Foundation announces $235,000 for critical needs and innovation in Corvallis schools

The Corvallis Public Schools Foundation announced this week it is granting $235,000 to the Corvallis School District to address pressing needs, including health and wellness, support for students navigating poverty and housing instability, and innovative programming designed to reinvigorate teaching and learning.

“Thanks to the generosity of our donors and partners, the foundation is able to assist the district with vital efforts,” said Ashlee Chavez, chair of the foundation board. “Awarding funds that support and empower students, families, and educators is a top priority for the foundation.”

Family Advocacy and Support

More than a third of the $235,000 will support family advocacy and support through the district’s Welcome Center. The Welcome Center houses programs aimed at getting food, clothing and other essential supplies to the families of district students.

“We’re committed to supporting the district’s outreach advocates in their work with students at all Corvallis School District schools,” said Liv Gifford, the foundation’s executive director. “This year, that means ensuring our most vulnerable students have warm, waterproof clothing, ready-to-eat meals, and other supplies while shelters remain limited in capacity.”

Mental Health

An additional $50,000 is earmarked for expanded mental health programming, especially at the middle school level. The funds will support curriculum aimed at addressing suicide prevention, child sexual abuse education, anti-bullying efforts, and healthy gender and sexuality education.


Nearly one-third of the funds, or $75,000, will support IMAGINE grants (IMAGINE stands for Innovation, comMunity, Action, chanGe, Inclusivity, collaboratioN, and Engagement) distributed in response to grant applications from teachers and staff. This year’s 26 projects support creative efforts that require just a little bit of funding while aligning with district goals of promoting student achievement, equity, real-world learning, and health and wellness.

The 2021-22 IMAGINE grants span 13 schools and include investments in STE(A)M, sustainability, music, culturally relevant books, physical activity, and more. Three grants totaling $15,000 will jump-start a construction program and traditional folk-building class at College Hill High School.

“Today more than ever, it’s critical to show support for our students and educators who are working to overcome the challenges of these last few years,” stated Emily Barton, co-chair of the foundation’s Grants and Scholarships Committee. “We are pleased to be able to award funds that promote success and directly impact students and staff in their school environments.”

Staff Wellbeing and Retention

Finally, an investment of $30,000 will support the wellbeing and retention of staff by sponsoring food for community-building events for staff at strategic points over the course of the school year. Meals will provide an opportunity for educators to foster relationships with colleagues. These connections are critical to a positive work environment, and are especially valuable after the isolation educators experienced during extended school closures.

View the full list of Special Projects Grants.

View the full list of IMAGINE Grants.