| ABOUT THE VIKING PRIDE FOUNDATION
In February 2004, a group of proud WHS alumni and community members came together to form the Viking Pride Foundation. The Viking Pride Foundation is a non-profit that supports co-curricular activities for students and their families as well as safe inclusive spaces for these activities.
During the time the Viking Pride Foundation was formed, the Town of Winthrop was facing significant fiscal hardship.
The property tax override had been defeated and state aid to the town drastically reduced. All town department budgets were hit hard, but one of the hardest hit was our public school system. There were massive teacher layoffs, multiple program losses, reductions in nearly every aspect of curricular opportunities, and the implementation of costly user fees. All expenses for activities and athletics, excluding the Athletic Director’s salary, were funded through fundraising endeavors and these costly user fees.
At the time of Viking Pride’s inception, the user fee for a co-curricular activity was $325 per season, thus a student who wished to participate in an activity all three seasons was forced to pay $975. These exorbitant fees forced families to choose a single sport or activity for their child or children, or precluded too many students from participating in a sport or activity all together. Many families were considering private education.
The Founders of Viking Pride recognized that co-curricular activities are integral to the overall education of a student. Co-curricular activities are an extension of a good education and support the academic mission of the school. They reinforce the goal of teaching students to be responsible and fulfilled human beings with opportunities that develop critical thinking, character, and social skill, all while promoting a sense of membership and belonging. Students who participate in co-curricular activity programs have higher grade point averages, better attendance records, lower drop-out rates and fewer disciplinary problems. In addition, other cognitive factors are developed such as self-esteem, confidence, social cooperation and leadership skills.
In today’s society, it simply is not enough to be academically successful. Colleges, universities and even employers expect candidates to have people skills, the ability to accept responsibility and follow directions, poise, hard work, patience, teamwork and persistence in the face of setbacks. These marketable skills are skills directly cultivated through co-curricular participation. Every Winthrop student deserves access to the co-curricular programs that will allow him/her to excel in all aspects of life.
The initial goal of the Viking Pride Foundation was to raise $1,000,000 and use that money to lower user fees and restore the co-curricular activities that had been cut or reduced. Through private contributions from corporations, businesses and individuals, and the dynamic energy and generosity of nearly 600 Winthrop public school alumni, family and community members the Foundation has been able to accomplish so much more.
The following is a sampling of the vital programs that were saved, restored or created by the Viking Pride Foundation:
Each and every donation made to the Viking Pride Foundation sends a message of continued hope, opportunity and pride to Winthrop’s school children.
The Viking Pride Foundation is supported by an all volunteer Board of Directors from various backgrounds in the community. Currently the board is comprised of:
Questions? Contact us at 617-539-4VPF or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Viking Pride Foundation, Inc.
PO Box 520037
Winthrop, MA 02152