What are you thankful for?
Here at Lake Washington Schools Foundation, we're thankful for the generosity of our donors who make the programs that we fund possible. We're thankful for the compassion of the volunteers who give their time to help students. And I’m thankful to be here to represent a foundation that helps so many diverse and uniquely capable students.
In this Impact Update, I would like to share our gratitude and highlight a few ways that community support has made a difference this school year through LWSF programs, donations, and our dedicated volunteers.
Pantry Packs, powered by LWSF, provides food to LWSD students for weekend meals. This year with nearly 900 students requesting support we are more thankful than ever that our community can help this record number of students experiencing hunger focus their attention on learning rather than their rumbling tummies. Find Your Fit has helped LWSD families in figuring out what comes next after LWSD on their college journey. And already this year LWSF has helped LINKS expand Lunch Buddy Mentoring Services to five additional elementary schools, bringing mentors to 15 schools. I’m grateful for the mentors, and for the students who are open to help and support.
This year we have already been reminded too frequently of how urgently students and families need social-emotional learning, resiliency, and mental health support. I am grateful for our community partnerships and programs like Kids Coming Together and Balance in Mind that aim to meet that need from a variety of angles.
Thank you for your unrelenting support of LWSD students. I hope that you are inspired by what your community support has made possible and that as we embark on this busy holiday season, you find moments to engage in what inspires you most.
Helen K. Sernett, CFRE
Lake Washington Schools Foundation
Thank you to our volunteers!
This October, we were honored to have Microsoft and BECU participate in packing events for Pantry Packs, a program serving students across the district experiencing food-insecurity. Not only did these groups pack the packs, they also supplied the food – and what a lot of food it was!
Another Microsoft group helped us place "get to know you" questions on Jenga blocks which will be played between a LINKS mentor and their lunch buddy. They will each pull a block and answer that question to encourage a fun and positive interaction. These LINKS mentors volunteer an hour a week to connect with a young student who could benefit from additional social-emotional attention.
On November 15, we had our Ambassador Tea and gained serveral new ambassadors from different schools across the district. Thank you to our new Ambassadors for becoming an important communication liaison between their school and the Foundation to help keep their school community informed about LWSF programs and events. Email Katy@lwsf.org to become an ambassador for your school!
Thank you to ALL of our amazing volunteers. It really is true that together we can make a lasting difference in the lives of our students.
Balance in Mind is committed to the well-being of students
Balance in Mind, powered by LWSF, is a program led by passionate volunteers who work to raise awareness of youth emotional health and well-being. This school year, Balance in Mind volunteers have connected with parents, school counselors, educators, administrators, students and local community organizations to understand the need and what they can do to help.
What has Balance in Mind been up to since the beginning of the school year?
Find Your Fit has helped hundreds of LWSD families become college ready
To meet the growing demand of Find Your Fit college-prep workshops with Mary Pat O’Neil, we have added additional workshops this school year including Helping Your Teen Navigate The College Process, Apply to College 101, and College Essay and Application workshops. Whether you are new to the United States, an overwhelmed teen, or a parent looking to support your child through the college journey – Find Your Fit has been a valuable resource for LWSD families.
Be the first to know about upcoming workshops by connecting with us on social media. Our next workshop will be in January, registration opens soon! These workshops fill up quickly!
Kids Coming Together, providing opportunities for local youth to make new friends through social and service events
Kids Coming Together, powered by LWSF, has provided opportunities for local youth to make new friends and connect with their community through social and service events such as game nights, feeding farm animals, fixing up dolls for Eastside Baby Corner and CPR for middle school kids. All of these events are led by volunteer high school students who receive training from KCT so that they can help facilitate friendships. Currently serving Sammamish, this program's goal is to expand across the District.
If you have a student in grades 3-8 who is struggling to meet new friends, be sure to check out upcoming KCT events:
- Dec 2, Boys Game Night
- Dec 4, Girls Game Night
- December 11, Make Holiday Cards for Local Seniors