Melanie Lucks

Students Gaining Confidence with Math & Reading Assistance

Mallory Lantzer has been a Math Interventionist at Westridge Elementary for nine years. She also is the co-chair of her Student Assistance Team, and leads PAWS (People At Westridge Succeed), an after-school Math Assistance Program funded by the Elkhorn Public Schools Foundation.

Westridge‘s PAWS Program meets after school to review grade-level content and practice skills that are challenging.

According to Lantzer, one of the biggest challenges that teachers face in the classroom is feeling like they don’t have enough time to effectively meet the needs of every individual student. “PAWS helps us spend more time with the students that need our support the most,” she said.

Kindergarten through fifth grade students that attend PAWS spend an extra 30 minutes after school three days a week in small groups reviewing grade level content, practicing skills that are challenging for them, and gaining confidence in their math abilities. PAWS provided additional support to more than 60 students last year alone.

“Some people might think that students wouldn’t want to stay after school to practice math, but for most kids, quite the opposite is true,” said Lantzer.

“Our students love the opportunity to work in a small group with their teachers and peers. They enjoy the more individualized attention from their teachers, and they are willing to ask questions, and share their thinking out loud. Something that most of them aren’t confident enough to do in a whole-class setting.”

Lantzer said that the increase in confidence that she sees in her students after they attend PAWS is what makes the program so rewarding. “Our data shows that attending our after school math program has a huge impact on our students’ level of achievement in the classroom on a daily basis, as well as on District and state assessments,” she said.

PAWS is just one of many math and reading assistance groups that are funded by the Foundation. In the 2021-2022 school year, over 400 elementary students in the Elkhorn Public Schools District needed additional instruction in math and reading. Our annual Bids For Kids event is the main fundraiser for our Math & Reading Assistance Program. This year, the event raised $74,000, thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, donors, attendees, and auction participants.

If you are interested in making a contribution to our Math & Reading Assistance Program, please visit our online donation form or contact the Foundation office at (402) 289.1727.

Our elementary schools are always looking for additional staff to lead Math & Reading Assistance groups before or after school as the need for them continues to increase. If you are an Elkhorn Public Schools staff member and are interested in leading a group, please contact your building principal.

Making a Difference with Classroom Grants

Michaela Koenig is a Resource Teacher at Sagewood Elementary. She has been a teacher in the Elkhorn Public Schools District for eight years, providing special education services for students in kindergarten through fifth grade. She also is a “Battle of the Books” sponsor for fourth and fifth graders, and a 2022-2023 Elkhorn Public Schools Foundation (EPSF) Classroom Grant recipient.

The Community Field Trip & Books Classroom Grant for Sagewood Elementary allows her language group students to learn about their community and develop new communication skills using their voice or communication devices.

Michaela Koenig‘s Language Group outside of the Lied Jungle at Omaha‘s Henry Doorly Zoo.

“Our students are able to use the books they read to learn about different places in our community,” said Koenig. “As they read the books, they learn valuable early literacy skills such as turning pages and using their fingers to track words as we read.”

In October, the students were able to apply their newly acquired communication skills and knowledge about their community at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo. The students practiced labeling and describing animals while observing their actions at each animal exhibit that they toured. The students also utilized the opportunity to engage in conversations with each other about the animals and their habitats.

Later this year, Koenig’s students will have the opportunity to follow a grocery list to purchase items for a recipe. They will also visit Sam and Louie’s in the spring to order or make a slice of pizza while practicing their social skills using their voices or communication devices while out and about in the community.

“This grant provides valuable opportunities for my students to use their language skills in different environments,” said Koenig.

“We practice language at school, but so much of what we practice applies to places outside of school. This grant allows our students to use what they are learning at school and apply it in different, exciting places.”


In the future, Koenig said that she would love to continue the Community Field Trips and Books Classroom Grant for her language groups. There are also some additional programs that she would like to consider purchasing that would be beneficial to building language and literacy skills.

Koenig’s grant is just one of 63 EPSF Classroom Grants totaling $157,000 that were awarded to all 20 Elkhorn Public Schools during the 2022-2023 school year. Our annual Golf Fore Grants event is the main fundraiser for our Classroom Grants program. This year, the event raised over $56,000, thanks to the generosity of our sponsors and participants.

