The Westmoreland Intermediate Unit Foundation, Inc., (WIUF) is a 501(c)(3) organization that seeks to enrich the educational experience for K-12 students, in particular those with special needs, in schools throughout Westmoreland County. Incorporated in 2003, the volunteer-driven foundation strives to cultivate the opportunities available to students with special needs and to enhance teachers' efficiency.
The Westmoreland Intermediate Unit Foundation, Inc. supports communication, encourages interaction, and allocates resources from the community and/or private sector for the purpose of promoting and enhancing educational opportunities for students and educators throughout Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania.
The WIU Foundation strives to generate revenue, increase community awareness, and develop resources in order to fulfill its mission. Overseeing the Foundation's operation is a nine-member board of directors.
MAKING AN IMPACT
Primary among the WIU Foundation's activities is the awarding of Impact Grants of up to $1,000 to teachers/professionals in special education classrooms. Proposals are welcomed from WIU or district educators who are seeking to develop innovative projects or creative teaching methods to either improve the students’ capacities to learn or upgrade their own effectiveness in teaching.
Recent grants have helped to establish, among other programs:
an exceptional horseback riding therapy program for 3- to 5-year-olds with Autism; a first-time instrumental and choral music program in a school for children with special needs; a hearing aid loan program for secondary students; a fitness agenda to battle childhood obesity in a school for children with special needs; a curriculum to teach kindergarteners proper writing techniques, and; a unique elementary math course utilizing LegoTM building blocks.
Additionally, the Foundation helped to secure donations creating an assistive technology library that is expected to eventually be able to loan needed assistive devices and equipment to students and schools throughout the county. Assistance was also rendered in acquiring therapeutic equipment, known as Quadricisers, that help students who have difficulty with physical movements.
Other projects have also been conducted at Clairview School, the Westmoreland Intermediate Unit-operated school that educates approximately 200 children with special needs from throughout the county. A large gazebo was built to provide an outdoor classroom as well as shade for students in wheelchairs or with sensitivity to the sun. A recreation area was significantly improved with fencing, play equipment, a wheelchair swing, and storage shed. Landscaping was enhanced. The current project at Clairview targets major improvements to the recreation area, including the addition of various interactive pieces of playground equipment.
The WIU Foundation also supports and provides a revenue stream for the ITES Program, the latter providing school-based mental health counseling.
In the community, the Foundation has partnered with Stage Right! Productions to present performances of the children’s holiday classic, “Madeline’s Christmas.” Our involvement helped to open a new cultural opportunity to local students, their families, and friends of the WIU Foundation.
Financial support is derived through grants and gifts from area foundations and businesses; individual contributions from WIU staff and the community; and fundraising events. Donations
A volunteer Awareness Committee oversees the fundraising activities
, usually consisting of three primary events each year.