Your Donations at Work
Your support has enabled us to fund extraordinarily successful and creative programs at every level of the Westport Community School System.
1000 Books Before First Grade Program, Macomber Primary School: This creative program is a multi-year literacy effort aimed at encouraging families to read at least 1000 books with their students in pre-school through grade 2. (Your donations have allowed us to expand from 1st grade to 2nd) This program is a partnership between the Albert Lees Memorial Fund of the Westport Education Foundation and Partners Village Store. Children who participate in the program are given a bag of 10 books to take home and share with their families (through volunteer efforts we have collected over 3000 books to date). Once those books have been read, parents will return the bag to school and a volunteer will swap out the books for a new bag of 10 books. Each child will receive a game board
to track his/her reading progress. Along the way, children can earn small rewards for reading 100, 200, 400, 600, and 800 books. But, most importantly, any child who completes all 1000 books before entering first grade will receive the following: Medal of Achievement, Book Award provided by Partners Village Store, and a Certificate of Merit. All of this will be awarded at a ceremony and presented by school officials.
In our first two years with the program, we have had 17 students read 1000 books, and 3 students who have read 2000 books! As of the start of the 2017/18 school year, our students have read more than 120,000 books! Our dedicated team of Book Fairies have donated over 1000 hours of their time to our program. We continue to welcome volunteers to be Book Fairies and to spend ½-1 hour at Macomber on designated days swapping book bags for children.
Please do not hesitate to contact us at 1000booksWEF@gmail.com
Destination Imagination (a STEAM based learning competition.), Westport Elementary & Jr./Sr. High School:
WEF is proud of that our first program is now in its 8th year of funding by YOUR donations. The Destination Imagination program is a fun, hands-on system of learning that fosters students’ creativity, courage and curiosity through open-ended academic Challenges in the fields of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), fine arts and service learning. Our participants learn patience, flexibility, persistence, ethics, respect for others and their ideas, and the collaborative problem solving process. Student teams are created and observed by an adult coach who is hands off but provides safety/support/beloved encouragement during competitions. Teams showcase their solutions at a tournament. Westport is proud of last year's team who made it to the national competition, we are excited to watch the kids compete this year! Would you like to Volunteer? Please contact us!!
Below is an outline of the proram process components.
THE CREATIVE PROCESS
Destination Imagination participants experience these components of the creative process while solving our Challenges.
– Becoming aware of the Challenge
– Gaining an in-depth understanding of the Challenge
– Generating ideas with team members
– Focusing on promising ideas
– Creating a project timeline
INITIATE & COLLABORATE
– Researching, exploring and experimenting
– Committing to options; building and completing all requirements
– Assessing progress; reworking or reimagining ideas
– Practicing presenting the solution
EVALUATE & CELEBRATE
– Presenting at a tournament
– Reflecting on and celebrating the experience
Music & Drama programs, all grades:
At every level, WEF has supported music and art programs, e.g., The Macomber “No Strings” Puppeteers, the Macomber Singers, The Macomber quilt-making project, and Elementary School, Middle School and High School drama and musical productions. In partnership with the volunteer led Music Boosters, teachers and administrators we have sponsored musicals such as Shrek Jr., Annie, Beauty & the Beast, Schoolhouse Rock Jr., Aladdin Jr. and more.
Boat Building, By Land and By Sea, Westport Jr./Sr. High School:
Dharma Voyage and the Westport Community Schools partner together with WEF to bring a boat building program to Westport students. This full credit class is an excellent example of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) curriculum and hands-on learning. It pairs classroom curriculum at the high school with carpentry skills in the workshop. While learning about Westport whaling, maritime history, navigation, and river science, students also are building a traditional wooden rowing craft alongside master boat builders. An exciting learning adventure! One of a number of “hands-on, heads-on projects,” involved construction of a 32 foot competitive rowboat under the supervision of a master boat builder and with accompanying classroom components that tied the project into relevant mathematical and geometric concepts, and into the maritime and boat building history of Westport.
AP Biology Field Study of the East Branch of the Westport River, Westport Sr. High:
In addition to visually surveying the river and its wildlife, students take water samples at two designated points in progression down the river. Tests are conducted to determine the presence of dissolved oxygen, nitrates, phosphates, pH, temperature, turbidity and fecal coliform levels. Students use data gained on this field study to determine the ecological condition of the East Branch of the Westport River and to gain insight into the local watershed’s health. Furthermore, students analyze data to see if correlations can be made with respect to location of sampling.
AP Expansion, work shops & training for College Advanced Placement Classes, Westport Sr. High: WEF has been instrumental in providing funds for teacher training, increasing the number of AP courses offered at Westport High School from three to nine, and for funding Saturday study sessions for students taking AP courses. These sessions, at a cost of $10,000/year, provide both students and Westport high school teachers with extra instruction in AP science, math, English and history classes from master teachers from all around Massachusetts on various Saturdays throughout the school year.
System-wide STEM Initiative, all grades:
Our newest initiative is the WEF STEM programs and opportunities throughout Westport Community Schools (K-12). This project based learning opportunity focuses on Hands-on, Engineering, Robotics, and Computer Science Learning. From Maker Space Clubs – Grades K-2 to Elementary School (3-6), to after school SeaPerch underwater robotics program – Grades 5&6. For the Jr. & Sr. High grades, WEF offers SeaPerch Robotics and Master Class VEX EDR programs.