Holmes Harbor Rod &Gun Club board member Steve Mooney presented fifth-grade teacher John LaVassar with a $1,200 check to fund the Elementary School’s ‘Salmon in the Classroom’ project on Jan. 19. The Club is the fifth and latest sponsor of the South Whidbey Schools Foundation’s Adopt-A-Grant program.
The salmon project teaches K-5 students the complexities of the salmon lifecycle and environmental conservation using curriculum developed by Whidbey Watershed Stewards. The organization’s Educational Director, Lori O’Brien, M.A., works closely with students and teachers. One of the highlights of the project involves students raising several hundred coho salmon from egg to fry for release into Maxwelton Creek in the spring.
Mooney explained in a press release that the project is a perfect fit for Holmes Harbor Rod &Gun Club because its mission includes a focus on education, conservation, and recreational fishing.
Other foundation classroom grants adopted for this school year include: “Mr. Good: Mad, Fun, Science,” a fifth-grade project that brings local icon Leonard Good into the classroom to demonstrate physical science concepts of chemistry, matter and reactions. Dr. Ervin Knezek adopted the $1,400 project; “MakerSpace STEM kits 2016,” managed by teacher Valerie Brown, teaches students science and engineering principles, and was adopted by Dan &Ellen Sargent with a $750 contribution; “Focused Space for All,” managed by first-grade teacher Michele Zisette, provides noise-canceling headphones so students have fewer distractions, and was adopted by Mary and Steve Boyd with a $439 donation; and “Band Clinicians,” managed by music director Chris Harshman, which brings music professionals to work with band students.
“The foundation created the “Adopt-a-Grant” program because each year the South Whidbey Schools Foundation receives innovative teaching grant requests that exceed available funds,” Board President Chris Gibson said. “In only its second year, the program has nearly closed the gap in funding, having connected five previously unfunded projects with community members willing to “adopt” the project,” he added.