Students at Bedell School, Ms. Menzie’s 3rd grade class, learn about and try their hands at traditional Japanese Sumi-e (brush) painting. (Photo by Brian D. Wilson)

Arts in the Classroom within elementary district!

April 15, 2009
Santa Paula News
The Santa Paula Foundation for Youth announces the election of a new Board of Directors, and the re-establishment of its mini-grant program to fund special projects in the fine arts within the Santa Paula Elementary School District. Elected to the Board this fall were Cheryl Philips, Ralph Fernandez, Jeri Mead, Marilyn Appleby, and Meg Phelps. The Santa Paula Foundation for Youth is a non-profit corporation founded in 1993 by a group of concerned parents, educators and community members to address the lack of funding for arts education. The Foundation raises money to fund mini-grants to local elementary school teachers for classroom projects that incorporate a fine-arts component. The Mission Statement of the Santa Paula Foundation for Youth establishes the goal of community support for education and the arts, stating, “The Foundation wishes the public and private sectors to join in a non-profit partnership for the benefit and enrichment of all children of the Santa Paula Elementary School District, with special attention given to fine arts.”The new Board members all have a connection to the arts, education, and community service. Ralph Fernandez is a professor of architecture at Ventura College and currently Mayor of Santa Paula and member of the City Council; Marilyn Appleby is an architect working with Anderson/ Kulwiec Architects in Santa Paula and parent of two children attending Santa Paula schools; Jeri Mead is a former teacher now working for the Santa Paula Elementary School District as Reading Project administrator; Cheryl Philips teaches GATE and Honors 6th grade at Isbell Middle School; and Meg Phelps teaches art history and art appreciation at Ventura and Moorpark Community Colleges. Although inactive for the last few years, the current Board of Directors is excited to see this organization revitalized. Supporting the arts is as important today, and as under-funded, as it was 16 years ago. Joining the public and private sectors fosters a much-needed partnership between the schools and our community.
As new Board Member Fernandez pointed out, “There are many opportunities to work within the community to raise funds, and teachers need and deserve this kind of support. We’re all excited about the potential here.” The Board gratefully acknowledges outgoing Board Members Michele Kolbeck, Janet Lindsay, Mark Hanson, Tony Vasquez and Ed Beach for their years of dedicated service. The Santa Paula Foundation for Youth is planning a fundraising “Spring Fling” event to be held Sunday, May 31 at the rustic Teague McKevett Ranch, from 2 to 5 p.m. Please call 525-8529 for more information, or to reserve tickets.

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