Student newspaper of Strath Haven High School

Panther Press

Student newspaper of Strath Haven High School

Panther Press

Student newspaper of Strath Haven High School

Panther Press

Panther Playlist

THE WALL: ASK fills funding gap for students

Although ASK is not on the Wall of Honor, it is an honorable organization that supports students with financial need in paying the extra costs of WSSD.
ASK+logo+provided+by+Katherine+Crawford
ASK logo provided by Katherine Crawford

Alumni & Friends Supporting Kids (ASK) is a non-profit organization that provides support for the “extras” for the Wallingford-Swarthmore School District.

ASK has been aiding students in the Wallingford-Swarthmore School District since 2010.

“We try and bridge the gap between what families can provide at home,” ASK Board Member Katherine Crawford said.

An article from The Swarthmorean explains that the history of the ASK organization starts with Sandy Sparrow, principal of Swarthmore Rutledge School from 1987 through 1999.

Sparrow learned that the cost of school sports was prohibitive for some families. She formed the ASK program with the help of family and friends after her retirement in 2007.

The ASK organization is under the support of the Foundation for Wallingford-Swarthmore Schools.

According to the Foundation for Wallingford-Swarthmore School’s website, “Since its inception in 2010, the Foundation for Wallingford-Swarthmore Schools has managed $480,000; funds that support special projects and teaching tools in the arts, music, science, reading, math, environmental science, physical education, and technology.”

“We are a nonprofit. We’re under the auspices of the Foundation for Wallingford-Swarthmore Schools. So if you ever go to the link for the Foundation for Wallingford-Swarthmore schools, there is a description of ASK there,” Crawford said.

The Swarthmorean article described scholarships that ASK provided for students ranging from after-school art classes to lacrosse and gymnastics. According to the program description on the website for the Foundation for Wallingford Swarthmore Schools, ASK provides “financial help for the ‘extras;’ from sports camps to music lessons, prom costs to calculators from sports camps to music lessons, prom costs to calculators.”

The money ASK gives to students and families for aid comes from donations from the community.

“100% community donations and that has been the same since its beginning. We just had a fundraiser in November,” Crawford said.

Aid can vary from elementary school to high school. Funds can go towards any extracurricular activities that students participate in.

“The idea is that we want everybody to be able to participate fully in the experience of being a WSSD student,” Crawford said. “At the elementary school level, it looks a little bit different than it does at the high school level. But at the high school level, we’ve had students that want to travel to a competition with their sports team. We’ve helped fund those because of their families [being] unable to do that.”

All it takes to get aid from ASK is a Google Form filled out by a counselor.

“We have a Google Form which has been distributed throughout the community and to the counselors,” Crawford said. “If there is a student in need, a counselor will fill out the form. It can be completely anonymous. They submit the request to us through their Google Form and then we review it and decide whether or not we’re going to [fund the request], if it’s something that’s within our mission to provide funding for.”

Over the past year, ASK has helped pay for SAT tutoring, the senior cruise, and sports team fees.

“If somebody wants to do something outside of school, we really want to encourage that at the elementary level, or, particularly at the high school level, if there are extra costs involved in participating in a high school activity, we’d like to support that,” Crawford said.

Leave a Comment
About the Contributor
Matteo Ventresca '25
Matteo Ventresca '25, Managing Editor of Print
Matteo Ventresca is the Managing Editor for Print for The Panther Press. In his free time, he enjoys watching and playing soccer, as well as playing the trombone.
Donate to Panther Press
$250
$600
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of The Panther Press. Contributions allow us to cover our website hosting costs, continue to print new issues, fund staff training, and purchase equipment.

More to Discover
Donate to Panther Press
$250
$600
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (0)

We encourage reader comments and opinions on the content posted on The Panther Press and its social media accounts. In order to keep the discussions aligned with the purpose of our student publications, we ask commenters to follow the following guidelines. 1) Different viewpoints and opinions are welcome, but comments must demonstrate respect. Profanity, insults, spam, personal attacks, bullying language, hate speech, and language demonstrating intolerance are unacceptable. 2) Comments will be managed by the Social Media Editor and Editors in Chief, with support from the adviser. Inappropriate comments will be removed. 3) On stories and social media, please keep comments brief. If you would like to elaborate on your opinion, we encourage you to submit a guest commentary or letter to the editor. 4) The Panther Press does not permit anonymous comments on stories posted to our website. All comment postings require a verified email address. Email addresses will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments.
All Panther Press Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *