Thanks to the generosity of our donors and the Hood River community, the 2021-22 school year was a record year of giving for the Hood River County Education Foundation.
I am writing to thank you for your continuous support. I am beyond grateful for this amazing opportunity. I am currently a junior at OSU majoring in psychology. I also have an internship work at At-Risk Youth in Albany, Oregon. Every summer, I have returned to work in the orchards to financially support my family. Your contribution has greatly reduced our financial stress and worry (about) funding my education. Again, thank you. I hope to one day be able to help students achieve their dreams, just as you have helped me.— An HRCEF Isabel Gilkerson Memorial Scholarship recipient.
The Hood River County Education Foundation (HRCEF) awarded $230,550 in 2022 to 79 Hood River Valley High School seniors and 36 HRVHS graduates continuing in college. The most ever! And HRCEF wants to do more. In 2022, over 30% of HRVHS seniors applied for college and trade school scholarships, but we were only able to fund about 76% of those applicants. HRCEF wants to provide a scholarship to every qualified applicant. (See our 2022 high school & college scholarship recipients
Twenty educators in seven different Hood River County School District (HRCSD) schools received $41,579 for K-12 Impact Teaching Grants including: K-5 Robotics, podcasting equipment, Goalball equipment (an indoor gym game for sight-impaired students and their blindfolded peers), fabric for Crafts classes, a telescope for middle school astronomy buffs, an elementary Handwriting program, and more. HRCEF wants to fund more and larger grants, and distribute grants to all HRCEF schools. (Click Here to read about the 2022 ITG recipients)
For the first time, we were able to send $18,810 for Field Trips for the K-5 and 6-8th grade schools in the school district. Elementary students visited the Hood River County History Museum, Gorge Ecology Outdoors, the Oregon Zoo, and the Discovery Center Raptor Program. Middle schoolers went to OMSI, SUP and kayaked on the Columbia, bowled, and attended Outdoor School. All five elementary schools also provided swimming lessons. HRCEF wants to fund more field trips.
The HRCEF Opportunity Fund was created to ensure that middle school students from low-income families can participate in fee-based after-school sports and other activities. Over 40% of HRCSD students qualify for free and reduced-price meals, so fees are out of reach for many families. The Opportunity Fund helped to start a Futsal program that allowed all middle school students to play this indoor version of soccer, great for the soggy spring weather that prohibits playing on the outdoor fields. The world premiere of Hood River in the HRV Henderson Stadium was supported by this fund. Currently available on YouTube, the documentary is about the Hood River Valley High boys’ soccer team. Team sports apparel for middle school students was another project for this fund. The clothing enhances student participation, but some families cannot afford these items. HRCEF wants to offer more educational opportunities to our students, especially students from low-income families.
HRCEF can create these events for students only because our generous donors provide the funds. Despite these wonderful accomplishments, we know that we can do more! More scholarships for more students, more field trips, and more grants to educators are needed, and we want to be sure that fees for sports and activities do not keep any student in HRCSD from participating.
Your annual Membership and other donations keep us able to support and enhance education for all kids in our HRCSD schools. Please become a member, or renew or scale up your HRCEF membership today. Be part of the great support HRCEF provides for our Hood River County students and schools!
Thank you for your support of Hood River County students and graduates, school and educators!
Jan Veldhuisen Virk
Chair of the Board of Directors, Hood River County Education Foundation