Wallingford-Swarthmore School Board
By Katie Crawford
The Strath Haven Panther mascot made a visit to the Wallingford-Swarthmore School District Board meeting on Monday night. Despite limited visibility, the mascot managed to deliver a check for $15,491.64 to board president Dr. Richard Sonntag and superintendent Dr. Lisa Palmer.
The funds — all raised through the activities of the private Foundation for Wallingford-Swarthmore Schools — will be used in part to support teacher grants throughout the district. Frannie Reilly, Foundation president, was on hand to highlight for the board some of the funded projects for this year.
• All 5th grade students at Swarthmore-Rutledge School, with the assistance of an artist-in-residence, will study the multilayered process of creating a play from start to finish including exploration of elements of set design, staging, and performance. SRS will also add to the maker space resources available so that more children will have the opportunity to practice creating circuits and study simple machines. These hands-on tools will also be further integrated into the standardized curriculum.
• At Nether Providence Elementary School, upper level students will be trained to lead their own parent-teacher conferences as a way of deepening their own metacognition (awareness of how they learn). A mobile stand was also purchased for NPE to store and allow for greater mobility of the maker space products available to their students.
• Wallingford Elementary School is going to develop a guided reading library for its 2nd grade students.
• Strath Haven Middle School will purchase Lego Mindstorm kits which will enable students to build rovers similar in design to those now exploring Mars.
• Strath Haven High School will receive money to fund a robotics development program. In addition, funds will support the development of a mentoring and leadership program at the high school for new students, each of whom will be paired with an older student.
Foundation support of teacher grants like these was up more than $1,000 over last year. Foundation funds also purchased calculators and organizational tools for underprivileged students and provided stipends for college students who were hired to help at homework clubs in elementary schools in the district. In addition to the upcoming Panther Pajama Run and Pancake breakfast on November 12 and the annual Arts for Smarts event, the foundation is organizing its first golf outing on May 15 at Springhaven Golf Club, for which they are currently seeking sponsors. Information about the foundation and the upcoming run are available at supportwssd.org.
Pajamas, Pancakes, Fun and Fundraising
SHMS 8th graders are going to work alongside organizers of the Panther Pajama Run and Pancake Breakfast as part of their service project, which seeks to raise funds for The Connor Holland Foundation. This foundation provides financial and emotional support to families who are enduring the medical treatment of a loved one.
Connor Holland, the son of the foundation’s organizers, died from leukemia on September 4, 2011. While he was receiving treatment, he noticed that not all of the patients had cozy, fun pajamas like his. He asked his mother to go buy some for the other children. Connor’s Comfy PJs is one of the programs supported by the Connor Holland Foundation, distributing new pajamas to children receiving treatment.
Eighth graders, some of whom made a PJ-clad visit to the board meeting as well Monday night, will be collecting donations of new pajamas during the Panther PJ run on Saturday, November 12. On November 10, Connor’s family will be attending the annual Volleyball Night at the middle school. Eighth graders will also be selling cocoa to raise money at the night game of the middle school football team at King Field on November 2 to raise funds for the foundation.