WCEF Announces 2022 Educator Grant Awards

The Woburn Community Educational Foundation (WCEF) is pleased to announce our 2022 grant awards to support exciting new projects and educational initiatives across multiple grades and disciplines in the Woburn Public Schools.  Through the generosity of our community, $19,441 was granted to support 27 innovative classroom-based, whole-school and district-wide programs designed to introduce students to new concepts and technology, increase their understanding of our shared history and the world, and to support their social-emotional well-being and development. These funds will purchase hands-on learning tools, deliver interactive classroom technology, support the arts and expand the use of diversified texts, all to create excitement in learning and support the academic success of today’s students.     

“These grants represent an important milestone in the history of this educational foundation,” noted WCEF Executive Director Maureen Willis during the recent Grant Awards Presentation. “Since our founding in 2014 and the opening of our Grant Program in 2015, WCEF has awarded $170,000 directly as Educator Grants and has secured a total of $530,000 in new funding to support our schools.”

She told the assembled group of educators, “It is so wonderful to see you here, and to have the opportunity to thank you in-person for all you have done to support your students and our community during the past 2 years.”

Special thanks to the Cummings Foundation for its leadership support of WCEF and to the Winning Home Foundation for its continued partnership support that will fund a new out-of-school time program for the district’s ELL students, as well as five of the Educator Grants awarded this year.

WCEF is a nonprofit organization formed to increase private investment and community involvement in the Woburn Public Schools.  We invest in new programs and projects that cannot be funded by the regular school budget. To learn more about WCEF and to get involved, visit us online at www.woburnedfoundation.org.    

WCEF Winter Raffle Raises More Thank $8K!

Thanks to the outstanding support of our community, WCEF’s 2nd Annual Winter Raffle was a tremendous success!

This year’s Raffle featured 9 high-end and designer purses, 2 Woburn restaurant gift certificate packages, and a Lottery Tree, all sponsored or donated by the local community. The event raised more than $8,000 to support WCEF’s Educator Grants Program, which funds new innovative projects and programs in the Woburn Public Schools. 

Special thanks to the Winter Raffle sponsors:  Presenting Sponsors: J. Mulkerin Realty, Lynch-Cantillon Funeral Home, Northern Bank & Trust and the Salem Five Charitable Foundation; Drawing Sponsor: Winchester Cooperative Bank; Item Sponsors Heather L. Harvey, Little Folks Day School, Robert E. & Karen Maguire, Rick Metters & Maura Embler, Don & Janet Queenin, and Rockland Trust Bank.  Purses were donated by Joe & Audrey Crowley and the Malcolm White Elementary School Educators & Staff.  

Community support of the Winter Raffle helped ensure its success! In total, more than 960 raffle tickets were sold, with the drawing held live on Facebook on February 9th.  The Event Program, as well as the full list of Winter Raffle winners can be viewed on the event website at www.woburnedfoundation.org/winter-raffle

Your Final Sneak Peek into our 2022 Winter Raffle!

Presenting the Michael Kors Jet Set Travel Carryall Tote

This classic Michael Kors bag is done in black leather with stripe detail. Silver hardware with the iconic Michael Kors logo and hanging MK circle charm amps up the style.

This tote features custom fabric lining, with 2 slip-in pockets and 1 zipped pocket. Keep everything in its place with the dog-clip inside closure.

Purse handles have a 9” drop.

Approximate size: 15″H x 12″W x 4.5″ D

This purse is sponsored by Rockland Trust.

About the Winter Raffle

We have assembled an amazing collection of high end and designer purses and put together gift certificate packages purchased to support locally-owned Woburn restaurants.  This year’s Raffle also features a new item, guaranteed to improve your chances of winning big!

Raffle ticket sales begin Monday, January 24, 2022. Tickets can be purchased online or by mail.  Raffle ticket stubs will be returned by mail.  Raffle Tickets: $5 each or 6 for $20

Bookmark this page to be ready to take a chance to win big while supporting Woburn Schools:
https://woburnedfoundation.org/winter-raffle/

All proceeds from the Winter Raffle directly support new programs and initiatives in the Woburn Public Schools.  Since 2014, WCEF has secured almost $500,000 in new funding for Woburn Schools, supporting projects that have made a difference for every student in the district. 

