Three $5,000 grants from the Community Foundation of North Central Washington will support a mentorship coordinator at the Independent Learning Center (ILC), and pay for musical instruments at Liberty Bell High School and Methow Valley Elementary School.
During her three years as mentorship coordinator, Kelleigh McMillan said she has been connecting students at the ILC with “positive, caring adults who want to work with teenagers.” Students sometimes go to a mentor’s workplace to learn a skill, or the mentor comes to the school to help students develop their academic skills.
“We are very creative and open to what that looks like,” McMillan said.
The mentorship coordinator’s role includes an element of social work for students with personal challenges, said McMillan, who has a background in social work. The grant acknowledges this with monetary support for McMillan’s role as social worker.
“I’m grateful the Community Foundation recognizes that and is responding to that,” McMillan said.
Anyone who is interested in mentoring a student in the Methow Valley School District may contact McMillan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A second $5,000 Community Foundation grant will help pay for a set of orchestral chimes, to be used by the concert band and other music groups at Liberty Bell. Nonprofit groups such as Cascadia Music will also be able to use them, band teacher Matt Armbrust said. Purchase of the $8,000 chimes is also supported by a $1,000 donation from the Winthrop Music Association. The rest of the cost is borne by the school, Armbrust said.
The third $5,000 grant will buy violins and cellos for music classes at Methow Valley Elementary School, so students can learn these instruments at no cost to them.
Superintendent Tom Venable said support from the grants “allows us to close the gap between what the state provides and what it actually costs to provide all students with access to a coherent, high quality K-12 music program.”
The three awards come from the Community Foundation’s Stronger Schools grant, which supports “programs that enrich experiences for students, support teacher development and foster opportunities for schools to achieve their goals,” a foundation press release said.