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EFW's Black & White Raises Money for Wauwatosa Schools

Jan. 13, 2014

The holidays are over, the Packers are out of the playoffs, and the mercury seems to have gotten stuck below the zero mark on the thermometer. While it seems rather appealing to go into hibernation mode until the spring thaw, there's actually an event coming up that may pull you out of the winter blues. Tear the dry cleaning bag off your favorite suit or cocktail dress because the EFW Black & White Catered Affair is almost here and if last year is any indication of what's in store, then it's a night you won't want to miss. Mark your calendar for January 25, 2014 beginning at 6:00 p.m. at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Wauwatosa.

If you're wondering what the EFW (Education Foundation of Wauwatosa) is then here's a brief explanation. The EFW is a non-profit organization created in 1990 to raise funds to give back to the Wauwatosa schools in the form of grants and since inception they have awarded over $460,000. Grants are a way for teachers or schools to offer students an opportunity to enhance their education that might otherwise never have happened due to budgetary constraints. During this current school year there are thirteen grants in place totaling $40,770.

EFW grants touch students at each school and all grade levels. At some point in every Wauwatosa public school student's education, they will be impacted by the EFW. This year alone there are three grants which are district-wide and benefit students at all Wauwatosa elementary schools. One such grant was for Penpals being used in elementary World Language. This technology allows students to practice conversation and fluency skills, clarify sounds and pronunciation, and provides exposure to a variety of dialects. Kathryn Hartung who co-wrote the grant along with Hannah Wendlake states, "The students are highly motivated while using this technology."

Technology in EFW grants is also helping motivate students at the high school level. Dan Prothero wrote a grant being used in both Tosa East and West's business classes. Students learn how to create and manage a business through software that simulates a virtual restaurant. Says Prothero, "Since launching this project students have been captivated."

While technology is an important component to learning, a hands-on approach is just as valuable. Wauwatosa Montessori is teaching about biology and botany through gardening, McKinley Elementary has added guitars to their music classroom, Tosa East is introducing archery to their lifetime adventures curriculum, and Michelle Mushall of Eisenhower Elementary is exploring and building number sense using Ten-Frames. Mushall observes about her students, "They get very excited when it's time to use the Ten-Frame materials because it is hands-on fun!"

EFW plays an important role in enhancing a wide-range of teaching techniques and learning experiences that prepare Wauwatosa students for a successful future.

Future EFW grants will be funded in part by money raised at this year's Black & White Catered Affair. And talk about hands-on fun! While it's not a formal event, there's no reason not to get dressed up in your favorite black and white outfit and accent it with your school's colors to show your school spirit. Swing Nouveau will provide beautiful background music while you mingle with friends, bid on auction items, grab a wine & dine bag, enter a raffle, and snack on heavy hors d'oeuvres. Once Master of Ceremonies Today's TMJ4 (and Tosa East alum), Vince Vitrano, closes the live auction the dance floor is open!

New this year, if you've got 10 people that you want to sit with you can reserve a table. So combat the winter doldrums and help make an impact on education in Wauwatosa. Register online now at www.tosaefw.org.

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