If you are interested in making a contribution to our Classroom Grants program, please visit our online donation form or contact the Foundation office at (402) 289.1727.

Elkhorn Family Honors Son by Establishing the Sam Osborn Memorial Scholarship

Next April, a graduating senior from an Elkhorn public high school will be awarded “The Sam Osborn Memorial Scholarship” for the first time. This opportunity was made possible by the Osborns, an Elkhorn family who lost their son to muscular dystrophy earlier this year. Sam would have graduated from Elkhorn South High School in 2023.

Sam with his siblings from left to right: James, Grace, and William Osborn and his dad Mark Osborn.

Sam Osborn was the youngest of four tremendously close siblings. At six months old, his journey to a diagnosis of congenital muscular dystrophy began.

“The progressive disease debilitates the body, yet leaves the mind intact,” said the Osborn family. “As the disease affected him physically, Sam never let the condition limit his spirit or capacity for kindness. As his body grew more fragile, Sam became a greater source of strength and positivity that brightened the lives of those around him.”

Brilliant, yet never too serious, Sam used his remarkable intellect to bring warmth, humor, and happiness to all. He was expected to live to age eight. He passed away at age 17, having just finished a spectacular academic year as a junior in the 2021/2022 school year. Sam scored a 34 on his ACT exam, which surpassed his brother’s and sister’s score (a fact he would be glad to share).

“Sam illuminated a more fulfilling way to approach life,” said the Osborn Family.

Facing tremendous challenges, he chose to push beyond them. He never resented his disease and instead focused on the opportunities brought to him by being differently abled. With the help of friends and family, Sam enjoyed a lifetimes’ worth of experiences — he was blessed to have many friends who helped him be as independent as possible both inside and outside of school.

Sam Osborn with his mom Nikki Osborn and “Bonus Dad” Andrew Kimball.

The Sam Osborn Memorial Scholarship will be awarded to a graduating Elkhorn Public Schools senior who has confronted their own disabilities to achieve academic success, and/or a student who has helped another gain independence from their disabilities.

This scholarship is just one of over 200 community-funded scholarships that will be awarded to EPS graduating seniors this spring. The Foundation works with Elkhorn families and local businesses to award over $500,000 in scholarships every year. Applications for all EPSF scholarships are open from December 1st to February 1st, annually.

If you would like more information on establishing a scholarship or making a donation to an existing scholarship, please visit our Scholarship Program page.

Hall Of Fame 2022

On November 3rd, the Elkhorn Public Schools Foundation EPSF held its annual Hall of Fame Banquet & Awards Ceremony at the EPSF Alumni Center.

Every fall, the Elkhorn Public Schools Foundation honors Elkhorn teachers, staff, alumni, volunteers, and community businesses that have significantly impacted the Elkhorn Public Schools community and its students at its Hall of Fame Reception.

Nearly 200 members of the Elkhorn community attended the event to honor nine Hall of Fame Recipients.

“We have many educators within the Elkhorn Public Schools District who go ‘above and beyond’ every day,” said Stacey L. Falk, Executive Director of the Elkhorn Public Schools Foundation. “It is the dedication of our teachers, volunteers, and community that sets us apart from other school districts. Your support truly exemplifies why Elkhorn Public Schools and our community are among the best in the state!”

2022 Hall of Fame Recipients


2022 Hall of Fame Award Recipients

Carl L. White Educator of the YearMelissa Simons, Elkhorn South High School
Golden Apple Educator of the YearAshley Staton, Sagewood Elementary
Support Staff Member of the YearMary Jo Giesselmann, ENRMS
Former Educator of the YearJulie Sorensen
Alumnus of the YearJon Driscoll
Teammates Mentor of the YearEd Pullen
Community Booster of the YearJames Manske, Elkhorn Lawn Care
Volunteers of the YearJenny Haase & Angie Knutson

Thank you to our 2022 Hall of Fame Patrons!

Dr. Nancy Rogic-Greufe & Mr. Jim Greufe


The Elkhorn Public Schools Foundation is a non-profit organization that promotes student achievement and the unity of our community and its public schools by encouraging, supporting, and recognizing excellence in innovative education, quality school programs, and civic involvement.

