News

Funding for some, education for all

By PAUL BALCERAK

Staf writer

Money doesn’t always flow as loosely as the Central Kitsap School District would like, but fortunately, public funds aren’t the only ones making their way into the district.

Since 1986, the Paul Linder Educational Foundation has provided grant money to teachers, staff and students in the district in an effort to enhance educational opportunities for Central Kitsap kids.

“The things that we fund are really interesting,” said Jane Chapin, the board’s vice president of gifts and principal of Cottonwood Elementary School. “We look at things that are unique that will really improve (education for all students).”

Therein lies the focus of the Linder Foundation: to fund projects that will benefit as many minds as possible.

One past grant recipient used her funding to rebuild a local walking trail. Another student took a summer class at the University of Washington on the life cycles of fish and created a presentation for her classmates and community members. A gym teacher bought inflatable exercise balls to take the place of chairs in the classroom to help ADHD-afflicted students.

“It has to be something you can bring back into your school, something you can show your classmates, teachers, et cetera,” Board Vice President of Grants Stacey Ames said.

All involved in the foundation are volunteers and besides a small amount of money to cover operating costs, all donations go right back into the school system. The foundation also hosts two major fund-raisers during the school year — Putt for Education in the fall and Paul’s Bowl in the spring.

The man the foundation gets its namesake from was — and still is — widely regarded as one of the foremost community leaders in Silverdale. Linder started as a teacher in CKSD in 1947. He had stints as a baseball and basketball coach, principal, curriculum director and superintendent before his retirement in 1978. He was awarded the Washington Buiness and Public Relations Society of America’s “Washington Award” in 1989. When he died in January 1990, the foundation was already established.

“He was a good man,” Board Member Tim Cline said. “I still think about him often.

“He had a way with young men that he could tell when they were troubled.”

Cline was a high school sophomore in the mid-’40s when he met Linder and considers him his mentor.

“He was a great inspiration to me,” Cline said.

Now as a board member, Cline and the others endeavor to pick grantees who will similarly inspire today’s students.

The board awarded nearly $6,000 in grant money last year and hopes to be able to grant as much as $8,000 in 2008. Long-term planning has the board hopeful the endowment they set up could reach $100,000. Grant requests amount to about $30,000 each year and the board has to be selective in which requests are granted, which are partially granted and which are simply denied.

“We really do look for ways to spread it as far as we can,” Chapin said, noting the foundation tries to grant to as many people as possible. “A seed might be planted with what somebody does and people might take off that.”

The board will host its annual general meeting Jan. 28 at Cottonwood Elementary School. A few grant recipients from last year will be on hand to present the results of their funding and it’s a good time for people to learn about the foundation and what it does, Chapin said.

People can donate to the Paul Linder Educational Foundation by sending contributions to the following address: P.O. Box 2234, Silverdale, WA 98383. All contributions are tax-deductible.

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