Cascade Locks ‘Excel’ program receives funding boost from area businesses

Copperwest Properties, Celilo Restaurant and the Hood River County Education Foundation have joined forces to ensure that after-school programs at Cascade Locks Elementary School are expanded to include more students. The school district has been running the after-school “Excel Program” since 2013, but recently sustained a 50 percent reduction in federal funding for the program. This has resulted in serving fewer students and more limited programming.

Maui Meyer, one of the three Partners at Celilo Restaurant and Catering and Copperwest Properties, said, “We want to do whatever we can to help our neighbors in Cascade Locks get back on their feet after the Eagle Creek fire. Quality after-school programs for students means parents can get back to work knowing their children are well cared for and safe.”

The families of Celilo Restaurant and Catering and Copperwest Properties’ contribution of $3,500 was matched by the Hood River County Education Foundation (HRCEF).

HRCEF Executive Director Laurie Stephens was pleased to be able to assist the community of Cascade Locks. “The Education Foundation’s members are committed to the healthy development of our community’s youth through expanding educational opportunities for public school children and their families,” she said. “After hearing about the federal funding reduction from Superintendent (Dan) Goldman, our board voted unanimously to match the generous contribution from Celilo and Copperwest so more Cascade Locks students could be served.”

In addition, the HRCEF Board approved a $4,000 donation to add artist residencies and $3,500 to enroll additional students in the after-school programs at Cascade Locks, Mid Valley, Parkdale and Wy’east Schools.

Board Chair Pat Everson-Brady expressed gratitude to the many contributors to the HRCEF. "Thanks to our generous HRCEF members and other donors, the Ed Foundation is pleased to be able to support our students in the after-school program. We know that the program makes a difference for students by providing educational enrichment and the after-school activities are important to their families, too."

Principal of Cascade Locks School Amy Moreland shared her gratitude on behalf of the students and families of Cascade Locks. “We are grateful for the support from our community in this time of need,” she said. “These extra funds will help us to enhance our enrichment and academic programs for students after school. We look forward to inviting students from our waiting list and serving all students who wish to participate.”

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