2022 End-of-Year Giving Campaign

Help fund Elkhorn Public Schools Foundation Programs by making a contribution to our End-of-Year Giving Campaign!

With your support, we are able to fund impactful programs including Classroom Grants, Scholarships, Math & Reading Assistance, Teacher Tuition Reimbursement, and more. Please read about our programs below.

Classroom Grants

We enrich the classroom experience of Elkhorn Public School students by providing multiple grants to all 20 schools in the District, impacting students at every grade level.


Scholarship Program

We administer scholarships on behalf of community businesses, families, and organizations in addition to funding the Achieve Scholarship Program. These scholarships have benefited thousands of Elkhorn Public Schools’ graduating seniors.


“Being rewarded for the hard work done during my time as a high schooler in Elkhorn is greatly appreciated. The ACHIEVE Scholarship gave me something to work toward that fueled my motivation in my AP classes.” -2022 Elkhorn South High School Graduate & EPSF Scholarship Recipient


Kids in Need

We provide financial assistance to Elkhorn families in need, ensuring financial hardships do not stand in the way of our students’ physical, social, and emotional needs or their ability to achieve success within our schools.


Math & Reading Assistance

We fund the extra hours that our Elkhorn teachers spend outside their school day assisting hundreds of elementary school students who need extra assistance in math and reading comprehension. This includes before and after-school math & reading clubs.


“At first I didn’t think that my child would want to attend Math Club, but he LOVES it!  I have seen such improvement in the work he is doing!” -Emily Penry


Teacher Tuition Reimbursement

We encourage our Elkhorn teachers and teacher assistants to prioritize their continued education by providing partial tuition reimbursement. The Foundation provides thousands of dollars in tuition reimbursement every year.


The Elkhorn Public Schools Foundation is a non-profit organization that promotes student achievement and the unity of our community and its public schools by encouraging, supporting, and recognizing excellence in innovative education, quality school programs, and civic involvement.

Bids For Kids 2022

An Elkhorn Public Schools Foundation Fundraiser

Bids For Kids event raises $74K for Math & Reading Assistance Programs in Elkhorn Public Schools

Last month, the Elkhorn Public Schools Foundation hosted its most successful Bids For Kids fundraiser to date thanks to the generosity of the event’s auction donors, bidders, and sponsors.

From September 28th to October 6th, more than 400 members of the Elkhorn community came together and raised $74K to help fund the Math & Reading Assistance Programs that take place in the Elkhorn District’s elementary schools.

“What an amazing and super successful night!” Said Susan Lumsden, Elkhorn Public Schools Foundation Special Events Coordinator. “I loved seeing our attendees and volunteers having fun, and all of our planning come to life! Giving is not just about making a donation. It’s about making a difference.”

In support of the fundraiser, attendees heard from Math Interventionist Mallory Lantzer, an Elkhorn Public Schools teacher who leads P.A.W.S (People At Westridge Succeed), an afterschool Math Program at Westridge Elementary that provided additional support for more than 60 students last year alone.

Some people might think that students wouldn’t want to stay after school for an extra 30 minutes to practice math, but for most kids quite the opposite is true,” said Mallory Lantzer. “Our students love the opportunity to work in a small group with their teachers and their peers. They enjoy the more individualized attention from their teachers, and are willing to ask questions and share their thinking out loud– Something that most of them aren’t confident enough to do in a whole class setting.

This year’s Bids For Kids event featured 313 auction items, many of which were donated by local businesses and friends of the Elkhorn Public Schools Foundation. Some of the most coveted items included a Husker Volleyball package, Blake Shelton Pinnacle Bank Suite tickets, an in-home wine tasting from WineShop, and a round of golf at the Lost Rail, Nebraska’s new exclusive golf course. Nearly 2,000 bids were made over the nine-day auction.

“Thank you to everyone who bid on this year’s items!” Said Stacey L. Falk, Executive Director of the Elkhorn Public Schools Foundation. “It’s because of you that we’re able to fund these important programs that help our District’s young students receive the extra help they need to be successful.”


✨ About Bids For Kids: Bids For Kids is an annual fundraiser hosted by the Elkhorn Public Schools Foundation. Proceeds of this event fund the Math & Reading Clubs that take place in Elkhorn’s elementary schools before and after school. Formally known as “Math and Reading Intervention,” these clubs help students gain confidence through small group tutoring and improve their overall math and reading comprehension.

