Dec 18

Our Annual Report Recaps the 2013/14 School Year Grants

You can read the new SWSF Annual Report recapping the Foundation’s work during the 2013/14 school year, plus a list of 2015 classroom grants.

Nov 25

Thank you for a great Talent Show

SWSF Board members Jean Shaw and Tom Walker did an outstanding job producing this year’s SWSF Talent Show Fundraiser. Thank you to everyone who participated and attended. Get well wishes go to Jim Freeman who was feeling under the weather and unable to emcee. Jean Shaw did a great job in filling in.

Here are some highlights from this year’s show.

Nov 15

Your invitation to buy tickets for our Nov. 23 Talent Show

The Rural Characters invite you to the South Whidbey Schools Foundation’s awesome Talent Show fundraiser on Sunday, Nov. 23.

  • Jim Freeman will serve as emcee for this great lineup of local talent:

The Rural Characters
The SWHS Jazz Trio
The LMS Jazz Combo
The SWHS Show Choir under the direction of Paula Ludtke
Kim Morris & Kent Ratekin
Jeff Greene on piano
SWSD staff and students
SWSF board members
Latest Addition: Danny Ward

Nov 03

Schools Foundation Awards $23,550 in Classroom Grants

Chris Gibson and Jo Moccia for webSouth Whidbey Schools Foundation announced $23,550 for innovative teaching grants October 30 to be used for this school year.

“Of 26 grant application submitted by South Whidbey School District educators, the Foundation was able to fully fund 15 projects, partially fund five projects, and found alternative funding for 4 more projects,”” said Foundation president Chris Gibson.

Grants were made for history, art, science, technology, engineering, math, music, language arts and special education.  This year’s funded projects include salmon rearing and various art projects to the elementary school, robotics and oceanography programs at the middle school, music, art and STEM programs at the South Whidbey Academy, and a professional development program at the high school.

Some of the projects funded this year have received past Foundation support, such as bringing in professional musicians to work with the middle school orchestra and jazz band, sponsoring field trips to South Whidbey State Park, and helping fund the School District’s Garden Program.

The bulk of the funds came from a spring Gala dinner and auction, the recent “Dine Out Wednesdays for SW Schools” program, a pre-paid gift card program, and the Foundation’s end-of-year community donation appeal.

“But for the generosity of the South Whidbey community and Foundation supporters, none of these projects would have been possible. It has been another amazing year of fundraising,” said Gibson.

The Foundation’s October ‘Dine Out Wednesdays’ program involved 8 local restaurants pledging a percentage of Wednesday profits to the Foundation.  “It has been wonderfully successful for both the Foundation and the restaurants,” Gibson said.

The “Shop with Scrip” gift card program is seeing steady growth, and we’re hopeful that it, along with our website’s Amazon Smile link will take off as the holiday season approaches,” Gibson added.

Nov 03

SWSF Talent Show Fundraiser at WICA Nov 23 at 4 p.m.

Buy your tickets now for the Talent Show on Sunday, Nov. 23.

EMAIL Talent Show Poster 72 dpi RGB_B2C40000

Enjoy a fundraising show with some of the most talented folks in our community. Jim Freeman and Jean Shaw will host the Talent Show. All proceeds go to support grants for classroom programs and projects in the South Whidbey Public School District.

Sep 28

Dine Out Wednesdays in October to Support SWSF

It’s Back! The South Whidbey Schools Foundation’s popular Dine Out Wednesdays for SW Schools!

Each Wednesday, during the entire month of October, when you eat at or order take-out from Freeland Café, Patron Mexican Restaurant, Mukilteo Coffee Roasters Café in the Woods, Joe’s Wood-Fired Pizza, Hong Kong Gardens, Mo’s Pub & Eatery, and Cafe Langley, you’ll be helping to support the Foundation’s classroom grants program!

This is an easy way for people to help fund the classroom grants which our local teachers request to enhance the education of our children. We thank all the participating restaurants for making local educational support a priority.

Facebook Header October

Sep 17

Three Events Planned to Raise Money for Classroom Grants

Four local restaurants are hosting a Friday Night Dine In or Out on September 26 to support the South Whidbey Schools Foundation in their goal to raise more than $25,000 this year for teacher-requested classroom grants.  Prima Bistro, Patron Mexican Restaurant, Cafe Langley, and Joe’s Wood-Fired Pizza will all donate a portion of the day’s receipts to the Foundation. Take-out is also included in the event.

