Dear Leland Public School community,
We hope this letter finds you and your family well during this challenging school year. We would like to share some good news from the Leland Educational Foundation (LEF) and familiarize you with our goal of supporting LPS students and teachers. LEF is a non-profit organization whose primary mission is to enhance the cultural and academic experience of LPS students. Through generous contributions from parents and the local community, LEF is able to fund specific educational needs and projects that are not covered by the school budget.
In past years LEF has sponsored field trips and experiences, helping to send students to Camp Hayo-Went-Ha, Grand Rapids and even Guatemala. We would like to highlight some of the fantastic academic experiences and much-needed support that our donors were able to provide students during this past year. In addition, we also want to share our vision for the future and highlight an exciting new donation matching pledge.
Financing the New Elementary English Curriculum
LEF has committed to financing the new K-8 English Language Arts (ELA) curriculum called ‘Wit and Wisdom’ over the next 3 years. This curriculum is updated with current teaching techniques and is supplemented with online materials that will prove invaluable during times where virtual learning is necessary.
LPS Salmon in the Classroom
The Salmon in the Classroom project was a partnership between classrooms in Michigan and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. LEF was able to fund a 75 gallon tank to house 150 salmon eggs for Jenifer Zywicki’s AP Environmental Science class. During their stay, the salmon generated learning opportunities in classrooms throughout the school as they went through their life cycle. Throughout the year, various elementary students visited Mrs. Zywicki’s room and learned about the life cycle of the salmon. In the spring, Paul Stowe visited the AP Environmental Science and 8th Grade classes to discuss his role at the Platte River State Hatchery and the Salmon stocking program. Along the way, students learned ALOT about water chemistry and monitoring the aquarium environment. The early ending of the 2019-2020 necessitated releasing the two-remaining fry in Fishtown with special permission from the DNR.
WiFi Hotspots for Families During Stay-at-Home Learning
When Governor Whitmer announced her plans to shut down in person learning for the remainder of the school year, the LPS administration had to scramble to assure equitable education opportunities for all families in the district. They quickly identified 15 families with no internet access, severely limiting the ability of those 25 children to participate in the virtual classroom. LPS was able to provide an emergency grant to purchase wireless internet hotspots needed to ensure those children could continue to learn with the rest of their classmates.
“Love Your Library”
LEF was able to provide a grant to the LPS library in order to purchase much needed new books. As a result, LPS was able to host a virtual May is Reading Month. Library staff were able to deliver, or make available for pick up, the new books when many libraries were shutting down. Students emailed their requests and bags were filled for pick up or delivery. Research shows that print materials are still the best way to develop strong reading habits and cognitive stamina. Now more than ever the support of LEF will have a significant, lasting impact on students today and well into the future.
Looking Ahead for LEF
During this unprecedented time we, as a board, have realized that our priorities and direction this year may be a little different. While there may not be any overnight, long distance field trips, there is still a need for basic necessities to learning, as well as a need for LEF to plan for the future known costs like (hopefully!) spring field trips and our curriculum funding pledge.
Without the support of donors and volunteers we would not be able to provide these invaluable services to the children in our community. Last year we were able to raise over $40,000. More than half of that came from our fall auction.
It may come as no surprise that we had to cancel our annual fall auction this year. We plan on bringing this fun event back as soon as we possibly can. In the meantime, LEF still needs your support to be able to enhance our hard-working kids’ educational experience.
You have a unique opportunity to make a bigger difference right now. Dick Cochran, whose granddaughters attend LPS, has offered to match any donations up to $10,000 made through February 2021.
Please donate and share to help us reach our total match goal of $10,000. Thank you so much for your support!