 

2022 Winter Raffle Sneak Peek #2

Presenting the Kate Spade Brynn Tote in Warm Beige. The perfect combination of style and function, this tote easily carries your day to day items with room for when you need a little more! 

The Brynn features a top zip closure, two way Spade jacquard lining, an interior front slip and back zip pocket and foil embossed logo. Beautiful and durable in saffiano pvc, with a signature Kate Spade bow to wrap it up in style!
Approximate size: 11.6″h x 12.99″w x 4.13″d; handle drop: 11″

This fabulous purse was donated to our Winter Raffle by the Staff of the Malcolm White Elementary School.

About the Winter Raffle

We have assembled an amazing collection of high end and designer purses and put together gift certificate packages purchased to support locally-owned Woburn restaurants.  This year’s Raffle also features a new item, guaranteed to improve your chances of winning big!

Raffle ticket sales begin Monday, January 24, 2022. Tickets can be purchased online or by mail.  Raffle ticket stubs will be returned by mail.  Raffle Tickets: $5 each or 6 for $20

Bookmark this page to be ready to take a chance to win big while supporting Woburn Schools:
https://woburnedfoundation.org/winter-raffle/

All proceeds from the Winter Raffle directly support new programs and initiatives in the Woburn Public Schools.  Since 2014, WCEF has secured almost $500,000 in new funding for Woburn Schools, supporting projects that have made a difference for every student in the district. 

2022 Winter Raffle Sneak Peek #1

We are excited to kick off the 2022 Winter Raffle Preview with this statement bag from Michael Kors!

Presenting the Michael Kors Medium Ciara Messenger Crossbody in Flame Red

The Ciara is an on-trend satchel/messenger bag perfect for making a stylish statement. This bag is as versatile as it is chic. Made of signature Print PVC  with zip top closure. This purse features one interior slip and one zip pocket, as well as an exterior slip pocket. True MK style with a hanging logo medallion, dual rolled handles, and an adjustable crossbody strap. Approximate size: 8″ H x 5″ D x 11″ L

This purse was sponsored by Robert E. & Karen Maguire, and could be yours with a winning ticket in our 2022 Winter Raffle! 

About the Winter Raffle

We have assembled an amazing collection of high end and designer purses and put together gift certificate packages purchased to support locally-owned Woburn restaurants.  This year’s Raffle also features a new item, guaranteed to improve your chances of winning big!

Raffle ticket sales begin Monday, January 24, 2022. Tickets can be purchased online or by mail.  Raffle ticket stubs will be returned by mail.  Raffle Tickets: $5 each or 6 for $20

Bookmark this page to be ready to take a chance to win big while supporting Woburn Schools:
https://woburnedfoundation.org/winter-raffle/

All proceeds from the Winter Raffle directly support new programs and initiatives in the Woburn Public Schools. 
Since 2014, WCEF has secured almost $500,000 in new funding for Woburn Schools, supporting projects that have made a difference for every student in the district. 

Winning Home Foundation Funds New Programs in Woburn Schools

WCEF is pleased to announce receipt of a $15,000 charitable grant from Winning Home, Inc. to support the 2022 Educator Grants Program as well as a new out-of-school time program for Woburn’s low-income and English-language learner students. This year’s generous award brings the total investment from Winning Home, Inc. to $55,000 in just 6 years; past grants provided critical support to Woburn Schools during COVID-19, as well as funding for 35 innovative school-based projects that continue to benefit every student in the Woburn Public Schools. 

“Woburn educators are concerned about their most at-risk students, many of whom have experienced learning setbacks due to the loss of in-person instruction during COVID-19, explains WCEF Executive Director Maureen Willis. “To address this educational disparity, they have developed a new program, designed to offer engaging and educational experiences during school vacation and summer breaks to low-income and English language learner students. We were pleased to invite Winning Home to partner with us to fund this important new initiative.”

“Access to meaningful learning activities during out-of-school time has been shown to level the playing field for those who may otherwise academically fall behind their peers,” confirms WPS Superintendent Matt Crowley. “This grant will allow us to bring students in Grades 4-12 on excursions to local museums and places of historical interest across Greater Boston during school vacations, providing supplemental learning opportunities for our most at-risk students.”

Winning Home grants are helping to improve the educational achievement of Woburn’s most at-risk students, opening doors of opportunity in the future. These funds are making a difference for these students in every grade and at every school in the district.   We are grateful to the board of Winning Home for its continued commitment and investment in the potential of Woburn’s children.