In the 2021-2022 school year, over 400 elementary students needed additional instruction in math and reading. Because of the generous support of our Bids For Kids sponsors, donors, and bidders, we’re able to continue to fund these vital programs as the need for them increases.

If you are interested in making a donation to help fund these important programs, you can donate online or call the Elkhorn Public Schools Foundation office at (402)289.1727. Thank you for your support!


THANK YOU TO OUR 2022 SPONSORS!

2022 Presenting Sponsor

2022 Media Sponsor

2022 Media Sponsor

2022 Raffle Sponsor

2022 Party Sponsor

2022 Party Sponsor

2022 Party Sponsor

2022 Party Sponsor

2022 Party Sponsor

2022 Photography Sponsor

Friends of the Foundation:

Arbor Bank

CiShirts

Elkhorn Public Library Foundation

Guy Jukes, Juke’s Ale Works

KE Flex Contracting LLC

Mama’s Pizza

Pappas Marketing Communications

Arbor View PTO

Skyline PTO

Spring Ridge PTO

Westridge PTO

Entertainment for the evening provided by:


The Elkhorn Public Schools Foundation

The Elkhorn Public Schools Foundation is a nonprofit organization that promotes student achievement and the unity of our community and its public schools by encouraging, supporting, and recognizing excellence in innovative education, quality school programs, and civic involvement. We offer scholarships, classroom grants, before & after school care, teacher tuition reimbursement, and more.

Retired Teachers Luncheon

The Elkhorn Public Schools Foundation will be hosting our annual luncheon for retired Elkhorn Public Schools teachers on Thursday, November 10th at 11:30am!

In honor of Veteran’s Day, we will be hosting guest speaker Bill Williams of Patriotic Productions during our annual Retired Teachers Luncheon. A catered lunch will be provided with time to socialize and network with other retired Elkhorn Public Schools Teachers.

There is no charge to attend this event, but an RSVP is required. You may RSVP online at: https://www.elkhornalumni.org/eps_retired_teachers_luncheon

If you know other retired teachers that may be interested in attending please spread the word! If you have questions regarding the event, please contact Sara McArdle at smcardle@elkhornfoundation.org or (402) 289-1727.

teachers lunch.jpg

Would you like to keep in touch with other retired teachers and the Elkhorn Public Schools community? Please take a moment to fill out this short survey to receive updates and information on upcoming events: https://forms.gle/cm7MbrhCVTtNjtpq8


About the Speaker | Bill Williams co-founder of Patriotic Productions:

billwilliams.jpg

Patriotic Productions has helped over 3,500 WWII, Korea, and Vietnam veterans travel to see their memorials in Washington D.C. from 2008 to 2019. Raising funds and organizing flights spurred an interest in creating more events and opportunities to honor our country’s veterans and their families, as did the Williamses’ four sons, who have changed their family’s legacy to that of one serving in the military. Bill and Evonne are not veterans, nor do they come from military families, but their four sons have all volunteered to serve our country; two soldiers and two Marines.

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Additional Information on Bids For Kids 2022 Winspire Trips

Please see the attached .pdfs for more information regarding the Winspire Trips that are featured in our 2022 Bids For Kids Auction:

#101 California Wine Getaway

https://www.elkhornfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/FINAL-INFO-8005-2n-The-Best-of-Food-and-Wine-Healdsburg-20220524.pdf

#102 Bourbon Tour

https://www.elkhornfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/FINAL-INFO-3440-2n-Kentucky-Bourbon-Trail-20220426.pdf

#103 Kennedy Space Center

https://www.elkhornfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/FINAL-KSC-Custom-4-people-with-ATX-no-air-1-1.pdf

#104 Oregon Wine Country

https://www.elkhornfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/104-OR-WINE-COUNTRY.pdf

#105 Sports Fan Getaway

https://www.elkhornfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/FINAL-DISPLAY-5200-2n-Ultimate-Pro-Sports-Fan-Getaway-20210716.pdf

Hall of Fame 2022

Annual Hall of Fame Banquet & Awards Ceremony
Thursday, November 3rd, 2022

Every fall, the Elkhorn Public Schools Foundation hosts its Hall of Fame Reception where we honor teachers, school staff, Elkhorn alumni, volunteers, and community businesses.

