Golf Fore Grants 2023
Congratulations to our 2023 Golf Fore Grants Winners!
On June 5, 2023, over 170 participants, volunteers, and sponsors gathered for a day of golf, games, and fun at Champions Run Golf Course for our 24th annual Golf Fore Grants Tournament. This year’s event raised over $55K for Elkhorn Public Schools’ classrooms!
This year’s Golf Fore Grants event featured a four-person 18-hole afternoon scramble which began with a noon shotgun start. Members of Elkhorn North High School Cheer, Elkhorn High School Band, Elkhorn Kids Campus Employees, and Friends of the Foundation teamed up to assist with activities on the course. The games included a putting green contest, hit the circle to win a Pitch wine bag, hole in one contest where the winner could win a 2023 Genesis G70, golf poker, and band & cheer entertainment.
The tournament team champions were the Sampson foursome: Laura Cammack, Nick Cammack, Broc Mason, and Jordan Lozano. The Bishop Business team was the winners of this year’s putting green contest, and the best Golf Poker hand went to Paul Grieger.
Elkhorn Public Schools Foundation Classroom Grants Program
Granting the Gift of Books Over the Summer
Tables and tables of books containing titles, such as Wings of Fire, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, I Survived, and so much more, were organized throughout the Westridge Elementary gym on Monday, May 22, 2023. As students entered, they heard music, saw fun decorations, and observed hundreds of new and gently used books.
Laurie Davidson, who has been the Reading Specialist at Westridge for 13 years, recalled students experiencing a sense of joy where “they just take a deep breath when they walk in, and they realize they don’t have to return the books” they chose.
This is the fifth year that Davidson applied and received an Elkhorn Public School Foundation classroom grant. Her grant is called “Flip Flop Book Swap.” During the book swap, every student at Westridge can choose between one to three new or gently used books. To supply most of those books, Davidson and Stephany Albritton, Westridge Media Specialist, went to the Scholastic warehouse and purchased books using the grant money from the EPS Foundation. This year they purchased 250 books. To make sure every student can have at least one book, students are encouraged to bring any gently used books they would like to donate for the book swap.
During the swap, most of the brand-new books are taken. Any books left over from the swap are then given away during school breaks, a mid-summer swap, or provided to reading intervention students over the holiday breaks.
Davidson works with Albritton to pick out titles that are frequently checked out, books that are popular, and items that target a variety of interests and reading levels. Additionally, they try to accommodate requests. This year a little girl wanted a puppy book, and another boy is a huge Sonic lover. Davidson noted, “Sonic is his thing. So, I set that aside for him.” Davidson recalls that the boy was “beyond thrilled” especially when he realized it was all his.
A goal of the book swap is to encourage conversations about books. During the event, Davidson recalled seeing a fourth grader and a second grader talking about books. She frequently heard students saying, “You should try this!”
In addition to students talking to each other about books, this event also showed students that the staff at Westridge cares about reading and books. “They can talk to any of our staff members … and we’ll talk books. They read a ton of books,” Davidson said. The staff also model a love for reading by having their own book swap in the teacher’s lounge.
Another goal of Davidson’s is to minimize summer learning loss through this program. Davidson uses this yearly event to ask students, “How are you going to plan for reading during the summer?” She also tells them, “When you open a book, think of me.”
Technology, especially over the summer, plays a huge role in how much or how little a student reads.
“With the electronic world that we are living in, it’s important to have that conversation about books and reading,” she said. “How can we get more books in students’ hands if parents aren’t taking them to the library or grandparents aren’t buying them books. Plus, not all students have access” to books over the summer.
Davidson vividly recalled asking a little girl what she read over the summer, and the little girl said a birthday card. Stories like this motivate Davidson to continue providing books to students over the summer break.
Davidson’s book swap is one of the 76 grants that were approved for the 2023-2024 school year totaling $140,000.
“I want to thank the donors,” Davidson said. “It’s important that the students know that there are people out there that care about them outside of Westridge.”
Our annual Golf Fore Grants event is the main fundraiser for our Classroom Grants program. This year, the event raised over $55,000, thanks to the generosity of our sponsors and participants.
“We know how much the Foundation does and knowing how much our donations through the TEAM campaign are going to something like this,” Davidson noted. “We appreciate everything that you guys do too. It helps us do our job better.”
Please visit www.elkhornfoundation.org/classroom-grants to see a full list of classroom grant requests.
If you are interested in making a contribution to our Classroom Grant program, please click the link below or call the Foundation at (402) 289.1727 to discuss your gift. Thank you for your support!
The Foundation would also like to thank our 2023 Golf Fore Grants participants, sponsors, volunteers, and supporters. The success of this year’s event would not have been possible without the support of the Elkhorn Public Schools Foundation community.