It’s time to announce the next round of our Catalyst Grant Award recipients. Congratulations to Anchor Lutheran School
(Anchorage, Alaska); Hope Lutheran School (Idaho Falls, Idaho); St. Luke’s Lutheran Church and School (Federal Way, Washington); and Sunbeams Lutheran School (Kent, Washington) – who all successfully developed and submitted plans showing brand new and unique ways to build bridges into the community. Their ideas demonstrated the exact kind of innovation this grant is designed to kickstart.
In all, more than $180,000 in funds will be awarded to the 2022 recipients; this brings the grand total distributed through the Catalyst Grant to more than $800,000 since 2014. Each project selected for a grant must include an avenue for building bridges into the community, a detailed evaluation plan, a plan for sustainability after the grant cycle is complete, and demonstrate how well the project supports new ministry. It takes a lot of careful consideration from the NOW District executive team to determine which projects truly fit the bill.
As President Linnemann noted: “Catalyst Grants are one way the Northwest District can tangibly support new mission efforts across the Pacific Northwest. This year’s recipients are seeking to be a blessing to school age children and their families. Education is something we do well in the Lutheran church, and it is important for us to keep investing ourselves and our resources into the lives of children. We want the next generation to know and treasure the love of God in Jesus Christ, and this is one way we can get the Gospel message to them.”
And it’s never too early to start looking ahead to next year’s award deadline of Feb. 1, 2023. Begin by downloading the guidelines here.
2022 CATALYST GRANT RECIPIENTS:
Anchor Lutheran School, Anchorage, Alaska — High School Expansion and Program Enhancements
Anchor Lutheran School was awarded a Catalyst Grant to assist them in their efforts to expand beyond Grade 8 – which includes providing the technology, resources, and training necessary to implement a high-quality music and STEAM program (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics). The STEAM program will benefit more than just the new high school, as it will enhance all levels of the school’s ministry and provide additional opportunities for students to excel. This expansion allows Anchor to attract and sustain a more diverse group of families seeking an education; in the past, students sometimes enrolled in other schools simply because Anchor did not extend into the upper grades. These Catalyst funds help support Anchor’s efforts to serve a diverse population and continue their mission to be an inclusive Christian school in the community.
Hope Lutheran School, Idaho Falls, Idaho – Upgrade IT Capabilities
A Catalyst Grant will allow Hope Lutheran School to significantly upgrade their IT capabilities to better serve those enrolled for in-person learning while also engaging remotely with students in homeschool environments. Hope’s vision statement is to offer a “unique educational experience that shares the Certain Hope of Jesus with a growing number of families in Idaho Falls and the surrounding communities via in-person and distance learning.” This Catalyst Grant will help Hope upgrade their outdated IT hardware and integrate the latest technology to enhance student learning – positioning them to attract more students in the years to come. A more robust infrastructure gives on-campus students the chance to develop their IT skills compared to those attending other (public, charter, and private) elementary schools, and also positions Hope to better reach out to homeschool students. These upgrades will provide a means to further share Jesus with families in the community.
St. Luke’s Lutheran Church and School, Federal Way, Washington – Bridging a Gap (B.A.G.) Program
The Bridging A Gap (B.A.G.) Program at St. Luke’s is a partnership with Mirror Lake Elementary School to serve low-income students and families. Each week during the school year, a team of volunteers supply students with a weekend’s worth of meals and snacks to ensure that they are not going hungry on the days they don’t receive the free or reduced cost lunches at school. The B.A.G. Program was launched as an all-volunteer effort supported by 5-10 people who serve approximately two hours per week – which comes to around 720 hours per year. As the effort has grown, St. Luke’s added “Mirror Lake engagement” into the job description for their Director of Family Life & Community. Catalyst funds will allow them to continue to invest in this program through the installation of a sign on their property facing the school to help communicate with students and families. The intended effect of this sign is that the neighborhood would see a physical representation of the collaboration between Mirror Lake and St. Luke’s.
Sunbeams Lutheran School, Kent, Washington – Additional Classroom Space Remodel
A Catalyst Grant was awarded to Sunbeams Lutheran School to support their efforts to accommodate the growth of the school ministry by creating additional classroom space. This remodel specifically includes creating one new classroom, remodeling a bathroom for ADA compliance, restructuring existing church office and nursery space, and updating a building entrance. These upgrades will allow Sunbeams to share Jesus with more families in the community and increase their vision to continue to expand the school. Sunbeams serves as a strategic bridge into the diverse Kent community, reaching out and welcoming those in the area. They are the only Lutheran elementary school for miles, and they welcome many families from sister congregations and neighboring churches for a first grade through fifth grade educational experience. This classroom expansion with the help of Catalyst funds will allow for a continued growth trend.