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Monfredo: Worcester Educational Development Foundation Making a Difference in Community

Sunday, March 06, 2016

 

Have you heard of the Worcester Educational Development Foundation?  Perhaps not, but it’s an organization that quietly gives its all to the children and to the teachers in our public schools. It’s an organization that continues to improve the educational opportunities for all students. Each year the WEDF develops and provides innovative educational and staff development opportunities, provides incentives and scholarships for the students and sends our students on field trips at each grade level to places such as the Worcester Historical Museum, Old Sturbridge Village, Mechanics Hall, Tower Hill Botanical Garden, Eco-Tarium and the Hanover Theatre to name a few.

Keep in mind that the Worcester Public Schools, as good as it is in providing a quality education for its children, has many needs and challenges as does any urban system. The district has a student population of over 24,000 with over 70% low income, and English is not the first language for over 40% of the student population. In addition, over 80 languages and dialects are spoken among the students. Due to budget constraints the per pupil allocations have dropped but the pressure for achievement is at an all time high.

The WEDF each year through its “Coats for Kids” drive assists many needy students during the winter months with warm clothing. They have also assisted with the AVID program in our schools which helps students in the middle to reach their full potential and to bring new ideas into the classroom. The projects are many … combining math with reading, the Blackstone Canal Project, Greek Gods and Goddesses, Shakespeare, health and science projects, and students have attended professional theatre presentations. These are just a few of the many projects supported by this incredible organization.

Founded in 2005 by Dr. Stephen Mills, then the Associate Superintendent of the Worcester Public Schools and later Superintendent of the Boxboro district in Massachusetts, the WEDF will be celebrating its 10th anniversary this May 26th with a fundraising event at the Worcester Country Club.  This event entitled, “The Distinguished Alumni and Friends of the Worcester Public Schools have made grants possible year after year.

As part of the 10th anniversary the WEDF will give out more than $8,500 in grant money for parent and community programs within the Worcester Public Schools. The awards will be presented on March 22nd in the Blue Lounge at Worcester State University. Led by their Executive Director, Louise Clark and by WEDF President Stephen Pitcher, the grant award winners have been announced as follows:

    •    Woodland Academy Multicultural Gala - $1000
    •    Community and Educational Fair at North High …$1000
    •    “Put down your Technology-Pick up a Classic” – May Street School … $1000
    •    “The Music of Sound” – Lake View School … $193
    •    “Mom, Dad, Look What We Can Do” (STEM project) – Gates Lane School … $1000
    •    “Stayin Alive” – Burncoat Middles School/ Health and Physical Ed. Dept. … $1000
    •    “Ready for Summer Learning Through Play” – Worcester Arts Magnet School… $1000
    •    “Helping Young Children’s Math and Science Minds Grow” – Chandler Magnet School …$543
    •    “Focusing in on Science” – Elm Park…$930
    •    “School-wide Multicultural Dance Night – Chandler Magnet School… $1000

This organization deserves the support of the community!  The WEDF has a group of dedicated individuals from former educators to individuals in the business world who continue to expand their involvement in the Worcester Public Schools and have made a difference in the lives of the students.  For more information about the WEDF or if you wish to contribute or assist in any way please visit their website http://www.wedfwps.com or e-mail them at [email protected] for this is an organization worth supporting.

 

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