The foundation established priorities for investing in the community with the Schools of Excellence and the Career Pathways Initiatives. These are a few highlighted accomplishments beginning Q1 2018 through Q3 2021.
SCHOOLS OF EXCELLENCE INITIATIVE
- Conducted a needs assessment in the Centralia School District and established baseline metrics with the administration.
- Hired the BERC GROUP to conduct hundreds of professional development sessions in Powerful Teaching & Learning for Centralia School District teachers. The outcome provided teachers new ways to react and teach by observing select classrooms in other districts.
- Purchased 275 Chromebooks and Naviance career and college readiness software which helps students explore career opportunities and teachers and counselors guide students in creating a plan for high school, and college or career training.
- Created a set of key performance indicators to track student progress and outcomes.
- Provided funding for a college counselor at Centralia College. This person is exclusively dedicated to assisting Centralia students as they enter the college system. This counselor also helps with financial aid, scheduling, and assisting kids with successful integration into academic or career training programs at CC, as well as being fluent in Spanish.
- CCF funds a college and career counselor for both Centralia High School (funded through 2021) and Centralia Middle School: These two are very important to our mission and are doing amazing work in assisting students with college plans, career training, and college awareness, meeting with students and parents with helpful class planning and information for college or career preparedness. We are interested in making sure that information about opportunities that exist in our state are known to all students.
- Established the Career & College Readiness Committee made up of representatives from Centralia College and Centralia High School along with key community leaders to focus on student transition to college or trades training and other opportunities.
- Sponsored several summer college orientation and transition programs at Centralia College for all students in the region who want to attend.
Moving Forward: If we can predict it, we can prevent it.
We all can predict that following this COVID-19 remote learning year (and possibly more to come) we will see even greater “Opportunity Gaps” among certain kids. Those living in diverse high poverty conditions, with language barriers, little access to technology, and inappropriate learning environments at home, will clearly fall behind. Because of the active leadership and oversight role the foundation is taking with our support of educational programs, we can quickly adapt and provide more relevant needs-driven assistance.
Responding to school and student needs over the next year will be critical. If we can work together in supporting the school district with their Needs Assessments, we can be better equipped to support the most vulnerable. The goal of accessing is to provide actionable data to the CCF so we can make decisions on our funding and continue our fundraising with appropriate criteria.
CAREER PATHWAYS INITIATIVE
- Established partnerships with workforce development and trades industries such as the Pacific Mountain Workforce Development Council and the Thurston-Lewis-Mason Central Labor Council to help create awareness of career opportunities for Centralia students.
- Enhanced our partnership with Centralia College for career and college readiness by sourcing and supporting the Centralia College’s SWIFT Center Virtual Reality Mobile Career Demonstration Lab. This mobile lab is designed to travel to outlying schools and large events for young people such as tournaments, fairs, etc. The lab will allow for greater awareness of career training available via virtual reality desktop set-ups onboard the mobile lab classroom. We are currently working with Centralia College on ways CCF can further assist with program software, professional tradespeople to accompany the lab when it is deployed for awareness events.
- Producing Career Explore events for all to learn how to create better futures with relevant and regional living-wage careers.
Since the launch of these initiatives three years ago, we have created awareness of our efforts, established working relationships and partnerships to build on, and managed to keep forward motion in our efforts despite the global pandemic.
It is critical that we continue to gain support from regional employers, institutions, and individuals. Please consider your monthly donation to the Centralia Community Foundation and help us help our community.