News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Foundation supports youth enrichment

Want to go to a fiddle camp or a culinary competition? Study science or theater outside of school? Don’t have the funds to make it happen? The Roundhouse Foundation is ready to help.

At mid-school-year nearly $12,000 remains in the Roundhouse Foundation Enrichment Scholarship budget for Sisters middle and high school students who want to enhance educational opportunities beyond the regular school day.

Managers of the fund are working to get the word out so students can take advantage of the generosity of the Roundhouse Foundation.

Sisters Graduate Resource Organization (GRO) helps to administer The Roundhouse grants, and according to its website the Roundhouse Foundation was established with a mission to encourage community enrichment and economic development through the arts in Central Oregon. For this reason, The Roundhouse Foundation is offering scholarships to be distributed to SHS and SMS students for enriching educational experiences.

Although there are some applications currently under consideration, as of January 1 the fund for this school year still had just over $12,000 available. Of that, $2,650 is earmarked for middle-school-aged students and the remaining $9,000 is there for high-school-aged students, according to Tim Ross, board chair of Sisters GRO.

The GRO website states “to be considered for a scholarship, the applicant must be enrolled in grade 5-12. Educational experiences that are eligible include workshops, seminars, camps or other fitting types of activities in areas of a student’s interest. Sports and faith-based experiences cannot be considered. The experience is expected to benefit the student through enrichment, pertain to discovery of post-high-school career or aspirations and/or to make a difference in the community.”

It is thought that one of the reasons more students have not been applying for the Roundhouse scholarships is due to lack of awareness of the program, coupled with students and families not being familiar with opportunities that would qualify.

The GRO website includes links to the application and includes other links to ideas for students to consider. Examples of experiences supported in the past year include aviation training, a culinary contest, jazz camp, Oregon State University Jump Start, Alasdair Fraser’s Fiddle Camp, marine science camp, and theater camp. Historically, students have applied for opportunities within the arts and science, along with aviation, more than other programs, but diverse programs exist in the region and the state for students.

The Bend Science Station is an example of an organization that offers enrichment opportunities in the area.

Central Oregon Community College also offers youth programs ranging from culinary to sewing to a virtual reality camp and even a certified baby-sitting class called Safe Sitter®.

In the Portland area, Saturday Academy offers weekend courses as well as activities that take place during school breaks and summer break.

Many four-year colleges and universities host educational camps for youth as well.

Oak Hill School in Eugene (Summer Programs) offers a variety of summer camp opportunities, some of which are housed at the University of Oregon.

The “Oregon Goes to College” website (Oregon Goes to College/) lists summer opportunities throughout Oregon.

Applicants need to be aware that their applications must be submitted 30 days or more before the start of the experience in order to give time for the application to be evaluated and details sorted out. Retroactive submissions for reimbursement are not possible and travel costs are not eligible. Application does not guarantee being awarded funds.

High school counselor Rick Kroytz, who is a member of the GRO board said, “We want to do all we can to support the Roundhouse Foundation’s efforts to give our students enrichment opportunities.”

In addition to the GRO website, further information can be obtained from the middle school and high school counselors and principals.


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