What a rewarding year this has been for Circleville City School Foundation! An unprecedented number of mini grants and special project grants were awarded to teachers to institute innovative programs with their students. In fact, our budget for mini grants was revised after our successful auction in February, so that more funding would be available for deserving applicants. The annual “Raise Your Paw” auction raised more funds in February than the previous two years the fundraiser was held.
In the fall of 2015 there were several CCSF funded programs or projects put into action. The fifth graders at Circleville Elementary School(CES) began using the newest set of Chromebooks, purchased with funding by CCSF last spring. In October first graders were treated to a tour and studio time at the newly renovated Columbus Museum of Art, decorated their own mini pumpkins in the CES cafeteria and wrote creative endings to a spooky story starter. The Circleville High School Computer Science I class learned how to program microcontroller boards that were purchased with CCSF grant money. Thanks to the CCSF Metzger Fund, supplies were purchased for the CHS art students to create original designs on Vans Custom tennis shoes for a national contest.
Fundraising is at the core of how CCSF operates. Two fundraisers, Buffalo Wild Wings and Bob Evans, were held in September and November. Our annual appeal began in October and continues throughout the year. Our third annual “Raise Your Paw” auction raised nearly $26,000 this year. Each year we continue to garner more support from individuals and businesses in our community and beyond. The overwhelming participation of auction attendees through their generous bidding helped us surpass our anticipated fundraising goal.
Special projects grants were a highlight of this year’s funding. CCSF funding was provided for the collaboration between Josh Thomas’s Robotics class students and Mr. Hinton, the CHS football coach, for the construction of a robotics tackling dummy to be used in football practice in hopes of reducing concussions. Be watching for a follow-up report on this project in the fall of 2016 as the “dummy” is utilized for the first time. In February Robotics I and II students and their instructor, several CCSF Board members and other chaperones toured the Marysville Honda Manufacturing facility. This incredible opportunity, supported with private funding through CCSF, undoubtedly planted the seed for future careers in engineering. CCSF was pleased to sponsor five eighth grade students, so that they could attend the Washington, DC trip at the end of May. For the third year the Foundation sponsored a group of CHS science students who attended Stone Lab on Gibraltor Island at Lake Erie in May. The most recent special project grant, a two year step down grant, was awarded for the multi-tiered Tiger Media Arts program that will begin this fall. Nine juniors will represent CHS at Buckeye Girls State this summer, and two of them are being sponsored by CCSF.
Scholarships play an important role in the mission of CCSF. Three $2000 postgraduate scholarships were awarded to CHS graduates who are attending institutions of higher learning. Twenty Kids On Campus scholarships were awarded to CES first through fourth graders who will attend the Pickaway H.E.L.P.S. summer learning camp at Ohio Christian University in June. The S.T.A.R. (Senior Tiger Achievement Recognition) Award, our newest scholarship, was awarded to two seniors at the CHS Night of Distinction.
Multiple mini grants were funded by CCSF in the spring. At Circleville Middle School the students in the Resource Language Arts classroom now have student rocking chairs and adaptability equipment to help these special needs students focus through movement. Other CMS students have the use of a new mini iPad to record and edit student presentations and to create videos. The elementary art specialist was able to equip her classroom with educational art posters, reference cards and art DVDs with CCSF funding. The Foundation was delighted to provide funds for every 2016-17 kindergarten student to receive a book, as well as for sixteen special needs students at CES to attend Life Town, a realistic indoor “city” designed for students with special needs. At CHS the Introduction to Engineering program was awarded funding to purchase materials for the students to design and build an eight foot bridge that could support over 200 pounds.
Beginning this August CCSF will be the Provider for the CHS Drug-Free Club of America. As the club’s “provider”, four CCSF Board members will support the club by helping to acquire student incentives through community resources and to attend club meetings. There will undoubtedly be more news of this important addition to CHS at the beginning of the 2016-17 school year.
In closing, it has been my privilege to chair CCSF for the past two years, and I look forward to working alongside incoming chair Patty Truex. Together we are making a difference.