Where We've Been

Winterline 1.0 – Woodstock School 

In the beginning, nearly all support focused on Woodstock School, an international school with a history stretching back to 1854, located in the Himalayan Mountains of northern India.  Many involved in Winterline's leadership spent their formative years there.  We believed that Woodstock School was, and continues to be, a sparkling example of how to engender in young people a genuinely transnational outlook.

Primary grants to Woodstock aimed to improve staff recruitment, retention, and professional development.  We supported a modest Scholars-In-Residence program, aided in the acquisition of the Mt. Hermon building, and made some smaller grants focusing mostly student activities.

Winterline 1.1 – MGVS Kaplani School 

In 2002 we made a multi-year grant to MGVS, a local Indian NGO, to help with operating costs of Kaplani Middle School.  The school had just been started at the request of the inhabitants of Kaplani, a mountain community where grade school children from the surrounding valleys had no other educational options.  The village had contributed land and labor, and MGVS had contributed building materials, but how to sustain operations was unclear. 

Our first grant combined basic support with a promise to match outside contributions.  Building on this foundation the school has expanded to include a high school. 

We also maintain a restricted fund into which contributions designated for the Kaplani Program go, and from which our operational grants are made. We actively solicit contributions to this Fund. 

Gifts from generous donors have helped the school move from its three original makeshift rooms into a permanent school building named the Heidi Parker Building. Additionally, the Mary Jane Folkers Memorial Endowment supports the inclusion of female instructors as part of the teaching staff.

Winterline 1.2 – SAGE, Inc. 

From 2003 to 2015 Winterline supported the Colorado-based SAGE Program (Studies Abroad for Global Education) which sent U.S. high school students on what it described as “transformative educational experiences” ranging from three-week visits to year-long placement in international schools in a number of countries, including Woodstock School in India.

Winterline made several significant grants to allow the Program to hire its first full-time staff and begin building a permanent organizational identity.

Winterline 2.0 – Uttarakhand

In 2006 we deliberately broadened our geographic area of interest to the entire mountain state of Uttarakhand.  We made several grants that enabled unemployed youth from mountain villages in the remote Nanda Devi area to go through two years of training at the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering in Uttarkashi, and become entrepreneurs in the local eco-tourism sector instead of mere porters.  Recently, we made a program-related investment in the Mountain Shepherds Initiative, a community-operated training and adventure institute that grew out of these grants.

About the same time, we began development of what was to become a series of educational booklets called the 5 Kilometer Classroom series.  These booklets reflect on aspects of the flora, fauna, history, culture, and geology on display along a specific five kilometer walk in the vicinity of the local school. Aimed at local grade-school students, the booklets simultaneously educate and engender appreciation for the local environment.

Winterline 2.1 – Akshara

Though it took us far away from our default geographic focus, we seized a serendipitous opportunity to become involved with the Akshara Program, which is affiliated with the Mahindra United World College near Pune in Maharashtra, India. 

The Program seeks to break a cycle of poverty in a small set of nearby villages by providing comprehensive educational and emotional support to village children, and mentoring each participant through to an initial professional or vocational placement, tailored to the individual in question.  It has shown enormous success.

Our engagement with the Akshara Program is modeled on our Kaplani-MGVS engagement, with a restricted fund for which we actively seek support from a small set of individuals who have expressed specific interest in the Program.

Winterline 2.2 – Still at Woodstock

Our engagement with Woodstock School continues. We have supported a series of International Writers Festivals. Our most recent grants have been in support of Jazz Band and Choir Tours and a solar heating unit capability for the Hostel pool.