Schools foundation continues to offer valuable financial support

We can only be a reliable partner for the schools through the generosity of this community.

  • Wednesday, May 1, 2019 10:46am
  • Opinion
Beth Lindsay

Beth Lindsay

For the past 10 years, the Vashon Schools Foundation has raised funds to help island public schools thrive by teaching and empowering our kids with modern curriculum, quality learning materials and social supports.

The foundation was formed in a time of crisis when our schools were facing the prospect of laying off teachers and slashing programs. Thankfully, our community stepped in back then by donating over half a million dollars in funding that first year to prevent the loss of valuable resources.

Despite our state’s more recent economic recovery, and the Legislature’s effort at equitable funding through the McCleary court decision, our school district continues to rely on the Vashon Schools Foundation to fill the gaps between basic education and what students and families have come to expect from the Vashon Island School District educational experience. Slade McSheehy, Superintendent of Vashon Island School District recently expressed his appreciation for the foundation’s work.

“Thanks to the Vashon Schools Foundation, 1,500 students who attend Vashon Island Schools are provided programs and experiences that support both the academic as well as the social and emotional development of the students we all serve. Every student in VISD needs a great foundation to build upon and support their growth year after year … We are so thankful to have VSF as a partner in this work,” he said.

We can only be a reliable partner for the schools through the generosity of this community. Sustainable community funding support neutralizes the scarcity model prevalent in so many surrounding school districts. As a result, Vashon students consistently outscore the state averages in literacy and mathematics. As citizen scientists, Vashon students participate in generating data for actual University studies of near shore habitat and water quality. Thank you, Vashon, for your continued dedication to excellence in education and creating unique opportunities for our students.

The Vashon Schools Foundation now asks you to continue your commitment during the 2019 GiveBIG charitable giving day. On Wednesday, May 8, our entire community comes together in a day of generosity that has historically provided the majority of funding the foundation receives annually. When we all give together, we GiveBIG. As you plan your donations, we ask you to include Vashon Schools Foundation (VSF), and the students we serve, in your plans.

These are just a few of the school district needs not paid for by the state that the Vashon Schools Foundation is fundraising for this year:

• K-12 STEM and Citizen Science Partnership (Vashon Nature Center, etc.)

• Science, Writing & Reading Instructional Materials at McMurray and VHS

• Fifth-Grade Social Studies Texts

• Resources for updating and expanding classroom libraries

• Student Link Programs

• Program funding support for racial equity work and social/emotional learning (Circles, Journeymen, Sources of Strength, SOLE)

To learn more about our work, giving options, 2019 funding priorities, or the programs we’ve supported in the past, visit To schedule your GiveBIG gift, go to or give directly at the foundation’s website.

Thank you in advance for creating community-powered public education.

— Beth Lindsay is the president of the Vashon Schools Foundation board of directors.

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