This year, we will host our Hall of Fame Reception on Thursday, November 3rd at the Elkhorn Public Schools Foundation Alumni Center at 20272 Veterans Drive in Elkhorn, NE. Catered dinner & refreshments will be provided starting at 6pm with the awards ceremony beginning at 7pm.

This event is free to attend, but RSVPs are required by October 27th.


2022 Hall of Fame Award Recipients

Carl L. White Educator of the YearMelissa Simons, Elkhorn South High School
Golden Apple Educator of the YearAshley Staton, Sagewood Elementary
Support Staff Member of the YearMary Jo Giesselman, ENRMS
Former Educator of the YearJulie Sorenson
Alumnus of the YearJon Driscoll
Teammates Mentor of the YearEd Pullen
Community Booster of the YearJames Manske, Elkhorn Lawn Care
Volunteer of the YearAngie Knutson & Jenny Haase


Sponsorship Opportunities

Sponsorship Opportunities are available as listed below. Proceeds help offset the cost of this event that honors our community members. All donations are tax-deductible contributions to the Elkhorn Public Schools Foundation.

Sponsorships can be purchased through our Donor Perfect site or by invoice/check. If you have questions regarding a sponsorship or your RSVP, please feel free to give us a call at the Foundation office at (402)289.1727. Thank you for your consideration!

Hall of Fame Benefactor: $2,500
•Special thank you on Facebook page and email
•Business logo on EPSF Website
•Recognition in event presentation
•Business logo in event program
•Recognition in EPSF Annual Newsletter

Hall of Fame Patron: $1,000
•Business logo or family name on EPSF Website
•Business logo or family name in event presentation
•Business logo or family name in event program
•Recognition in EPSF Annual Newsletter

Hall of Fame Sponsor: $500
•Business logo or family name in event presentation
•Business or family name in event program
•Recognition in EPSF Annual Newsletter

Friend of the Foundation
•Business or family name in event program
•Recognition in EPSF Annual Newsletter


Thank you to our 2022 Hall of Fame Sponsors!

TEAM Campaign 2022

Support the Elkhorn Public Schools Foundation by “getting on the bus” and joining our annual TEAM Campaign!

What does the Elkhorn Public Schools Foundation do? We are a nonprofit organization that provides funding to the Elkhorn Public Schools District for enhanced educational opportunities for Elkhorn students and additional support for Elkhorn Public Schools staff.

What is the TEAM Campaign? The Elkhorn Public Schools Foundation TEAM Campaign is an annual fundraiser where EPS staff donate to the Foundation to help fund its programs. By donating to the Foundation’s 2022 TEAM Campaign you’re helping us provide additional funding for Classroom Grants, Scholarships, Teacher Tuition Reimbursement, Math & Reading Assistance, our Kids in Need Fund, and more!

Last year, 544 EPS staff members donated over $53K to the TEAM Campaign demonstrating that…

Together Everyone Achieves More!

If you’re inspired to join us in our efforts, please consider donating to our 2022 TEAM Campaign! Your donation will help us reach our $60K goal and will help fund vital programs for our Elkhorn students and staff.


Important reminders & prizes:

-Submit your donation form by Wednesday, August 31st for a chance to win a Scooter’s Gift card!

-All donation forms must be submitted by Friday, September 30th.

-Payroll deduction(s) will begin in November.

NEW THIS YEAR:
-If ALL TEAM Campaign donations cumulate to $60K or more by September 30th, EVERY SCHOOL in the District will receive a catered lunch!


Donation Rewards:

Level 1

If you donate between $60-$119, you’ll receive a dark heather gray short-sleeve “Elkhorn Proud” t-shirt (BELLA CANVAS brand).


Level 2

If you donate $120 or more, you’ll receive BOTH a dark heather gray short-sleeve AND a dark heather gray “Elkhorn Proud” hoodie sweatshirt (Both are BELLA CANVAS Brand).


How to make your donation:

THANK YOU FOR “GETTING ON THE BUS” AND HELPING US SUPPORT OUR ELKHORN PUBLIC SCHOOLS PROGRAMS!

Questions? Give us a call at (402)289.1727 or email
Genice Chochon at gchochon@elkhornfoundation.org.

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