gym. In classrooms, wireless technology allows teachers to transmit their voices directly into an FM receiver on students’ hearing equipment. With this grant, Tucker Maxon School will purchase the specialized equipment that will allow special needs students to access sound in all of their spaces, including during science, music and art instruction, as well as school assemblies and performances.
Ballet Folklorico After School Club, Vose Elementary School
Vose Elementary School from the Beaverton School District will receive $1,000 for its Ballet Folklorico After School Club for 2nd and 3rd graders. The goal of this program is to improve students’ identity and increase their sense of belonging, as well as to foster community engagement and bridge the gap between Hispanic and non-Hispanic community members. Vose Elementary is a Title 1 school offering an English-Spanish dual-language program where participants have the opportunity to experience both languages and become bilingual, biliterate and bicultural. Through this program, students will become more culturally aware and embrace Hispanic culture and traditions through dance.
We are pleased to support all of these projects through the OnPoint Prize Community Builder Award. Each project represents an innovative approach to strengthening our communities. Thank you to everyone who nominated and voted for these programs—we appreciate your help identifying great initiatives and ideas!
Do you know of an excellent school program that could benefit from additional financial support? Consider making a nomination for next year’s Community Builder Award as part of the OnPoint Prize for Education in 2020. You can learn more about the OnPoint Prize, including all of the 2019 winners at www.onpointprize.com.