Gift Your Child Donations in Action: WHS PTO Grants

Every year the generous donations from Gift Your Child provide resources that enrich the learning experience for our middle school students and support the staff and parent community. We touch upon many aspects of the school environment and your child is sure to have benefited in some way!

Below are some illustrative examples from recent years:


Masterclasses: Rapper Akrobatik and Jazz at Lincoln Center

WHS PTO granted money to the band program for two Masterclasses. One was for Boston Rapper Akrobatik and the other was for Jazz at Lincoln Center saxophonist Lance Bryant.

WHS Band Director Joe Oneschuk said, “These masterclasses offer students the opportunity to interact with real world artists and discuss real world issues. It is authentic experiences like these that broaden and enrich our curriculum. I really felt an importance to feature Black artists, especially in the turbulent time that we are in, and to celebrate Black artists, because Black artists do matter.  I invited and shared these masterclasses with colleagues of mine from around the state. This WHS PTO grant has sparked other schools to follow suit and offer these valuable programs to their students and faculty.”

WSPN Camera and Microphones

WHS PTO granted the English Dept. funds to purchase a new camera and microphones. The journalism class produces the online publication, Wayland Student Press Network (WSPN). Many students have benefited since they cover school-wide events for the community.

The new camera supports both video and photography and the external microphones provide better audio quality to the videos. The tascam is best for concerts and plays and the Rode is better at capturing audio for other types of video.

The Nikon mirrorless camera is the most sought after camera after our multimedia editors had the opportunity to experiment with it. “Mrs. Barber, I LOVE this camera,” Liv Tawakol said. It is so light, easy to use and much better for video.”

The Shotgun microphone is instrumental in quick videos.  “It is so easy to set up and take down and very reliable for capturing good audio. We can just grab it and go,” Garrett Spooner, Co- Editor-in-Chief said.

Mary Barber said, “Anytime we can put quality equipment in the hands of our reporters, we are able to teach responsibility, give opportunities for students to try new things and produce quality content in a timely manner. We are sure it plays a contributing role in WSPN being honored with both a Columbia Scholastic Press Gold Crown and a Pacemaker Award this year!”

Sewing Club Machines, Lamps and Supplies

We granted funds to the sewing club for the purchase of a new sewing machine, supplies, and task lamps. 

Over the years, students have made projects to donate to charitable organizations such as surgical caps for a children’s hospital, blankets and neck warmers for a homeless shelter, and functional items such as tote bags and zipper pouches. Last school year, a group of students helped create costumes for the Middle School musical, Frozen Jr.

“I started this club to share my passion for sewing with my students and because people are longing to learn more hands-on skills in this digital age. Through this club, I have gotten to know students on a deeper level, and I look forward to this time each week,” said Sara Langelier, French Teacher and Club Advisor.

This year, more students have joined the club, likely because they need a hobby and social connection during this difficult time. “To me, sewing club is a place I can go after school to relax, have fun, and work on new projects to further my sewing skills which is a very important life skill.” – a current 9th grader

Faculty Professional Development

The pandemic forced teachers to make huge adjustments to curriculum and assignments. The WHS English department requested EdTech professional development sessions on how best to teach in a hybrid/remote environment. The WHS PTO was thrilled to grant this request!



Production Equipment for WayCamAnnnnd action! WHS PTO granted funds to purchase new production equipment for Waycam. The new field studio box, 7 robotic cameras and two-way communication were enjoyed by the 2020 graduating class, students and athletes to name a few. Students are learning broadcasting, teams and parents have been able to watch games (live and recorded) and athletes are having reels made for recruitment.


Colored Skulls

The Biology Department requested 3 colored skulls because they are easier to understand skull anatomy and physiology than the old white ones which were falling apart. In class sizes of up to 24, students were scrambling for the 2 colored ones. With the addition of 3 new ones, all levels of biology classes, anatomy and physiology enhanced their learning and didn’t have to fight over skulls.