Olympic View Elementary Testimonial 

Good Morning Michael,

I just wanted to thank you and NTEF for helping to make our Reading Initiative a rousing success. In this incredibly challenging time, encouraging and teaching reading skills has been exceptionally difficult. Without a doubt, this initiative has helped to boost students, families, and staff in their effort, skill, and enthusiasm for reading. In the eight-week run of our program, we utilized Flipgrid to allow students to read some of their favorite books aloud; these videos were available to the whole school to enjoy. We selected some of the best and greatest examples of increased skill to promote and encourage reading through book gift certificate rewards. The three chosen read alouds were shared with the school weekly (both in remote & hybrid class settings), giving the student population a chance to listen for comprehension and answer three questions on a Kahoot online game.

The reading committee spent countless hours listening to student readings and developing appropriate Kahoot questions to create the weekly games. With the addition of our PTA’s support, we were able to extend our program and utilize your funds for primarily book gift certificates. Many of our entrants and winners came from our learning assistance program, which is an amazing gift of confidence and encouragement from staff and peers.

Our Read-Aloud Challenge Initiative was featured weekly in our morning announcements, sharing the three winning readers (and gift certificate winners) and challenging students to listen and answer the Kahoot to win prizes. Our principal then spun the “wheel of names,” which included all the individuals who answered 100% correctly in the previous week to determine the group of that week’s winners. We had 140 read alouds submitted, 2,943 views of those readings, 251 positive comments on the readings, 243 hours of engagement, and 443 Kahoot entries throughout the run of this program.

We cannot thank you enough for your generous grant, as it has enriched both a love of lifelong reading for participants and enhanced our school community as a whole.  I hope you find it to have been a worthwhile investment, as we certainly have.

Jesse Klemonsky, on behalf of the OVE Reading Committee
Kindergarten Room #103
Olympic View Elementary

Board Member Profile: Sans Gilmore

We recently talked with NTEF Board Member Sans Gilmore. Enjoy our conversation below!

NTEF: How did you first become involved with NTEF?
Sans: I met Mike Jones about three years ago during a local marketing meeting. I came to understand the NTEF mission through Mike and started donating.

NTEF: What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Sans: I enjoy gardening, agate hunting, and traveling with my wife. We have our garden planted for this year, including 270 garlic plants. Earlier this month, we took a four-day weekend trip to the Oregon coast to hunt for agates. We found about 20 pounds worth. Last weekend we spent four days with our daughter, who the US Dept of Agriculture recently hired as an entomologist in Blaine, WA.

NTEF: How do you believe the community can best support the work of NTEF, particularly now during COVID-19?
Sans: I am a firm believer in the NTEF mission. And, two of the best ways to help NTEF are to volunteer (e.g., to pack lunches) and donate. The volunteers meet at Columbia Bank in Lacey and organize and pack donated food for ongoing distribution to students. NTEF supports many homeless students and students who depend on NTEF for supplemental food, scholarships, etc. COVID-19 interrupted the usual support programs. However, the NTEF Board and other supporters are geniuses, and they figured out ways to help their students even when their students could not attend school on campus. Volunteers make the system work. Concerning donations, you don’t need to donate a lot. I suggest $10/month but make it a recurring donation. NTEF is a great program, and Mike Jones is a great leader.