When a local teacher asks for help, we never want to say no.
But without your support today, that’s just what we are going to have to do. Here’s why…
When the new school year started in August, we asked our community to make a donation to our Classroom Grants fund. These grants provide direct-to-teacher support for educational materials, field trips, and other experiences that help students learn and engage.
Thanks to friends like you, we had almost $50,000 available for Classroom Grants for teachers this school year!
But now the unexpected has happened. Due to overwhelming demand from local teachers, our entire Classroom Grants budget has already been spent…and we still have teachers who urgently need a grant.
You can help today by making a donation to fund a Classroom Grant, so that we don’t have turn away any teacher (and your gift will be doubled by matching funds to help twice as much!).
In retrospect, it shouldn’t be surprising that so many teachers have asked for help this year. Many students are still behind in school due to the pandemic. We knew that this year, teachers would need to find ways to make school more engaging and impactful than ever before.
That’s exactly why Classroom Grants are so important.
If you donate by March 31, your gift will help twice as much! Our generous friends at the Vadasz Family Foundation have graciously offered to double any gift you send in, up to $10,000, before midnight, March 31!
Your doubled gift today will mean that we won’t have to say “no” to any teachers due to a lack of funds. You will help a teacher to support and engage students in ways she or he knows they need – but that are not in the budget.
Thank you for helping to support local teachers and students. Your gift to provide a Classroom Grant will mean so much!
Click the link below to read the fifth article in our ongoing series in the Sonoma Index-Tribune about Classroom Grants that you made possible: The trip was made possible through a $2,000 Classroom Grant from the Sonoma Valley Education Foundation. Roberts said that the teachers applied for the grant to help reduce the cost for Prestwood families. “Outdoor education can be very expensive,” she said. “Our trip to Coloma can be anywhere from $200 to $300 per student.” Classroom grants for field trip have been in exceptionally high demand. “Since August, we have approved 71 Classroom Grant requests — and over one-third of them have been for field trips,” said Gail Chadwin, the foundation’s director of development. “We hear from teachers that many local families cannot afford to pay for these field trips out of pocket.”
Click the link below to read the article in the Sonoma Index-Tribune about the expansion of Creative Campus to El Verano Elementary that you made possible:
Flowery Elementary School students travel the galaxy with new virtual reality headsets
Click the link below to read the fourth article in our ongoing series in the Sonoma Index-Tribune about Classroom Grants that you made possible: Flowery Elementary School students are using the school’s new virtual reality headsets, thanks mainly to a $1,000 grant that Sara Hubbard-Lake, the school’s library media specialist, received for 2022-23 through the Sonoma Valley Education Foundation’s Classroom Grants program. “Our students are smart and curious. They are little mathematicians and scientists, artists and writers. Many of our students live their lives within a few-blocks radius. They might visit family in another town or take a trip to the city, but they don’t have many opportunities to explore beyond the city limits of our own little town. Virtual reality has some amazing educational platforms that allow students to take a trip around the world, into space or even back in time.”
The Incredible No-Shhh Library
In addition to the VR headsets, Sara Hubbard-Lake has created the Incredible No-Shhh Library, which is available to all Flowery students and was made possible partly through a $1,000 Classroom Grant during the 2021-22 academic year.
“School libraries are evolving into bustling, vibrant centers of knowledge that engage the whole child. This library will continue to provide a quiet escape for our voracious readers, but it is my hope that it can evolve into a place that can impact a student’s day in a positive and meaningful way both in and out of the library." - Sara Hubbard-Lake
You helped students engage and heal through the arts
“Is the art studio going to be open today?”
If you were to visit Dunbar Elementary School, that’s a phrase you would hear over and over. Because thanks to you, a new art program helps students put their creativity in action!
The art studio is just one small facet of an exciting new initiative called dunbART. With this program (designed and implemented by Kimzin Creative, and in partnership with Creative Bridges) multiple local organizations have coordinated efforts to bring the arts to Dunbar students.
Because of you, students were able to explore everything from ceramics to sewing to instrumental music, and much more. Arts classes have been integrated into the school day, and are also available after school and during the lunch hour.
Dunbar teacher Karen O’Hara, who is also supporting dunbART through a teacher ambassador program, has seen firsthand how important this opportunity is.
“Art is a fantastic way for all students to feel they can succeed. It is accessible for all learning levels. The lessons are engaging and help bring out the creativity in our scholars.”
After the stress and isolation caused by the pandemic, students urgently need opportunities to engage and heal–and we know the arts are incredibly effective at doing just that. Thank you for helping to provide this for local students.
New Robots Bring Learning to Life
Students learn 21st Century skills, thanks to you!
When you supported a Classroom Grant, you helped put innovative learning tools–like this Dash Robot–directly into the hands of local students.
