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/

WCEF Winter Raffle a Great Success!

Thanks to the support of our sponsors and community, WCEF’s first-ever online Winter Raffle was a tremendous success! The Winter Raffle featured 8 high-end and designer purses and 2 Woburn restaurant gift certificate packages, all sponsored or donated by the local community. The event raised $6,400 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 Sponsor, Rick Metters & Maura Embler;  Drawing Sponsors J. Mulkerin Realty and Mooney Dental; Item Sponsors Excel Orthopaedic Specialists, Little Folks Day School, Robert E. & Karen Maguire, Michael Martini, and Don & Janet Queenin.  Purses were donated by Joe & Audrey Crowley, the Malcolm White Elementary School Educators & Staff, Woburn Elementary Principals and the Woburn Teachers Association.

Community support of the Winter Raffle was outstanding! In total, more than 1,100 raffle tickets were sold, with the drawing held live on Facebook on February 12th.  The full list of Winter Raffle winners can be viewed on the event website.

All proceeds from the Winter Raffle support the Woburn Community Educational Foundation, funding new projects that drive innovation in our schools beyond that which is possible with public dollars.  To date, WCEF has gifted more than $200,000 to the Woburn Public Schools, including $20,000 to support livestream education for middle and high school students during COVID-19. 

WCEF Grant Supports Livestream Education in Woburn Schools

Since 2015, WCEF has gifted more than $200,000 directly to Woburn educators to support innovative new programs in the Woburn Public Schools.  This year, given the challenges our schools face under COVID-19, the WCEF Board decided to forgo the competitive Educator Grants Program and instead turned to school administrators for guidance on how best to support Woburn educators and their students who may be struggling to learn under a hybrid instructional model.  Through these discussions we learned this:  A primary challenge to remote learning is student engagement.  The solution:  livestream instruction in Woburn Middle Schools and High School.

WCEF is pleased to announce a $20,000 grant to the Woburn Public Schools to support livestream education in the district’s Middle Schools and High School.  These funds will purchase specialized classroom speakers that enable educators to teach students in their classroom with remote students also in attendance, without the need to sit at a computer or remain in one place during instruction.  WCEF is proud to partner with the Cummings Foundation to address this important need in our schools.  

“Our middle and high school educators are facing a real challenge with student engagement,” explains Woburn Superintendent of Schools Matt Crowley. “These speakers will support livestream instruction, which gives remote students the opportunity to ask questions and get help from their teachers on days they are not in the classroom. Educators are more accessible, and students are held more accountable.”  He continues, “These speakers will improve the learning experience for middle and high school students while the schools remain on a hybrid schedule under COVID-19, and will also have utility when our schools return to a more normal, traditional classroom setting.” 

In addition to this $20,000 grant to support Woburn Middle and High Schools, WCEF will also announce grants for the district’s elementary schools in early March.

WCEF is a volunteer-led nonprofit that raises support for the Woburn Public Schools through community fundraising activities, like our Winter Raffle, open now through February 12th.  Get your tickets here: https://woburnedfoundation.org/winter-raffle-2021/

Final Winter Raffle Preview

We are closing our Winter Raffle preview with a purse package that is sure to be in high demand, sponsored by a new sponsor! 

Dooney & Bourke Patriots Leather Crossbody
Dooney & Bourke Stripe Large Slim Wristlet

Show your team spirit and personal style with this well-matched purse pairing from Dooney & Bourke!

Like the name implies, the Patriots Double Zip Crossbody features a zip top and outside zip pocket, with gold hardware and leather zip pulls.  Finely crafted in pebble leather imprinted with New England Patriots logo.  Red fabric lining. 
Adjustable strap drop length 23.5″
Approx. Measurements H 7.75″ x W .5″ x L 7.75″

Also included is this super cute and perfectly sized Large Slim Wristlet in a Dark Pink Stripe.  (Some may call it red).  Features one inside pocket and an adjustable handle. Handle drop length 7″.
Approximately measures H 4.5″ x W .75″ x L 8″

This item is sponsored by Excel Orthopaedic Specialists

One chance in our Winter Raffle could win you BOTH PURSES!
But really, why buy one when you can buy 6 raffle tickets for $20?

About the Winter Raffle 

We’ve re-imagined and expanded our famous Purse Raffle, to support our small business community and our schools. We have assembled a stellar line up of fabulous high end and designer purses and put together gift certificate packages purchased to support locally-owned Woburn restaurants.  