About Winning Home:  The Winning Home Foundation was formed through the sale of land assets of what was locally known as “Winning Farm for Children”.  The sale process produced cash assets for long-term investment, and preserved approximately 50 acres of the farmland as permanent open space.  Winning Home, Inc. remains true to the spirit and intent of its benefactor by working “for the benefit of children who are economically, socially, physically, emotionally or mentally handicapped or disadvantaged and their families.” Since its conversion from a landowner to a charitable trust, Winning Home has made grants over $4.8 million to area charitable organizations.  Learn more at www.winninghome.org

Photo Caption:  Members of the Winning Home and WCEF at the recent check presentation. Pictured are (l-r):  Winning Home Board Member Michael Maher, WCEF Board Member Nancy Whalen, Winning Home Board Chair Robert E. Maguire, WCEF Board Member Colleen Cormier, WCEF Executive Director Maureen Willis, Winning Home Treasurer Chip Curran.           

A Special Thank You to All WPS Educators

TO ALL WOBURN PUBLIC SCHOOL EDUCATORS,

As we reach the end of a more than year- long battle with the COVID pandemic, the members of the Woburn Community Educational Foundation (WCEF) thank you for your dedicated service under extreme circumstances to deliver uninterrupted teaching to the students of Woburn. Recently, our “Awesome Teacher Tribute Campaign” was completed and we were struck by the overwhelming public response this year considering the disruptions caused by the pandemic. Many parents felt compelled to include a personal note with their submission applauding the dedication of their child’s teacher.

Our partnership with Woburn educators began by fulfilling the major mission of our organization, providing private investment to innovative programs that were not possible with public money. For the last five years, this has included $100,000 in funding for the LEXIA reading program.

In an effort to continue this support, WCEF applied for a renewal grant through the Cummings Foundation $25 Million Grant Program.  We were informed this week that WCEF was awarded a $200,000.00 grant in annual installments of $20,000.00 per year for 10 years. Credit for this important milestone must be shared with the Woburn Public School Administration and the Woburn Public School educators, whose obvious enthusiasm for the program has contributed to its success in helping Woburn students read at grade level. This is what inspired the support of the Cummings Foundation.

While the “pandemic period” had some negative impact on normal schooling, it did highlight the innovation, dedication and flexibility of Woburn educators. Congratulations and we are proud to be working on your behalf and the students of Woburn.

In Partnership, 

The Board of Directors of the Woburn Community Educational Foundation
Joe Crowley                               Joanne Mulkerin
Sue Ellen Holland                      Donald Queenin
Bonnie Johnson                         Eric Skeffington
Robert E. Maguire                      Brian Teague
Michael Martini                          Nancy Whalen
Rick Metters                               Maria Zeqo

Maureen Willis, Executive Director
                                                    

 

Presenting Woburn’s Awesome Teachers!

WCEF is proud to present the list of Woburn Educators honored this year with a Woburn’s Awesome Teacher Tribute.  This year’s campaign was our most successful ever, with 271 tributes received, 189 individual educators honored, 5 whole school tributes and more than $6,700 raised to support WCEF’s Educator Grants Program. 

This year, honored educators received their tributes via email, and they are posting selfies with their tributes on social media with the hashtag #WATT2021.     

Thanks to the inspiring work of our educators, the WATT program has grown more than 50% during the past two years.  WCEF is pleased to provide this opportunity for our Woburn community to publicly recognize the extraordinary efforts of our educators, and the difference they have made for their students and their families, especially this year.  All funds raised through the WATT program directly support Educator Grants in our schools and will be made available to all Woburn Educators during the next school year.

The mission of WCEF is to increase private investment and community involvement in the Woburn Public Schools.  Our goal is to support educational programs and initiatives that empower teacher creativity and drive innovation in the classroom beyond that which is possible with public dollars.  We are a volunteer organization which works to bring new resources to our schools.  To see the full list of honored educators and view the Awesome Teacher Tribute Gallery as we build it, visit www.woburnedfoundation.org/fundraising/teacher-tribute.

WCEF Receives Cummings Foundation 10 Year Grant

The Woburn Community Educational Foundation (WCEF) is proud to announce that it has been chosen as one of 140 local nonprofits to receive a grant through Cummings Foundation’s $25 Million Grant Program. WCEF was selected from a pool of 590 applicants during a competitive review process.  This substantial investment by Cummings Foundation will provide $200,000 over 10 years to support the Lexia Reading Program in the Woburn Public Schools. 