On November 2nd, the excitement in the air at the Sassarini Elementary School was palpable. A class of 5th grade students rushed to open the boxes of their new learning tools: small Dash Robots, which students could code to move, spin, talk, and more!
The new Dash Robots were made possible thanks to donors like you, who helped fund a Classroom Grant for Sassarini teacher Danielle Wroblewski.
When you make a Classroom Grant possible for a local teacher, you are ensuring that they can provide their students with the materials, resources, and experiences that their students need to thrive. As Ms. Wroblewski can attest, your support makes all the difference for local students.
Ms. Wroblewski runs the Maker Space, a designated space for students to explore STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) throughout the year. All students at Sassarini, from TK through 5th grade, have the opportunity to visit the Maker Lab once a week to engage in exciting, creative, hands-on classes.
While the Maker Space was already equipped with many resources, the new Dash Robots filled an important gap. Ms. Wroblewski commented, “There are very few opportunities for my students to learn to code. Learning to use block code to give Dash directions and complete tasks provides a tangible and exciting use of code.”
Students control the robots through an app on an external tablet. Using the app, they learn the basics of coding and use their new skills to bring the robots to life!
For their final project with the Dash Robots, Ms. Wroblewski will have the students program their robots to participate in a dance challenge. Her long-term goal is to build a Coding Unit for all students to learn and explore the wonders of computer science and programming year after year.
A local parent discusses the impact you have made on her child
When you made a donation to the Sonoma Valley Education Foundation, you made an investment in the future of over 100 local children.
You provided critical funds for our community’s largest, fully-subsidized preschool. Your gift sends a young student, from a family that needs a little help, to a safe and enriching school environment.
Preschool gives students important opportunities to get the head start in school they need, and to learn important skills as they play and socialize. You have already given this gift to local student Alex. Alex started attending El Verano preschool in the fall. Already his mother, Jenny, has seen how important early education is for her son!
“Preschool has helped my son establish a more consistent pattern and schedule, which in turn has made Alex easier to parent with fewer emotional outbursts. He has also caught up to other children his age in regards to his speech delays.
“This program makes an impact on my son. His speech has greatly improved, and he is better socialized, calmer, and more attentive. It is extremely beneficial to him both socially and educationally.”
“I’ve seen improvements in my son that are near miraculous. He is a more joyous child, and I am a better parent because of this program and its teachers.”
No child should have to miss out on critical early learning opportunities–and because of you, they don’t have to! Thank you for ensuring that young learners like Alex can attend preschool.
It was a day of immense gratitude. Of celebration alongside friends, family, and community. Of reflection on past challenges and future promises.
After a two-year hiatus, we were thrilled to bring the Red & White Ball back to the Sonoma Plaza on August 27. We welcomed over 1,200 supporters and community members to this special evening in honor of our local schools.
The most recent event looked a bit different from years past. Before the SVEF team began planning the Red & White Ball, we paused to reflect on everything our community has been through since the start of the global pandemic – especially our local schools and their dedicated teachers.
Throughout the pandemic, teachers and school staff have been the essential workers on behalf of our children. To thank them and give the entire community a chance to honor their dedication, we flipped the script on the Red & White Ball.
On that special night in August, we gathered our Sonoma Valley community to celebrate and thank the many people who are essential to our public schools and the well being of our local students: teachers, staff, parents, volunteers, and donors who give to the Sonoma Valley Education Foundation
Throughout the evening, together we learned about the amazing things happening at local schools. We enjoyed a live program complete with performances by students, while picnicking and sipping a glass of wine. We danced the night away under the stars.
Most importantly, we showed our support for our schools and demonstrated that we are UNIFIED on behalf of our students. And it was such a successful reimagining of the event, we’re going to do it all again on August 26, 2023 – so SAVE THE DATE and see you there!
Save the Date for the Red & White Ball!
Saturday, August 26, 2023
Click the link below to read the third article in our ongoing series in the Sonoma Index-Tribune about Classroom Grants that you made possible: The life of a secondary school student can at times be frenzied and a bit overwhelming, so Kim Bellach, a counselor at Sonoma Valley High School’s Wellness Center, decided she wanted to step in and create a care cart filled with hygiene products, snacks, journals and other comfort items.
Sonoma Valley High School juniors (from left) Emily Galindo and Valeria Lorenzana write in journals they obtained from the care cart at the campus Wellness Center.
Click the link below to read the second article in our ongoing series in the Sonoma Index-Tribune about Classroom Grants that you made possible: Creekside students participated in a three-week ceramics class that, according to their instructor, “allowed them to break through in so many ways. It saw them gain confidence as they let go of the idea that art has to be perfect."