This event will be followed by the return of the Foundation’s popular Dine Out Wednesdays for SW Schools which will run each Wednesday, the entire month of October. Participating restaurants for this event include Freeland Café, Patron Mexican Restaurant, Mukilteo Coffee Roasters Café in the WoodsHong Kong Gardens, Mo’s Pub & Eatery, Joe’s Wood-Fired Pizza, and Cafe Langley. Take-out also counts toward the donation. Additional participating restaurants will be listed here on the Foundation’s website and on the Foundation’s Facebook page as they join.

“We had good participation in last winter’s Dine-Out program,” said Jean Shaw, the Foundation’s community liaison. “This is an easy way for people to help fund the classroom grants which our local teachers request to enhance the education of our children,” she said. “We thank all the participating restaurants for making local educational support a priority,” she added.

Also in the works: a Schools Foundation Talent Show at WICA on Sunday, November 23 from 4 – 7:30 p.m. with a lineup of some of the most talented folks in our community. Jim Freeman and Jean Shaw will host the show. All proceeds go to support grants for classroom programs and projects in the South Whidbey Public School District.

Last year the foundation distributed more than $21,400 for 20 classroom projects, and has given more than $175,000 since it was founded in 1994.

Jun 27

How our new, easy fundraising program works

Several people have asked how the South Whidbey Schools Foundation’s new fundraising program works, and we think that this video does a great job in explaining it.

Take a couple minutes and learn how you can contribute up to $500 or more each year without actually spending any more money than you do today, simply by using pre-purchased gift cards through our program.

The rebates that the Schools Foundation receives from retailers can range from 1% to 11% of the face value of their card to the non-profit.

If we had 30 or 40 families use this program for much of their monthly purchases, we could double the number of classroom projects we are able to fund each year in our local schools.


Here’s our easy PDF order form if you prefer to order by mailing in the form with a check.





Jun 17

Louise Fiori receives Extra Mile Award; Callahans receive Mentorship Award

The Extra-Mile Award, which acknowledges and honors a current South Whidbey School District teacher for having gone the farthest in the service of the South Whidbey education community, went this year to  Louise Fiori, retiring math teacher at South Whidbey Academy.
IMG_0712Fiori was nominated by the entire staff at the Academy. Their reasons for nominating Fiori include:
  • “never fails to meet students where they are academically. I have personally witnessed her teach” multiple students math skills, even when they have mathphobia.”
  • “A passionate advocate for students. She pulls no punches, believes that students are capable of success, and works hard helping the students also believe in themselves.”
  • ..impressed with her ability to switch back and forth, helping children within one classroom with ranging abilities from 5th grade math to a 10th grade level.”
  • “She is always excited to see the students experiencing math in other ways than just paper and pencil work and rejoices with the students over their hard work.”
  • “…a wealth of worldly experience beyond the education industry…to give deep context to her classroom presence …has also been an incredibly patient peer advisor, particularly in negotiating the Labyrinth of Apex.”
After receiving the award, Fiori commented: “It is humbling to be recognized for the performance of one’s duties and have them referred to as an “extra mile.” Working for the South Whidbey School district was an exceptional end to my twenty-year career in education. It gave me an opportunity to bring the best parts of my career together and explore new and innovative pedagogy with high schol and middle school students. The success of students is paramount and creating life-long learners is deeply satisfying. Thank you.”
DSCN4142The Mentorship Award, which acknowledges and honors current members of the South Whidbey School District Faculty who have had a lasting positive impact on members of this year’s graduating seniors, was awarded for the very first time to a pair of teachers who have taught for decades at  the South Whidbey Elementary School,  Bruce and Kathy Callahan.
In nominating the Callahans for this year’s award,
  • graduating senior Chantel Brown wrote: I had Mr. and Mrs. Callahan my fourth and fifth grade years. They taught me so many things that I had not learned before love for math…love for helping others…If you need to start at a lower grade level they start you there and work with you to progress where you need to be …such an inspiration for me ….make me want to excel in every way possible…push you to be the best student you can be.”
  • Similarly, graduating senior Maia Sparkman added: “The Callahans were my teachers for third, fourth and fifth grades…we have managed to stay in touch ..I want them to be recognized because they taught me a lot of life lessons that I use to this day.”
Because of their varying schedules, Bruce was acknowledged at the South Whidbey High School Farewell Assembly, and Kathy was given a surprise party on the next to last day of school in the old elementary library that included the seven current students from the high school who had been with the Callahans in their classes. Kathy, completely overwhelmed, said tearfully, “this is the finest moment I have ever had in all my years of teaching.”


