A new, $3,500 grant from the Pacific Power Foundation will allow Whitman students to expand their reach into the Walla Walla community by serving as tutors for Walla Walla High School AP science students. Through the program, Whitman science students will earn stipends for tutoring Wa-Hi students enrolled in AP biology, chemistry, physics or environmental science.
“We are exceptionally pleased to have support from the Pacific Power Foundation,” said Leena Knight, assistant professor of biology and faculty advisor for the program. “These funds will lay the groundwork for a tutoring/mentoring program designed to boost math and science performance in high school students to help them succeed in college, especially in STEM fields. “We believe the program can strengthen ties between Whitman and Wa-Hi and help pave the way for other partnered educational programs in the future.”
About 150 students are expected to take AP science courses at Wa-Hi next year. All will have the opportunity to benefit from tutoring opportunities.
“Whitman continues to be a critical partner for the school district,” said Mark Higgins, communications director for Walla Walla Public Schools. “Having additional tutors working with our students will benefit our strategic plan, which challenges us to find resources within the community to improve our education program. We join Whitman in expressing our appreciation and gratitude to the Pacific Power Foundation.”
The tutoring program is designed to target high-achieving high school students so that they are better prepared for success at the college level. Funds will support stipends and training costs for Whitman tutors, incentives for Wa-Hi students and teachers, materials, supplies, food, marketing and an end-of-the-year celebration.
“The AP tutoring program is an important development in continuing to support science education in our community,” said Mary Burt, Whitman science outreach coordinator. “I’m very pleased that we have been able to respond to a request from teachers and administration at Wa-Hi to help college-bound students develop skills that will support success in rigorous college courses. This Pacific Power Foundation grant is key to this effort and also will benefit our Whitman students by allowing us to offer them paid positions as mentors while giving them the opportunity to connect with our community and gain experience as educators.”
About the Pacific Power Foundation
The Pacific Power Foundation is part of the PacifiCorp Foundation, one of the largest utility-endowed foundations in the United States. The foundation was created in 1988 by PacifiCorp, an electric utility serving almost 1.8 million customers in six Western states as Pacific Power (Oregon, Washington and California) and Rocky Mountain Power (Utah, Wyoming and Idaho). The foundation’s mission, through charitable investments, is to support the growth and vitality of the communities served by Pacific Power and Rocky Mountain Power. For more information, visit www.pacificpower.net/foundation.