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Community support: German, gardens and a gadget

September 27, 2011
Grant Garden
Grant High School's Environment Club is creating two gardens with a $50,300 grant.

Thanks to recent donations and grants, Wilson High School can continue to offer beginning German classes, Grant High School is creating two gardens, and ACCESS Academy has an oscilloscope valued at $3,000.

The donations are the latest examples of how students and teachers — seeking out and applying for grants — and organizations — recognizing a need and stepping up — help schools and communities.

Group saves class

At Wilson, Principal Sue Brent planned to eliminate German 1-2.

Wilson Principal Sue Brent accepts a $20,000 donation from the German American Society presented by board member Christian Stehr.

“It was a direct result of district and state budget shortfalls for education,” she says.

The Portland-based German American Society saved the class with a $20,000 donation in September.

David Kelley, a 2007 graduate who studied German at Wilson, says the language classes are especially valuable in light of current events.
“The German economy is succeeding in this depression while many other countries are failing economically,” Kelley says. “This donation will give students the opportunity that I was so blessed to have.”

In addition to German, Wilson offers French and Spanish language classes.

Green thumbs at Grant

Two gardens are sprouting at Grant with help from a $50,300 State Farm Insurance grant.

The 9,000-square-foot project will include plots for school use and another for the community. Sponsors will break ground on the school’s east lawn Oct. 1.

Student leader Leah Haykin calls the project a “peacemaking tool.”

“The community does a lot for us, and we don’t always do much for them,” Haykin says. “This will be a sustainable, maintainable project that will benefit students and the community long after we graduate.”

ACCESS receives high-tech device from Tektronix

The squat, beige-colored device is not flashy.

But ACCESS’s new DPO2024 digital phosphor oscilloscope is a powerful tool and an unusual asset for a K-8 school. Tektronix donated the device, which detects varying signal voltages, to ACCESS in June.

The DPO2024 digital phosphor oscilloscope is an unusual asset for a K-8 school.

Technology companies use oscilloscopes to detect glitches in how a device operates. “Apple has a ton of these,” Ian Dees, a Tektronix engineer, said during a demonstration for students Sept.15.

“It will be great to use this in our classroom,” says science teacher Alfonso Garcia.

Garcia expects students will use it for a science fair in January, in addition to regular classroom activities.

Other gifts

Recently, Ikea spent nearly $10,000 renovating a room for Connect, Instruct and Learn, local businesses gave out supply-filled backpacks at 28 schools and Lowe's invested $6,000 in a garden at Humboldt PK-8 School.

"When our students and schools collaborate with the community, great things happen," says Andre Jackson, partnerships manager for PPS.

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