It was an early Christmas for Mountain Area schools as $10,000 in mini-grants were handed out during a Dec. 19 Sierra-Oakhurst Kiwanis Club luncheon at El Cid’s Mexican Restaurant. For the 7th year, the club donated the proceeds from the Run for the Gold Car Show, held each September.
The end-of-year boost for teachers came in the form of educational mini-grants presented for 17 projects submitted by teachers from seven Mountain Area elementary schools. The mini-grants provide teachers with funds to buy supplies for special projects that are not in their school’s budget.
Grant requests were for a variety of programs including information technology, material for student inventions, musical instrument repair and maintenance, learning materials for special needs students, certificates to recognize outstanding students, a program to introduce students to real world engineering by building robots and to help with a fifth grade trip to Sacramento.
In order to qualify, each teacher submitted a letter of intent, as well as reasons why the funding was needed. After reviewing the applications, the club divided the money amongst the groups based on what was needed, and how much was necessary to accomplish specified goals.
Over the past seven years, Kiwanis has donated more than $70,000 in mini-grants to Mountain Area elementary and middle schools.
Club past president Vicki Burkhalter is the chairperson for the mini grant program and introduced each teacher before presenting them with their check.
Teachers expressed their appreciation to the Kiwanis Club for making the mini-grants program available to them and for caring for the education of Mountain Area children
“The generous mini grant from the Sierra Oakhurst Kiwanis Club will make a positive impact on the lives of children at Mountain Home School Charter,” teacher Julie Davis said. “These funds will allow us to purchase new sets of novels for our book club, which promotes a love of reading great literature.”
“Spring Valley will be hosting its third annual art show on March 22nd, teacher Kim Boatman said. “With the continued support from Kiwanis mini grants we have been able to create a highly successful after school art program which meets the needs of all students. We hope that the community will join us to celebrate the talents of Spring Valley.”
“We have a tradition of having a drama program that is very popular among our students and our community,” said Becky Cairns of Chawanakee Academy Charter School. “Our annual dinner theater production wouldn’t be possible without the generous support through a mini grant from the Kiwanis Club. They are helping to keep the arts alive in the mountain community and for that we are very thankful.”
Spring Valley Elementary School’s sixth through eight graders are known for their annual dinner-show - this year’s being “A Night at the Museum.”
The recipients of the Kiwanis 2017 mini-grants and what the funds will be used for are as follows:
☆ Chawanakee Academy - teacher Becky Cairns. For Chawanakee Academy to purchase supplies for its drama program including backdrops, costumes, props, scripts, programs and pay loyalty fees as well as purchase wireless microphones.
☆ Chawanakee Academy - teacher Mary Dodge. Purchase playground and P.E. equipment for new location at Minarets High.
☆ Coarsegold School - Mindy Gresham, Tracey Duncan, Maureen Chase, Kristen Kernaghan and Jody Burnett. Purchase an electric pottery kiln for use in all grade levels and arts council for after school programs, and novels to be used during language arts to teach students how to reason and use higher-level thinking.
☆ Coarsegold/Rivergold - Christel Biasell. Annual band instrument maintenance and repairs.
☆ Kim Boatman, Teacher Chawanakee Sch. Dist. student work from the after school art club which has expanded to 2nd-8th graders on multiple days as well as museum field trips.
☆ Oakhurst Elementary School - purchase 20 Stereo Headphones.
☆ Dawn Williams - 4th grade teacher Bass Lake School District - volume control for use with existing Chromebooks.
☆ Principal Kathleen Murphy, Oakhurst Elementary School - purchase 18 copies of the book “I’m not Scared. I’m Prepared,” to help children develop an understanding of what needs to be done if they encounter a “dangerous person.” The book aligns with The ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate) training program for teachers and staff.
☆ OCI and Wasuma elementary schools - purchase new beginning percussion instruments.
☆ Francisco Marquez, Band Instructor for Bass Lake School District - instruments and annual maintenance of school band instruments.
☆ Principal Heather Archer, Wasuma Elementary School - purchase 17 copies of the book “I’m not Scared, I’m Prepared” for teachers to help children develop an understanding of what needs to be done if they encounter a dangerous person. The book aligns with The ALICE(Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate) training program for teachers and staff.
☆ North Fork Elementary - purchase 5 Nurugo Micro 400X Smartphones.
☆ Katie Kelly, teacher Chawanakee School District - microscopes to attach to a student’s smartphone to investigate microscopic life.
☆ John Rumohe - Mountain Home School Charter. Costs associated to tuition and transportation of teacher and 24 8th grade students to attend the Marine Biology Science Camp on Catalina Island to study marine ecosystems and their interaction with environmental systems. Program concludes night time snorkeling lab.
☆ Mountain Home School Charter - purchase updated novels for Book Club.
☆ Julie Davis, teacher Western Sierra Charter Study Class - teaching life lessons.
☆ Mountain Home School Charter - purchase four Binocular Microscopes.
☆ Susan Nobles - teacher Western Sierra Charter for use in the life science lab activities, grades 4-8.