The WiSH Education Foundation provides funding for student programs not funded by tax dollars alone, and two new programs recently received WiSH funding.
Juanita Rojas teaches American history, psychology and human geography at Golden Valley High School and has a passion for the tradition of ballet folklórico del oro, which highlights different cultures and regions throughout Mexico.
When teaching about the culture in class, she recognized an interest in her students to express the richness of their heritage through this beautiful dance, so she created a club that grew very quickly with interested students, said a WiSH news release.
So began her quest to create a new, district-approved physical education class and secure funding for the colorful costumes that are a key element of this coed, traditional dance.
After hearing Rojas’ story, the WiSH Education Foundation “was thrilled to be able to provide the remaining funds the class needed to purchase these unique and elaborate costumes,” the release said. “The students are excited to share the tradition through performances at community-wide events, including WiSH’s Wine on the Roof event on April 25, 2024.”
WiSH has been dedicated to student wellness for many years, funding and maintaining student wellness centers on campuses district-wide and providing resource funding, the release said.
This year, a brand-new student/family resource was started at Saugus High School with the opportunity for all district schools to participate. The new Wellness Center Family Paint Night offers a fun-filled, non-threatening, wellness center event to increase student/family engagement, the release said.
The first event, held in October in Saugus’ Serenity Space, was, according to Saugus Wellness Coordinator Krystal Dickerson, “an opportunity for parents to connect with the space where some of their students receive support while they are at school. It was also an opportunity for students to feel a part of their school. One senior student that attended told me that he had never been to an after-school activity and that he loved it. He wanted to know when the next one was going to be.”
Established in 2011, WiSH aims to “bridge the gap” in state funding for education and answer the call of teachers and administrators for program resources and supplies that enrich the educational experience of the over 21,000 students in the William S. Hart Union High School District, 30% of whom are socioeconomically challenged.
WiSH’s funding focus is STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, math) with an emphasis on student wellness. You can learn more at wisheducationfoundation.org.