Raffle ticket sales open Monday, January 18th

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 take a chance on the Raffle and support our schools:  visit www. woburnedfoundation.org/winter-raffle-2021/

 

Winter Raffle Preview #2 – A Classic from Kate Spade

Fun and functional, this Rowe Satchel checks all the boxes!

Presenting the Kate Spade Rowe Small Top Zip Satchel

In classic Kate Spade style, this zip-top satchel in “Peach Puff” light pink pebble leather features goldtone hardware, double tassels, interior jacquard lining with zip and slip pockets.  The Rowe stands on its own with 4 protective feet.  Double handles with a 5” Drop, plus a removable crossbody strap.

Approximate size:  10” x 8” x 4.5”

This purse was donated to the Winter Raffle by the educators and staff at the White School. 

About the Winter Raffle 

We’ve re-imagined and expanded our famous Purse Raffle, to support our small business community and our schools. We have assembled a stellar line up of fabulous high end and designer purses and put together gift certificate packages purchased to support locally-owned Woburn restaurants.  

Raffle ticket sales begin Monday, January 18th.

Tickets can be purchased online or by mail.  Raffle ticket stubs will be returned by mail.  Raffle Tickets: $5 each or 6 for $20

For more information on the Winter Raffle, including important rules and terms, visit www. woburnedfoundation.org/winter-raffle-2021/

 

Check Out This Fabulous Purse Up for Grabs in our 2021 Winter Raffle

Our first-ever Winter Raffle opens in one week – Monday, January 18th!
This online event runs January 18 ~ February 12, 2021

Here’s your first sneak peak at just one of the purses you could win: 

Coach Tabby Shoulder Bag with Colorblock Snakeskin Detail 

A modern take on an archival 1970s Coach design, this structured Tabby shoulder bag is crafted in a dynamic mix of polished pebble leather, refined leather and genuine snakeskin painted in colorful tones. Finished with Signature hardware for an iconic touch, this bag features two detachable straps to carry by hand, style as a short shoulder bag or wear crossbody.

Made of polished pebble leather, refined calf leather, suede and genuine snakeskin.  Features snap closure, fabric lining, inside zip and multifunction pockets, and an outside slip pocket.

Purse Sponsor:  Robert E. & Karen Maguire

About the Winter Raffle 

We’ve re-imagined and expanded our famous Purse Raffle, to support our small business community and our schools. We have assembled a stellar line up of fabulous high end and designer purses and put together gift certificate packages purchased to support locally-owned Woburn restaurants.  

Raffle ticket sales begin Monday, January 18th.
Tickets can be purchased online or by mail.  Raffle ticket stubs will be returned by mail.  Raffle Tickets: $5 each or 6 for $20

For more information on the Winter Raffle, including important rules and terms, visit www. woburnedfoundation.org/winter-raffle-2021/

Winning Home Steps Up to Support Woburn Schools During COVID-19

The Winning Home Foundation remains committed to Woburn’s children at this most critical time in their educational experience.  WCEF is proud to announce receipt of a $10,000 charitable grant from Winning Home, Inc., to fund special projects and new initiatives to address the educational needs of Woburn’s high-risk students in a hybrid learning environment during COVID-19.  This year’s award brings the total investment from Winning Home, Inc., to $40,000 in just 5 years; past grants have supported 35 innovative new projects that continue to benefit every student in the Woburn Public Schools. 

This generous grant from Winning Home will be gifted to the schools to improve the learning experience of children struggling to learn remotely, and also fund innovative programs to support enhanced livestream and in-person instruction.  “This year, the district’s English language learners and those from low-income households are more at-risk than ever,” explains WCEF’s Maureen Willis.  “The realities of COVID-19 place limits on their ability to interact directly with educators, and to form supportive bonds with their peers.  This affects not only their academic progress but their emotional health and well-being.”  She continues, “This grant from Winning Home will not only support their educational experience this year, but also will impact their learning success for years to come.  We are grateful to the board of Winning Home for its continued commitment to Woburn’s most at-risk 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:  Due to COVID-19, the board of Winning Home did not make in-person check presentations this year.  Members of the WCEF gathered after a recent meeting to thank the Foundation.  Pictured are (l-r):  WCEF Board Member Michael Martini, WCEF Board Chair Joe Crowley, WCEF Board Member Robert E. Maguire, WCEF Executive Director Maureen Willis, WCEF Board Member Joanne Mulkerin.  Learn more about WCEF at www.woburnedfoundation.org