Grants to support music and science programs

The Santa Cruz Education Foundation has been awarded two new grants to support the students and programs of Santa Cruz City Schools. Championed by Sarah Herr, a Gault Elementary School parent, the Yahoo! Employee Foundation (YEF), a corporate advised fund of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, has awarded SCEF $19,000 to pilot an elementary after school music program. The proposed program was inspired by Cabrillo Music Festival conductor Marin Alsop’s ORCHkids program in Baltimore, Maryland and the acclaimed El Sistema program of Venezuela.The program is expected to debut at Gault Elementary school in early 2012.

Our fifth graders will be getting hands-on science instruction as they learn about our neighboring wetlands and watersheds thanks to a $2,500 grant from Pacific Gas and Electric Company. Through a curriculum developed by Julia Davenport, member of the Santa Cruz City Schools Green Schools Committee, teachers and students  will have the opportunity to deepen their knowledge by submersing themselves in hands-on science at the water’s edge. The river-side water quality and nature observation stations will give each student the time to observe, reflect, and record their observations. The grant will help to transport students from their classrooms and into the riparian habitat of Loch Lomond where they will develop a sense of place, and where they can experience first-hand where their water comes from, where it goes, what happens to it on its path to their faucets or the ocean, and impacts to marine habitats.