Sixth graders acting out Shakespeare and performing their own musical accompaniment? First graders using computer Chromebooks and a program called iReady to tailor their math and reading instruction to their individual needs? A high school transformed into a park-like setting by students planting trees all around the campus?
These are just a few of the many educational projects funded by the Hayward Education foundation in 2015. As a teacher myself for 35 years in a middle school classroom, I know that unfortunately school district budgets can’t fund everything.
And I know that is frustrating, because a good teacher is the kind of person whose mind is always whirling, always coming up with new ideas, new projects, to better teach the students. Such ideas can come at any time—even on vacation, or in the middle of the night. But quite often, these ideas also require new funding.
That’s where the Hayward Education Foundation comes in. For the past 33 years, teachers at any school in Hayward—public or private—have been able to apply for $800 grants to fund those projects that the district can’t pay for.
Over a million dollars has been granted during this time, with benefits to student thinking reaching far into their lives. Yet this doesn’t happen without support from businesses and individuals eager to improve education within the Hayward community.
The supporter list is a long one: businesses such as Kaiser Permanente, Fremont Bank, Hayward Rotary, Hayward Fire Department, and the Hayward Police Department, to name just a few. Individuals contributing include Hayward City Council members Marvin Peixoto, Francisco Zermeno, and Elisa Marquez; Chamber of Commerce CEO Kim Huggett; Chabot College Trustee Marshall Mitzman; and former mayor, Michael Sweeney. The list goes on and on.
The bottom line is that everyone who lives or works in Hayward should feel responsibility toward thanking and supporting the Hayward Education Foundation. Our students are our future, and H.E.F. has devoted the past 33 years to enriching that future by funding creative ideas in the classroom.
To find out more about the Hayward Education Foundation, visit their website at www.haywarded.org. Please, if you can, donate!