Teachers awarded grants for Care for our Earth,
innovation, philanthropy, and service projects countywide
Twenty-eight teachers from eight school districts countywide were recognized by the Santa Barbara County Education Office with Care for our Earth grants for classroom projects at the 2012 Teachers Network Grant Recognition Dinner Feb. 23, sponsored by the Southern California Gas Company at the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott in Buellton. Five teachers from the County Education Office received Teacher Innovation Grant awards. Another 28 third grade teachers were recognized for philanthropic projects involving the Care & Share II Grant program, and 22 received Care & Share Grants for community service and philanthropy countywide.
The Care for Our Earth Grants were developed through a partnership with the Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District, the Southern California Gas Company, and the Santa Barbara County Education Office’s Teachers Network. This year the program received additional support from the Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Tina McEnroe-Rancho La Purisima, and the Bill Denneen Environmental Awards. The Care for Our Earth program offers grants to fourth to 12th grade teachers who implement an environmental service project with their students to save energy or reduce traffic and pollution at the school.
Editor’s Note: Winning projects are attached, along with a photo of grant winners.
Santa Barbara County Second District Supervisor Janet Wolf, a member of the Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District Board of Directors, and Dave Van Mullem, director of the Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District, presented the awards.
Bill Denneen Environmental Awards
For the first time, grouped into the Care for Our Earth Grant category were the Bill Denneen Environmental Awards. Denneen, a retired microbiology instructor at Allan Hancock College, is a lifelong community activist and proud environmentalist, who said he wanted to encourage the next generation of environmental activists with a cash award. Denneen gave his awards to trustees, who each used the award to recognize environmental champions annually. Virginia Perry Souza, one of the three trustees, represented Bill Denneen Environmental Awards at the Feb. 23 event. The 2012 recipients of Bill Denneen Environmental Awards are attached.
Teacher Innovation Grant awards
The Teacher Innovation Grant Awards are offered annually by the Santa Barbara County Education Office to employees who are creating projects and creatively exploring new ways of helping students learn. Grant recipients work to develop original teaching ideas, solve classroom management issues, encourage parent and community partnerships, or learn new techniques through professional development.
This year’s Teacher Innovation Grant projects included: creating a take-home reading program for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program that includes over 40 Guided Reading books with corresponding DVDs in which the book is presented in Sign Language; helping special needs students discover nutritious foods, learn about growing healthy foods, and participate in field trips that encourage healthy eating habits; teaching students innovative and adaptive skills as they convert a gasoline engine Porsche into an all electric, zero-emissions vehicle; giving students the opportunity to visit colleges and training programs on the central coast to explore career fields based on their interests and abilities; and helping students learn about hydroponics as they create and maintain a hydrophobic system.
Care & Share II awards
Twenty-eight Care & Share II Grant recipients were also honored at the Grant Recognition Dinner.
Sponsored by the Santa Barbara Foundation, Orfalea Foundation, and coordinated by the Santa Barbara County Education Office, the Care & Share II Philanthropy Grant Program offers an award for third grade teachers who submit philanthropic projects that promote the opportunity to experience the joy of caring and sharing, while nurturing the core values of philanthropy. In its fifth year, the Care & Share II Philanthropy Grant program funded more than 100 grants countywide. Tara Perillo, Grants Administrator from the Orfalea Foundation, helped present the grant awards.
This year’s Care & Share II Grant projects included: students gathering educational materials such as books, writing materials, art and music supplies for shipment to disadvantaged school children across the globe; students participating in a food drive to collect canned goods, toys, books, etc. for the local homeless shelter; students selling Smencils (scented pencils), the profits from which will help to stock the pet food pantry at the Santa Maria Valley Humane Society, a nonprofit, “no-kill” shelter; and students fundraising to support the Rainforest Action Network, an organization that works to save endangered lands, species, and plants of the rainforests in Central and South America.
Care & Share awards
Twenty-two Care & Share Philanthropy Grant awards were also given at the Grant Recognition Dinner. Sponsored annually by the Santa Barbara Foundation and coordinated by the Santa Barbara County Education Office, the Care & Share Philanthropy Grant Program involves K-12 students in acts of philanthropy, helping them develop an appreciation of community service, while cultivating an ethic of giving. The program provides students with philanthropic learning experiences that enable them to realize their ability to make a difference in the larger community.
Bronwen Fitzsimons, grants administrator from the Santa Barbara Foundation, and Molly Carrillo-Walker, community investment officer from the Santa Barbara Foundation, handed out the awards. Examples of this year’s Care & Share Philanthropy Grant projects included: students becoming “Animal Ambassadors” by participating in a program at the local animal shelter designed to inform and instill activism in animal services; assembling and decorating “Jared Boxes” to provide a special diversion for young, chronically ill patients as they receive chemotherapy and other medical treatments at the local hospital; decorating pillowcases that are filled with toiletries, novelties, and books, to be delivered to homeless teens in the area; and visiting seniors at a local care facility to build relationships and strengthen the connection between the generations.
Further information on these grant programs is available by contacting Petti M. Pfau, director of teacher programs, at the Santa Barbara County Education Office, 964-4710, ext. 5281
Pictured (left to right): Dave Van Mullem, APCD director; Lisa McNeil, Adam School; 2nd District Supervisor Janet Wolf, member of the APCD bvoard; John Livingston, Santa Ynez Valley Charter School; Joy Snyder, Adam School, Santa Maria; Chris Scott, Santa Ynez Elementary School; Crystal Dominguez, Santa Maria High School Special Education; Mona Gros, Santa Maria High School Special Education; Lisa Savaso, Joe Nightingale School, Orcutt; Bettina Knox, Dos Pueblos High School; Mary Burch, Lompoc High School; Riccardo Magni, Pioneer Valley High School, Santa Maria; Emma Rodriguez, Delta High School in Santa Maria; Lori Lee Collins, Carpinteria Family School; Donna Ehret, Adam School; Catherine Ulrich, Santa Maria Jt. Union High School District Home School Program; Tammie Castillo Shiffer, Pioneer Valley High School; Kelly VanAllen, Pine Grove Elementary School, Orcutt; Laura Branch, Righetti High School; Juliana Zellers, Santa Maria Jt. Union High School District Home School Program; Deanne Rosing, Santa Maria Jt. Union High School District Home School Program.