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Westerville Education Foundation Launches GAP Initiative to Support Innovative Educational Practices

The Westerville Education Foundation (WEF) on September 30, 2014, launched its latest endeavor to support quality education in Westerville City Schools.  Officially known as the “GAP Initiative,” the WEF’s latest project puts the power of online fundraising and crowdsourcing directly into the hands of classroom teachers and other licensed educators.

“We’re excited to make these online features available to educators in the Westerville City Schools,” said WEF President Courtney Wagner. “Our Foundation’s competitive grants program has been the primary way that we’ve supported innovative educational activities in the district. However, the addition of these online funding modules will open a door to many other possibilities for our teachers to provide a quality, innovative educational experience to their students.”

Online modules available through the WEF website at consist of the following:

  • Adopt-A-Classroom The Adopt-a-Classroom program allows individuals to support specific classrooms and academic programs online.  Interested persons may select the class or program of their choice and help provide financial resources that will be used for special materials, supplies and consumables that staff otherwise may purchase using their personal funds.

  • Fund-A-Project The Fund-a-Project program harnesses the power of crowdsourcing by allowing teachers and other educators to submit proposals for innovative educational and operational projects.  Visitors to the WEF site can view these project proposals and provide requested support with just a few simple clicks and keystrokes.

  • Community Opportunities Through this program, businesses, organizations, and schools can communicate about opportunities such as student internships, teacher externships, volunteer opportunities, scholarships, and guest speaker requests.  Teachers also can post non-monetary, in-kind contribution requests.  It’s a place where community members can review posted opportunities and become involved in Westerville City Schools.

GAP is actually an acronym derived from the Foundation's logo, which includes the words Innovate, Educate and Inspire:

  • The “G” relates to the Grants program and aligns with the word “Inspire.”  Innovative programs funded through the Foundation’s competitive grant process are meant to serve as an inspiration to other educators in the Westerville City Schools.

  • The “A” pertains to the Foundation’s Adopt-a-Classroom program and aligns with the word “Educate.”  Funds generated through this means support classroom activities and programs that directly benefit and support the education of students.

  • The “P” represents other various Projects supported by the WEF and aligns with the word “Innovate.”  Through these projects, the creativity of district employees is limited only by their own imagination.

The GAP acronym has additional meaning because Foundation members believe this latest initiative will help close several types of gaps that exist in education today:  Funding Gaps, Achievement Gaps and Programming Gaps.

“We can’t thank the Westerville Education Foundation enough for this latest initiative,” said Westerville City School District Superintendent Dr. John Kellogg. “I know this has been at least a year in the making and everyone has worked extremely diligently to bring these new features to our staff, to the community, and most importantly, to the benefit of our students.”

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