FRIENDS OF WEYBRIDGE ELEMENTARY (FOWE)
The mission of the Friends of Weybridge Elementary (FOWE) is to bring together the skills, talents, knowledge and energy of the community to support the school, the teachers, students, staff and administration of Weybridge Elementary School.
FOWE is open to all Weybridge families and plays a vital role in fostering communication and providing support to the school and the community as a whole. Central to this role is providing an opportunity to learn about what's going on in the school.
FOWE activity can be divided into three main areas of support:
School Programs – FOWE coordinates volunteers for many essential aspects of the school, including kitchen and library assistance, garden and play space maintenance and classroom support.
Community Building – FOWE organizes many activities and events that are free and open to the community. Grand Friends Tea, Family Game Night and Family Book Night are all activities that bring the school and the community together for social interaction and fun.
Fundraising – FOWE organizes or coordinates several events which raise funds to support the school. From weekly bottle redemption to the Service Raffle and the annual Tag Sale, these activities and events support the school and community in numerous ways. The funds raised go toward supporting a variety of student programs that aren’t fully covered under the school budget, such as field trips, sponsoring a Jr Iron Chef team, the library, and art and science residencies.
This year, FOWE has joined forces with the Weybridge Community Partnership Team (WCPT), which was formed 1 1/2 years ago when our former Principal, Christina Johnston, and Erika Garner, Community Coordinator for ACSD, took on the district leadership role to bring community partnership teams to all schools in ACSD. Weybridge was one of four schools who formed a pilot gruop that initially consisted of 5 members who were interested in the missions of 1) Building community and 2) Engaging parents as partners in their child's education. At the time of formation, membership to this group was open to every parent and staff member at WES. The group has thus far been following a format designed by Johns Hopkins University that includes the development of an annual Action Plan based on six types of involvement. The Action Plan (which is still being fine-tuned) includes two academic goals, one behavioral goal and one goal for sustaining a partnership climate. In its first year at WES, the WCPT inspired monthly potlucks that included childcare and a parent session focused on topics (growth mindset, mindfulness, etc) led by school guidance counselor Elizabeth Burrows.
In recent months, it has become increasingly obvious that there is a great deal of overlap between FOWE and the WCPT, leading to a decision to combine the two groups with WCPT as a sub-committee of FOWE.
Weybridge Elementary has a long-standing, high level of volunteerism. The degree of commitment is extraordinary in the changing times and economies of the community and the world. Your role as a school volunteer is extremely important to the school because it has direct impact on the education of the children and because it saves taxpayer money. In additiona, your participation is a clear statement to the children that you care about them and their education. It also provides an important model for them as they learn how to be responsible members of the community. In whatever way you choose to volunteer your time - attending student performances, becoming a room parent, helping in the library or meals program, grant writing, maintaining the buildings and grounds, driving and chaperoning for field trips, etc. - your commitment is of value to us and the greater community. FOWE sends out a survey each year to find out how you might like to volunteer. This helps us tailor our requests of you, but feel free at any time to offer new ideas.
If you have questions about FOWE, would like to become involved, have ideas to share or topics you would like addressed, please call the school at 545-2113 or reach out to FOWE co-chairs Ophelia Eglene and Kirsten Hendy: FOWE2018@gmail.com.