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Foundation for West Hartford Public Schools Celebrates Teachers and Administrators

Hall High School Principal Dan Zittoun (left) and Conard High School Principal Julio Duarte at West Hartford's Cookin'. April 1, 2017. The event had to be canceled in 2020. Photo credit: Ronni Newton (we-ha.com file photo)

Since the beginning of May, the Foundation for West Hartford Public Schools has been raising money to help fill grant requests for the upcoming school year.

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The Foundation for West Hartford Public Schools (the Foundation) launched a campaign during the month of May for Teacher Appreciation to celebrate West Hartford Public School teachers and administrators.

Teachers and administrators have had to work through the many challenges of this new learning environment and the Foundation wanted to provide a vehicle for the entire community to express gratitude for all they do. Since May 1, the Teacher Thank You Gift Program, has raised over $4,000.

This program is one way the Foundation raises funds to fulfill grant requests and it will extend into the month of June to give families the opportunity to thank teachers while supporting The Foundation’s funding of grants for the coming school year.

For the past 22 years, the Foundation has invested more than $1.7 million in classrooms in the form of teacher grants from preschool to high school, including post-secondary programs.

West Hartford’s Cookin’, the Foundation’s community based annual fundraiser, was postponed and ultimately  canceled due to the global coronavirus pandemic. Proceeds from this event represent approximately 50% of the dollars used to fund annual grant requests and special initiatives.

Carol Lorenzo, president of the Foundation’s Board of Directors, said, “We are extremely grateful to be able to continue our grant process in order to provide a continuum for programs supported annually and to fund unique educational experiences in the classrooms. Grants that did not occur due to the closing of our school buildings have been extended to the 2020-21 school year and we will allow the same next year, if necessary. We were thrilled to receive 42 grant requests for a total of $80,883 for the 2020-2021 school year.”

Lorenzo said grant reading teams have been meeting virtually to review the proposals.

“We want to thank all our supporters, especially our Explorer & Discoverer sponsors from our cancelled event: Frank Webb Home, Duncaster Retirement Community, the Goldbeck Family, Hoffman Auto Group, J. P. Carroll Construction, Inc., Lexham West Hartford LLC, O’Meara Real Estate Group, Optometric Specialty Group, West Hartford Chamber of Commerce, and West Hartford Education Association. This continued support is one of the many reasons West Hartford Public Schools continue to achieve excellence,” Lorenzo added.

The Foundation is committed to supporting the West Hartford Public Schools system through funding grants and special requests. On #GivingTuesdayNow the Foundation raised funds exclusively for the West Hartford Public Schools Emergency Fund and matched the $1,500 collected for a total contribution of $3,000.

“After receiving a request from WHPS Administration for financial support of $1,500 needed for technology assistance with distance learning, we were inspired to do more and wanted to include the West Hartford community. The #GivingTuesdayNow campaign seemed the perfect opportunity to do that!” explained Lorenzo.

Follow The Foundation on Twitter at and like them on Facebook. To make a tax deductible donation or learn more about the Foundation visit the website www.fwhps.org.

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