The Renton School’s Foundation celebrated another year with Toyota of Renton and Walker’s Renton Subaru at the helm of their donation support with a billboard of gratitude.
For nine years, the donors have each given $25,000 every year, making the car dealers the foundation’s longest standing, biggest donors.
The billboard went up in late October and features two elementary kids, Isaac and Adrian, who participated in Renton’s summer adventures camp this year. Being from two different sides of town, the student’s faces lit up when they reunited to watch the unveiling of the billboard.
The two students featured participated excitedly in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and robotics projects over the summer. Pam Teal, chairperson of the Renton School’s Foundation and Renton School boardmember, said it was a beautiful thing to see the friendship that camp was able to forge.
“We need to be able to share with our donors this work (we do),” Teal said of having students on the billboard. “Students are selected through their schools with the counselors, its not just random. They’ve been identified as needing some extra help and families are pretty excited to see their kids can come from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. There’s transportation, food, learning and no cost. And kids really get some hands on one-on-one learning time with their teachers.”
This is one of two summer programs the Renton School’s Foundation helped to fund for the last five years. The other is a summer robotics camp for middle and high schoolers.
The foundation has turned its focus in recent years to STEM, arts, literacy and teacher’s grants. Last year they were able to give $35,000 in teacher grants, and so far this year have set aside $20,000.
Dale Walker of Walker’s Renton Subaru said that while the billboard was a nice way to show appreciation, they don’t donate for the recognition.
“Those two young gentlemen that were on (the billboard) are a great example, it’s about giving kids the opportunity to expand their horizons, identify their goals and realize those goals can be achieved,” Walker said. “There’s still a tremendous amount of opportunities, not only in our city and region but in our country, and what’s stopping most people from achieving is never even seeing those opportunities.”
Walker said when looking for places to donate, they thought Renton Schools Foundation would help them channel their limited resources into the most dynamic impact on their community. Walker also said he commended the Renton School District and Superintendent Damien Pattenaude for their passion for young people and opening every opportunity they can for students from all walks of life.
Teal said being under the umbrella organization of Renton Regional Community Foundation helped establish their group and run their own board meetings.
“I love the direction (the foundation is) heading in and the partnerships. We have a database of over 1000 sponsors,” Teal said.
More information is at http://rentonschoolsfoundation.org/.