The Education Foundation for Bend–La Pine Schools has awarded over $25,000 in classroom grants to public schools in Bend, La Pine and Sunriver, for use during the remainder of the 2020/2021 school year. These grants are the result of an extraordinary grant funding cycle, one that is outside the annual awards cycle of the Education Foundation. Priority of awards is given to high-need district schools and is based on merit of the request and available funding. Over the past decade, the Foundation has invested more than $1.6 million into our public schools – positively impacting students in Bend, La Pine, and Sunriver.

Due to school closures the Education Foundation’s normal Spring Classroom Grant cycle was put on hold for 2020. Annual fundraising events were cancelled as well. However, the need for educational support did not end. The Education Foundation wanted to support this potentially stressful time for students, teachers, and staff of BLS. The students of Bend La Pine Schools have been back in the classroom since January. The grants cover a wide variety of classroom projects in Language Arts, music, STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Arts and Math), special needs, and wellness. These special winter grants impact students and teachers at every grade level. The funded grants cover every elementary school and 12 middle and high schools. Ten of the Title 1 schools in Bend-La Pine Schools received support.

One unique grant covered a BLS priority for the return of students to classrooms, Social and Emotional Learning. Working with the Behavior Coach Team of BLS a grant was created that allowed the Education Foundation to cover EVERY elementary school K-3 classroom. Here is a summary from Jen Goodman, a Special Programs Behavior Coach with Bend-La Pine Schools;

“Trauma-informed approaches and tools are absolutely crucial in our classrooms today. Research in neuroscience tells us that many students who walk into school are working from the lower parts of their brains, due to adverse childhood experiences and trauma. Many of our students have a difficult time accessing their cortex, which is the part of the brain where learning occurs.

With a generous grant from the Education Foundation, we are in the process of creating Brain- Based Break Kits for all 245 Kindergarten through 3rd grade teachers in the Bend La Pine School District. The kits will include tools and interventions to support classroom teachers in helping their class and individual students access their cortex so that they are ready to learn.

Along with visuals that offer specific interventions for each brain state, each kit will also include tangible tools, a timer, and headphones for individual student breaks. The coaches are also creating a training video that teachers can access via a QR code attached to the kits. The video will provide teachers foundational knowledge around each part of the brain, how to recognize what brain state their students may be working from, and how to respond with specific interventions that move students into being ready to learn.

We are excited to present our educators with a foundation of further support during this unique year,,” stated Angie Cole, Allocations Committee Chair and Education Foundation board member.

Thanks to the generous donations from grant partners, individual and corporate donors, and the Bend community, the Education Foundation is humbled to provide support to teachers and students. The work of the Foundation affects the greater population of 18,000+ students and 2,200 educators and staff equitably within the Bend-La Pine school district.

“We are excited to announce this special Winter Program for classroom grant awards,” said Wendy Graunitz, Education Foundation board president. “Every year the Foundation provides financial and resource support to public school educators on a district-wide level for high impact, academically proven innovative projects with solid implementation and evaluation plans in the areas of STEAM, art, music and wellness. We serve to bridge the gap between the educational community and the business community in Bend, La Pine and Sunriver.”

Annual fundraising events including the always fun & competitive 15th Annual Trivia Night at the Tower Theatre have been cancelled. However, you can still participate with your donation. Please contact the Education Foundation, (541) 355-5660 or find us online.


About the Education Foundation for Bend-La Pine Schools

The Education Foundation, founded in 1988, prepares District students for success and future through exceptional educational and extracurricular. The Education Foundation receives no federal dollars and relies on the support of their Foundation partners, business supporters, and individual donors to support K-12 education. To find out more about the Education Foundation, contact Dave Beltramini, Executive Director, (541) 355-5660, or email

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