Support for OIEF | Letter

When you support OIEF, you can see exactly where your money goes.

Unlike the large sums of money that go into the structural requirements of school facilities and payroll, dollars given to OIEF are zeroed in on specific enrichment opportunities.

Consider what OIEF funds are being used for right now, during this school year:

• Theater in the high school.

• Kindergarten-8th grade (K-8) visual arts programs.

• K-8 dance.

• Applied physics in grades 5-6.

• Funding for the iconic 6th-grade Nature Bridge trip.

• Science kits were replenished.

• The high school’s award-winning debate club.

• Support materials for elementary learners.

• Funding for an elementary school counselor.

• Farm-to-Classroom and Farm-to-Cafeteria funding.

• Professional development funds for teachers of English language learners .

• A drill press and yoga equipment in the high school.

That’s what I call variety!

In addition to funding creative new programs, many donations are utilized year after year. In my classroom, I inherited some fantastic materials. One of these is a huge collection of laminated fine art prints that I use in different ways each year. This time I divided these prints into random piles and spread them over six table stations. My 7th-graders rotated through the stations, examining and discussing the huge variety of art, from Rembrandt portraits to Salvador Dali’s “Elephants.” Can you imagine the laughter and discussions that resulted?

Next, each student chose a painting that especially fascinated them. (We only had to do rock-paper-scissors over one Van Gogh.) They completed an analysis sheet of the atmosphere, three evocative details, and one theme that they found in the painting, writing up their summary in two drafts. This year, as I collected the prints to put them away, I noticed a little note on the back corner of each, “Orcas Island Education Foundation.” Gifts given years ago by generous donors continue to educate and enliven the minds of our kids today.

So, please open your wallet and add your support. Attend the Food for Thought fundraiser, June 3, at 5:30 p.m. at lovely Four Winds Camp. Great food, island friends, and public education. Tickets available at or the Chamber of Commerce.

Phil Carter

Teacher, Orcas Island Middle School