Three WCSD classroom grant proposals up for community vote for WEF’s Golden Butterfly Award

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The Westerville community is invited to donate and cast their vote for their favorite of three Westerville City Schools classroom grant proposals for the Westerville Education Foundation’s first-ever Golden Butterfly Award. 

The grant proposals include:

  • “Fishing Science,” which would provide fishing equipment and supplies for Betsy King’s ecology students at Westerville Central and Westerville North high schools. Students will use oxygen probes and fishing techniques to study the water temperature, pH, temperature and organisms they catch in the Land Lab. They will analyze water composition and the relationships of organisms to one another. Students will also have the opportunity to learn fishing skills, safety and culture. King hopes to add an outdoor lab in her class where students can learn the basics of fishing as well as assess the composition of pond water, determine if it is fit for fish to live in and see if fish are living in the water. “I hope students get a chance to get out of the classroom because any chance that we can go outside and do science is good,” King said. “I hope they get the safety piece and being around other people and being aware of how to behave when they are fishing. I hope they get enjoyment in the experience of fishing. A lot of them living in the city don’t get a chance to go fishing.” 

  • “Equity in the Music Room,” which would provide up to 180 ukuleles to fourth- and fifth-grade students at Robert Frost Elementary. The school’s recorder program was halted due to the pandemic in 2020 and this grant would allow students access to a musical instrument again. For many of our students, elementary school will be their only opportunity to play an actual string instrument (ukulele) or a wind instrument (recorder), music teacher Jen Hall said.

  • “Skills for Life,” where Blendon Middle School’s BRAVE sixth-grade team hopes to teach their students the basic life skills of food preparation, cooking meals, laundry skills including washing/drying and folding clothes, ironing as well as basic banking skills needed to lead a successful adult life. The grant would help purchase equipment, supplies and food needed to create a meaningful and valuable life-learning experience. “The potential impact of this project is that it will allow and foster our students to be well equipped in not only the academic areas that we work so hard to have our students master but also to leave our students with life skills that will allow them to be successful adults,” Blendon social studies teacher Jeff McMillian said. 

(Vote for and donate to the proposals here.)

WEF launched the Golden Butterfly Award campaign, which runs through Dec. 1, following the cancellation StoryBall due to the pandemic, Executive Director Colleen Moidu said. This marks the second year the foundation had to cancel its largest fundraising event of the year because of COVID-19. 

Moidu said the challenge provided WEF an opportunity to focus its efforts on an idea they had been working on for years: the Golden Butterfly Award.

During the campaign, the community will "vote" with donations to fund the project of their choosing. The project with the highest percentage of funds raised will receive the "Golden Butterfly Award."

Excess funds from projects that receive more than its proposed budget will go towards the WEF grant fund to support future educators. 

Supporters who have donated to fund these projects and sponsors who support innovative educational programs in the district include: Alliance Data, Dr. George Tombaugh Fund,  Westerville Sunrise Rotary, TRIAD Architects &  TRIAD Facility Solutions, WASA - Westerville Amateur Soccer Association, Nichols & Company, CPAs, Nationwide Children's Hospital, Education First Credit Union, DCTS - Dayton Cincinnati Technology Solutions, T. Marzetti Company, The Weinhardt Family, Stifel Public Finance, Rich & Gillis Law Group, Northstar Family Dental, HR Imaging Partners, Garber Electric, Charles Schwab Westerville Branch, Birdie Books, Westerville ACE Hardware, Wanner Metalworx, Vertical Communications, Ultimax, Smart Business Systems, Salaita Orthodontics, Osborn Engineering, Meyers Family Dental, GHM General Contractors, G2, Arthur J. Gallagher and Martha Sweterlitsch.