“We are honored and excited to be chosen to receive a 10-year grant from the Cummings Foundation”, expressed WCEF Executive Director Maureen Willis, “This generous investment raises our capacity to partner with our educators, and has the potential to advance the educational achievement of an entire generation of students in the Woburn Public Schools.” 

This grant from the Cummings Foundation will fund the Lexia Core 5 Reading Program in the Woburn Public Schools as a district-wide initiative, with the goal to advance the reading proficiency of under-performing students in Woburn elementary schools.  A 5-year pilot of the Program showed that Lexia is a valuable and effective tool in helping Woburn students develop foundational skills and a love of reading that supports future success in school and in life.  As our schools assess the impact on learning COVID-19 has had on our students, the support of the Cummings Foundation will advance the ability of our educators to meet the needs of our most-at risk students at this most historic time.  

The Cummings $25 Million Grant Program supports Massachusetts nonprofits that are based in and primarily serve Middlesex, Essex, and Suffolk counties.

Through this place-based initiative, Cummings Foundation aims to give back in the area where it owns commercial buildings, all of which are managed, at no cost to the Foundation, by its affiliate, Cummings Properties. This Woburn-based commercial real estate firm leases and manages 10 million square feet of debt-free space, the majority of which exclusively benefits the Foundation.

“We aim to help meet the needs of people in all segments of our local community,” said Cummings Foundation executive director Joel Swets. “It is the incredible organizations we fund, however, that do the actual daily work to empower our neighbors, educate our children, fight for equity, and so much more.”

With the help of about 80 volunteers, the Foundation first identified 140 organizations to receive grants of at least $100,000 each. Among the winners were first-time recipients as well as nonprofits that had previously received Cummings Foundation grants. Forty of this latter group of repeat recipients were then selected to have their grants elevated to 10-year awards ranging from $200,000 to $500,000 each.

“We have adopted a democratic approach to philanthropy, which empowers an impressive roster of dedicated volunteers to decide more than half of all our grant winners each year,” said Swets. “We benefit from their diverse backgrounds and perspectives; they benefit from a meaningful and fulfilling experience; and the nonprofits often benefit from increased exposure and new advocates.”

This year’s grant recipients represent a wide variety of causes, including social justice, homelessness prevention, affordable housing, education, violence prevention, and food insecurity. The nonprofits are spread across 43 different cities and towns.

The complete list of 140 grant winners, plus more than 800 previous recipients, is available at www.CummingsFoundation.org.

Cummings Foundation has now awarded more than $300 million to greater Boston nonprofits.

WCEF Grant Expands STEM Education in Woburn Elementary Schools

WCEF is pleased to support the expansion of STEM Programs in Woburn Elementary Schools, with a $7,000 grant to purchase Robotics Kits designed to provide hands-on interactive learning experiences for students in grades K-5.  This funding was requested by elementary educators and builds upon the program originally funded by WCEF in 2019.

This WCEF grant addresses a real need for our schools to adequately prepare students for jobs of the future, by sparking their interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM) subjects at a young age.  In her grant proposal, Courtney Young explains “In elementary school, students are still learning with their hands and eyes … As students start to develop early literacy and reasoning skills, robotics can help students work through problems visually and experimentally … introducing STEM early increases students interest in the field.”

To build the existing repertoire and expand the use of robotics at all Woburn Elementary Schools, WCEF’s investment will fund the purchase of a Dash Robotics Kit, a Kibo-18 Robotics Kit and 7 Motion Blocks Sets. These robotics kits offer students the opportunity to learn block-based coding using screen technologies and apps, as well as through hands-on wooden block manipulatives.  These learning tools teach young students early coding, and provide a foundational introduction to how robots interact with their environment.

This recent grant award is in addition to the $20,000 in funding awarded in December 2020 to support livestream education in Woburn Middle and High Schools.  Since 2014, WCEF has invested almost $240,000 in Woburn Schools, to support educational initiatives that drive innovation beyond that which is possible with public dollars.  Learn more about WCEF by visiting us online at www.woburnedfoundation.org.

Photo credit: https://kinderlabrobotics.com/kibo/