Jun 10

Introducing “F3″ –a simple, effective way to support the Foundation

We’re pleased to share some exciting news about a new fundraising program for the South Whidbey Schools Foundation.  It’s called “scrip”, and it’s the fundraising program that works while you shop.

We call it F3(Foundation Family Funds). Scrip in this case means “substitute money” – in other words, gift certificates from national and local retailers.  They’re the same gift certificates that you buy at the store.  Many popular retailers participate in our scrip program including ACE, Sears, Home Depot, Safeway, Albertsons, Walmart, Amazon, gas stations, restaurants, clothing stores and many, many others.  Gift cards are available for over 300 of the country’s biggest brands.

How does this help us raise money?  You purchase gift cards from the South Whidbey Schools Foundation at face value, and we purchase the cards at a reduced price from Great Lakes Scrip Center (GLSC). The difference provides instant fundraising for the South Whidbey Schools Foundation.  It’s really that simple! When you buy cards from the South Whidbey Schools Foundation and use them to pay for your normal weekly purchases, you can easily raise $500 or more per year without increasing your budget. GettingStarted-FormThe beauty of Fis that you put your regular household shopping dollars to work and everybody wins:

  • The retailer gets cash up front and repeat business…
  • You get a powerful fundraising alternative that involves no selling
  • The South Whidbey Schools Foundation gets a regular source of revenue.  For a printable guide to getting started, click on this PDF form: GettingStarted_Form

You can donate money to our school without spending a single additional penny.  Just spend your regular shopping dollars with gift cards at the stores that participate in our Fprogram!  And gift cards can be used for just about any household purchase including food, clothing, entertainment, gasoline and even dining out. We offer two great ways to place your order:

Mail order

Complete this downloadable order sheet, SWSF+SCRIP+Family+Order+Form+6-11-2014, then print and mail the order with your check made out the South Whidbey Schools Foundation to PO Box 24, Freeland, WA  98249. Orders received prior to the 2nd and 4th Sunday by 3 pm will be placed on that Monday.  Your gift cards will be mailed to your address by Friday.

Orders need to be received every 2nd and 4th Sunday of the month by 3 PM in order to get in that week’s order.

Online ordering

You’ll need to set up an account on  and link it to the foundation through our Enrollment code (South Whidbey Schools Foundation Enrollment Code:  31E3DLFC39657). Place your order through an electronic order form offered through   Once you set up an account you can:

  • Order online at any time, from any computer with internet access
  • Access detailed information about all of Great Lakes Scrip Center’s products
  •  Pay online using PrestoPay.  This is a convenient way for you to pay online at the time you place your order. Simply link your bank account information to your ShopWithScrip account on our secure server, and GLSC will be able to electronically accept your payment on behalf of your organization. No need to bother with cash or checks.  This option does cost 15 cents per order no matter how many gift cards you purchase in the order.
  • Reload gift cards that were purchased earlier from Great Lakes Scrip Center
  • Order ScripNow! eCards and print them directly from your ShopWithscrip account; certificates will be available within minutes when you pay online with PrestoPay*

How do I pay?

There are two ways to pay when ordering online:

  1. Mail the “order form” provided at the end of your online ordering and your check to the South Whidbey Schools Foundation, PO Box 24, Freeland, WA  98249.
  2. PrestoPay

Orders received prior to the second and fourth Sunday of the month will be placed on Monday.  Your gift cards will be mailed to your address by that Friday. Note:  Gift cards will be ordered once funds are received.  Please be sure to pay by Sunday 3 pm. The South Whidbey Schools Foundation scrip program promises to be a simple and effective fundraising program.  If you have questions, please contact Gwen Clemens at or 253-350-5736.

Thanks for your support


John Riley

Older posts «