Westerville students can look forward to more innovative classroom programs in the future.

More than $20,000 was raised during the Westerville Education Foundation's Double Donation Campaign last month to fund cutting-edge programs for students.

"The success of this campaign is an exciting indicator of the community support for the mission of the WEF," said Colleen Moidu, the foundation's executive director.

The campaign was the largest in the foundation's 25-year history, doubling the previous annual averages and reaching almost 10,000 students.

Greg Viebranz, the district's executive director of communication and technology, said the foundation approved 12 grants Dec. 15 with a value of $20,300.

The foundation provided $15,000 in funding during the 2016-17 school year, including eight grants totaling $6,764.

Since its inception, the foundation has funded approximately 220 teacher grants totaling almost $200,000 across the Westerville City School District.

Erick Carter, board president of the foundation, said he believes this is just the start of what is possible in 2018.

"As we approached our 25-year anniversary, the message from the Westerville community and district educators was clear," he said.

"Students benefit greatly from programs in Westerville schools like the ones funded by the WEF. Our ultimate goal is to fund even more programs in the future," he said.

Answering this call to action, the foundation's board of directors hired Moidu as the organization's first executive director with a vision to advance the foundation's mission and enrich the learning opportunities available to Westerville students.

"WEF is a wonderful organization," said Kyle Campbell, a science teacher at Westerville North High School and grant recipient.

"Our community is passionate about education and supporting innovation in our classrooms," said John Kellogg, superintendent. "We appreciate the Westerville Education Foundation's efforts to make these connections and facilitate these innovative programs.

"With everyone's continued support, we can't wait to see what is possible this year," he said.

Community partners who matched donations made to the foundation during December included: 2K General Co.; Aqua-Tots Swim Schools of Westerville; Alliance Data; Dr. Larry Shepherd and Dr. Ellen Tamburello of Central Ohio Primary Care Physicians; Gandee and Associates; Gandee Heydinger Group; Garber Electric; the Garland Co.; GroupEleven Consulting; Henry Painting; i9 Sports; Italian Body Shop DBA IBS Collision Center; Lake Shore Cryotronics Inc.; Phinney Industrial Roofing Inc.; TRIAD Architects; TRIAD Facility Solutions, Westerville Area Realty Association and the Little Gym of Polaris.

Other contributors to the campaign included Robert Woodruff; ULTIMAX INC.; Spectra Contract Flooring; Todd and Nancy McFarland; the Goodsite Family; K-Guard Leaf Free Gutters and Fire Systems Professionals.

For more information about the foundation's projects, visit westervilleeducationfoundation.com or search for it on Facebook.

mkuhlman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekMarla