North Thurston Public Schools’ Family & Youth Resource Center is a Hub of Compassion in Action!

When North Thurston Public Schools  (NTPS) began operating the Family & Youth Resource Center (FYR Center) last August, its leaders and staff had no idea it would become a vital logistical hub for youth and families negatively impacted by the COVID-19 crisis just six months later.

COVID-19 and the economic contraction it triggered have compromised the income security of countless Thurston County families. As parents facing layoffs scramble to cover the cost of housing, food and everyday living supplies, NTPS has worked quickly to organize enhancements to its already robust network of support services. “We’re seeing people we’ve never seen before,” says Leslie Van Leishout, director of student support. “These are people that don’t know how to navigate support systems because they’ve never had to.”

These resource center pickups are made possible by a cooperative web of local nonprofit organizations. Van Leishout and other district leaders emphasize that the financial support provided by the North Thurston Education Foundation (NTEF) is critical to their work. “We literally could not give out everything we’re distributing without the Education Foundation,” says Van Leishout. Funds from NTEF are used to supplement the supply of food and necessities donated by other community organizations. This school year so far, NTEF has invested about $36,000 in the work at the FYR Center, including support specifically for homeless youth.

Read the full Thurston Talk article HERE

*Photo Courtesy North Thurston Public Schools 

Thank You For Your Support!

Thanks to your generous support, we have been able to donate about $1,500 per week in supplies to the North Thurston Public Schools Family and Youth Resource Center including cleaning and household supplies, toiletries, and more. We are so thankful for your continued support during this unprecedented time.



Thank You to an Anonymous Donor!

We recently received a generous donation of a donor’s Federal Stimulus check to our Foundation. This donor has been involved with NTEF for decades and donated the entire $1200 check to NTEF.

“I am in a position to be able to do this, and I understand how difficult this time is for people right here in Thurston County,” the donor said. “There is not a school in this district that has not directly seen benefits from NTEF. The monies stay within our community and target specific needs within the parameters of NTEF’s own mission statement. The more funds are raised, the more students are helped to help achieve the goal of a healthy community.”

It’s Because of YOU!

And we are so appreciative for the ongoing support of the community and our donors!

Scholarship Applications Due May 1

Because schools will not be reopening this spring, scholarship applications must be submitted by mail to the North Thurston Education Foundation, PO Box 3312, Lacey, WA. 98509. Applications must be postmarked by no later than Friday, May 1, 2020.

For transcripts, please contact:

Ms. Stepherson at River Ridge ([email protected]),

Ms. Boesenberg at Timberline ([email protected]),

Ms. Ponzoha at North Thurston ([email protected]),

Mr. Lunde at South Sound ([email protected]).

They will submit your transcripts directly to the Foundation. Please be sure that all other documents are included with your application and remember that applications postmarked after May 1, 2020, will not be accepted.

Please visit for the application form.

Thank you!

Franz Family Bakery Pitches In!

Thank you Franz Family Bakery Outlet of Lacey and Lisa for your generous donation of bread, bagels, muffins and more! This is a great addition to the supplemental food bags the Family & Youth Resource (FYR) Center will be providing to assist families in need. North Thurston Public Schools is fortunate to have caring and compassionate partners, such as Franz Bakery, to ensure we can support our families needs!

For questions, contact the Resource Center at (360) 412-4484 or visit

*photo courtesy Franz Bakeries

We are Pleased to Support the North Thurston Public Schools Resource Center

We are so pleased to partner with North Thurston Public Schools as well as For the Love and Homeless Backpacks to provide much needed assistance to families and children during this time. The Resource Center is located at 200 Sleater Kinney Rd NE Olympia 98506.

Drive-Up Hours are Tuesdays from 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. and Thursdays from 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. For questions, contact the Resource Center at (360) 412-4484 or visit

Your donations to NTEF at this time will go directly to providing food security and other vital services to our most vulnerable students and families during this time.

Any amount you give helps!

Do you Need Rental or Housing Assistance?

Do you or someone you know need rental assistance during this time?

The North Thurston Education Foundation (NTEF) was recently awarded a matching grant from Help us Move In (HUMI). Help Us Move In is a 501c3 non-profit, established in March 2015, with a mission to help children escape homelessness by engaging communities in sustainable solutions. Their HOMELESS NO MORE Challenge Grant works with community agencies that provide services to families at risk or experiencing homelessness by offering a unique matching grant opportunity. The goal is to secure funds to provide secure and stable housing to local families with children.

For more information contact Sarah Scherer at Help Us Move In at 360-890-1174 or Mike Jones at NTEF.

Resources and Support for Students and Families

“North Thurston School district is embracing remote help for our students. The Homeless team and counselors have been calling all our homeless students and families to offer support at this time. Teachers and Para Educators are preparing for online learning and many are reaching out to allow students to make up past work,” says Deanna East, NTPS McKinney Vento Student Navigator.

“Our Food Service team has been handing out lunches to any kids stopping in at all our elementary schools and Salish Middle School, and our bus drivers have just started driving to some of our most vulnerable areas to drop off meals so even more kids have access to food. We are so thankful to have the support of such a generous community during this time.”

North Thurston Public Schools’ Resource Center is open Tuesdays and Thursdays to support families and students during school closure. The Resource Center is located at 200 Sleater Kinney Rd NE Olympia 98506.

Drive-Up Hours are Tuesdays from 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. and Thursdays from 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. and items available include food, hygiene kits, school supply kits and Friday food bags. For questions or to inquire about making a donation, contact the Resource Center at (360) 412-4484 or visit

North Thurston Students Need Our Support

The North Thurston Education Foundation is seeking to raise funds to meet our North Thurston Public Schools students’ emergency needs. Your donations to NTEF at this time will go directly to providing food security and other vital services to our most vulnerable students and families during this time.
Any amount you give helps!

We are in uncharted waters. The District and local agencies are strained to cover the large numbers of students now needing to have their basic physical, emotional and educational needs met. Your unrestricted donation allows for flexibility in this unprecedented time.

For as long as the COVID-19 crisis goes on, we will continue to work with the North Thurston Public School District to help ALL our students, including our most vulnerable children, get through it.   

Thank you,
Mike Jones
Executive Director, NTEF

*To make a dontation, click the “How to Help” Heading at the top of this page.