The Washington Apple Education Foundation, Wenatchee, Wash., awarded $27,000 in grants to 12 community and school programs around the state, in an effort to boost scholastic success for farmworkers and their families.
Executive director Jennifer Witherbee said that the foundation’s grant selection committee made award decisions based on some key priorities, things like improving early education and high school dropout rates, enouraging upward mobility, and especially improving language literacy.
“The industry relies heavily on farmworkers, who often come from Mexico and South America,” Witherbee said. “A lot of our grants focus on helping families that need that additional assistance to be able to succeed at school or succeed at learning a new language.”
A grant of more than $2,000 was given to an elementary to purchase library and classroom supplies in Spanish. Central Washington University received $2,500 for a program that helps Hispanic teens. A school district received $1,500 to hire an after-school Spanish tutor. And the Friends of Buena Library received more than $2,400 for an eight-week English course focusing on basic and job-related communication.
The foundation is the charity of Washington’s tree fruit industry, and it has been awarding such grants since it was organized in 1994. Several companies and funds, as well as the foundation itself, contributed money for the grants.