Barn sales enable grants to teachers
El Verano third graders Christianna Dean, Alex Anguiano, Karyme Martinez, and Avery Ward celebrate new books with Barn Grant recipient Craig Madison at El Verano School.
The Sonoma Valley Education Foundation (SVEF) has announced that the 2012 Fall Barn Sale Project has distributed 20, 2012 Fall Teacher Grants totaling $10,966. The grants cover a wide range of projects from classroom books, to new technology and special field trips. The Barn Sale Project is the brainchild of local real estate agent, Holly Bennett. The Barn Sale operates much like a garage sale to which items are donated and there is a “barn sale” open to the public. The Barn Sale for the Schools is held on the first Saturday of the month, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Field of Greens at 1777 Watmaugh Road. Everyone is invited to donate and volunteer. All proceeds are directed to the public schools in Sonoma Valley via teacher grants.
“We are thrilled that the Teacher Grant Program is now fully back in action. Our local educators are enthusiastic about the opportunity, and we hope to fund even more grants next time around,” said Laura Zimmerman, SVEF executive director.
Recipients of the 20 grants delivered this fall semester include:
Susan Heiser, Prestwood – $300 Gate Program Support: For participation in an Exploratorium Science Exhibit in April 2013. Students will design and create exhibits on the topics of colored shadows, sound science, optical illusions, and pulley-level movement.
Craig Madison, El Verano – $299 for expanding a classroom library following the 2012 Summer Reading Academy. Students have a list of books they really want to read and Madison wants to have them on hand. During self-selected silent reading, students will be able to choose books that really interest them.
Mary Mellinger, Prestwood – $1,500 for six Nabi Electronic notebooks for first-graders. Students can delve into learning games and special applications for writing and art. This tablet is specially designed for younger students.
Rachel Cisneros, Sonoma Charter School – $150 for a field Trip to Safari West for kindergarten and first-grade students. As a part of a cultural unit on Africa, students will be able to see the wildlife and learn about wildlife conservation.
Liz Bauer, Adele Harrison Middle School – $400 for funding middle-school student participation in a statewide leadership conference. Students from the Adele Harrison Leadership Class will be able to travel and take part in a statewide conference and then bring new skills and knowledge back to share with the rest for the student body.
Eileen Pharo, Prestwood – $300 to purchase Literacy book sets for struggling readers. Aimed at helping more students read at grade level by the end of third grade, these books will offer enticing stories at the appropriate reading level for struggling readers and English language learners.
Michael Amaral, Altimira – $900 for lacrosse equipment for Altimira middle-school students. Amaral likes to introduce his students to new and non-traditional sports to keep them active and healthy. Lacrosse is a sport that is growing in popularity, but many students do not have access to equipment to learn how to play.
Sonia Castaneda Stolich, Adele Harrison – $500 for funding headphones with microphones for dual-immersion student projects. Students can better utilize the computer lab at school and improve their technology skills with the aid of specialized headsets. Students will use programs such as Garage Band and Keynote for projects this school year.
Karen Taggesell, Prestwood School – $300 for exercise ball seats for students with concentration and ADD challenges. Research shows that exercise balls with special frames provide an immediate benefit for learners who have trouble focusing. The innovative seating physically grounds students and helps them stay engaged in schoolwork.
Kristina Reguero Garrison, Flowery School – $500 for early reading books for first-graders. Students need more reading options as they begin to grasp the fundamentals of reading. This teacher will replace worn-out favorites and add new books to keep the reading interest high in her classroom.
Christi Vieira de Curiel, Flowery School – $599 for online access to the Read Live program. Read Live increases fluency and comprehension skills for young readers. The program provides individualized intervention for students and tracks their progress as they improve their reading skills. It will be used by the reading specialist for students in grades three-to-five.
Marian Rasmussen and Terry Roberts, Altimira Middle School – $500 for supplies for technology-based projects. Middle-school students are utilizing the computer lab to create science fair charts and graphs in excel, web-designed calendars, word art projects and more. Printer cartridges, DVD blanks, and cardstock paper are needed to support the technology projects.
Cheryl Coldiron, Dunbar School – $200 for integrated art supplies for a fourth/fifth-grade classroom. Coldiron integrates art into nearly all of her student’s subjects, including math, social studies, science and English. Many students cannot afford to bring markers, colored pencils and other supplies from home. This grant will provide art supplies for projects like the super large art/math grid of Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night painting.
Renea Magnani, Dunbar School – $300 for taking science to the great outdoors. This grant will fund white boards and clip boards so students can study outside under the great oak tree at Dunbar School. Personal-sized white boards help students show what they know as they learn new information, and they help students stay engaged in lessons.
Leslie Adams, Altimira Middle School – $430 for circuit training for indoor P.E. for middle-school students. This equipment helps students stay active even in winter weather. They take part in a series of exercises as they work around the circuit, and they can track their progress toward higher-level physical fitness. Physical health is important for preteens who can become sedentary without regular physical activity.
Tamey Baldinger, Woodland Star Charter– $488.25 for math textbooks for middle-school students. Currently students are sharing books and it is slowing down their progress. Math is a crucial subject for high school success and college readiness.
Johnny Graham, Woodland Star Charter – $100 for an electronic scale for middle-school science. Students need this specialized scale for measuring chemicals in science class. This will assist students in developing science lab skills.
Andrea Akmenkalns, Woodland Star Charter – $200 for reading materials for third-graders. School budget cuts have limited the purchase of new books for students. Reading at grade level in third grade is a critical benchmark. New reading materials will boost reading skills and student enthusiasm.
Roberta Trevino, Prestwood School – $500 for an iPad to use for Accelerated Reading tests. Students enjoy taking their tests for the Accelerated Reading Program in an online format, which has rich learning content for second-graders. Currently students are sharing one 10-year-old computer for these tests.
Peter Hansen, Sonoma Valley High School – $2,500 for two complete camera packages including high-def digital cameras, lighting kits, extra batteries, media cards and readers. The Video Production Program at SVHS produces movies, videos and a weekly newscast for the entire school.