Students Helping Students Stay In School
“We’re going to have all sorts of great music lessons, because I’m going to have a projector”, said James Vermilya, music director at North Valley High School. The $908 grant will pay for a special audio-visual projector and mounting system which will be used for working with students on music composition among other things in his guitar, choir and band classes.

Student Enrichment Program

Josephine County Foundation Does It Again!

The Josephine County Foundation announced that they would be continuing their Student Enrichment Program, or “Teacher Grants.” The idea is to give teachers the opportunity to apply for grants that they see their students would benefit  from and give a special opportunity to the teachers to get out of the traditional ways of learning in their classrooms.

In 2014, the first year of the “Teacher Grants”, JCF had handed out $11,000 to Josephine county’s schools with the intent of an annual program. JCF continued their program and also improved it by funding $13,000 in 2015 and $20,000 in 2016 going towards activities such as a classroom set of graphing calculators. This year, JCF funded 20 grants totaling over $25,000. This brings the total amount of money granted through the Student Enrichment Program to over $70,000.

These grants go toward a variety of different programs in each school. Each teacher has shown their appreciation and gratitude towards the JCF program by continuing to apply to the Teacher Grant each year. The feedback has been incredible and only encourages JCF student members to keep serving our community.

“This program is a great way to look at our community’s school systems from a different perspective and have a say in some adjustments.”

~Makenzie Noga (2016 JCF Project Coordinator)

“In the past few months I have become aware of all the different needs of the Josephine County’s schools and how much the teachers would like to get involved in the lives of their students and try to make their learning experience more enjoyable.”

~Jeydawn Coates (2016 JCF Project Coordinator)



  • Who knows what excites and motives students to stay in school more than students themselves? The Enrichment Program increases students’ interest in school by providing a wider array of education opportunities including: field trips, guest speakers, classroom supplies, and equipment for special projects such as music and vocational programs.
  • Provides students with broader exposure to areas that might spark a passion for learning or going in to a particular field.
  • Students run the program and make all funding decisions. Student enhancement funding totaling $70,000 has been provided through 2017; averaging $1,000 for each program. Many students have been impacted. JCF’s students are committed to this program and have grown this program each year and plan to continue this growth.

Who knows better what excites and motivates students to stay in school and succeed than students themselves? This was the idea behind creating the Student Enrichment Program, which provides funding for programs or activities that interest and engage students. Josephine County, Oregon has a graduation rate of 60%, 14% below the Oregon and national averages. The low graduation rates are caused by many factors and JCF has multiple programs to address these issues. JCF students know that students drop out of school because they are bored with sitting in the classroom. They know that students want more options and involvement in what interests them.

“Learning about the cycle of life by dissecting owl poop maybe disgusting to some, but for my students undigested mouse skeletons and fur are part of the fascinating educational process” said Heather Sheehan, a fifth grade teacher at Fruitdale Elementary School. “I am grateful to the Josephine County Foundation for letting teachers be creative and providing us with ways to engage kids in the classroom”.

The students’ goal is to fund programs that they believe will excite and motivate students. The JCF Student Enrichment Program has students helping their fellow students succeed in school with the goal of increasing our high school graduation rates. They believe this program will keep fellow students interested in learning and staying in school and graduating. In all of the Program’s four years, the students have received over $40,000 annually in enrichment project requests. With the $70,000 the students raised over this four-year period, they were able to support field trips and extracurricular activities; guest speakers/performers; music, art, and vocational classes; special needs gardens; classroom equipment including computers and projectors; and heart monitors. These enrichment projects directly impacted 500 students at fourteen different K-12 schools.
Read more about the Student Enrichment Programs the students selected.

“The goal was to make this dynamic and put a spark in the teachers for their individual programs, I think the JCF students achieved that by using their personal experience as students to know what would benefit fellow students the most”, said Chris Pendleton, JCF Advisor and Business Teacher.

View our Thank You Letter and Video



More Information

All K-12 teachers in Josephine County, Oregon are eligible to apply. A team of high school students from all four Josephine County public high schools evaluate and select the programs to be funded annually based on the benefit to the students and available funding. Requests can be made from September – October  of each year for the upcoming academic year. Each school can submit requests for Student Enrichment Programs. For more information or if you or your organization would like to help fund this program, contact Alison Cavaner at

“My primary gig at North Valley is teaching math but our principal graciously allowed me to start a percussion class this year. We started in September with about 20 students, all new to the activity. They are making great progress but we don’t have the drums needed to put everyone on instruments. We rehearse using practice pads and will be playing our first piece of the year on 5-gallon buckets. We are excited to use the grant money we received to begin purchasing drums. The ultimate goal will be to outfit a full drumline. It will be a great addition to the band program and provide additional school spirit at our athletic events.”
~ Jeromy Wright, 2015 North Valley High School awardee

“Participating in the Student Enrichment Program was a great experience to learn about both grants and the needs of not only the students but the teachers in our communities.”
~ Skyla Patton IVHS

“Having the opportunity to visibly better the education of those around me is an experience I would not trade for anything. JCF allowed me to make an actual difference in my community and a difference that students will encounter every day.”
~ Alec Kalevicoglu NVHS

Multi-Handicapped Life Skills Students:

“I love taking care of the greenhouse; it makes me feel like I can do anything!”
~ Ashe Jones HVHS

“It’s really cool seeing something that we planted and took care of end up in the salsa we sell!”
~ Molly Kemp HVHS

“A lot of my students have never owned a new book. I wanted them to see that they are valuable as students, both as individuals in my class and students in our district. They are worth something; educating them is worth something. Providing a classroom library of NEW books, purchased with THEIR education and interest in mind could light a fire for them, reiterate their importance in my class each day, and hopefully give them a sense of pride in their learning, and bigger pictures themselves as learners and contributors to society.”
~ Leslie Henriques

Alison Primo a student from IVHS receiving the grant for a project titled “Every 15 Minutes” an awareness project about drunk driving. 2015

Alison Primo, a student from IVHS, receiving the grant for a project titled “Every 15 Minutes” an awareness project about drunk driving. 2015

&quo5th graders being introduced to 4 owls brought to their class by Wildlife Images.

5th graders being introduced to 4 owls brought to their class by Wildlife Images



Students hugging their new computers they received through the grant program. 2014

Students hugging their new computers they received through the grant program. 2014

Dale Fisher, Hidden Valley High School, accepting his award from Jasmine Pinkerton, 2017 Project Coordinator.

Student Enrichment Program Donors:

Student Enrichment Program Student Enrichment Program Student Enrichment Program Student Enrichment Program