Left to right are: SPYF Board member Ralph Fernandez. Jennifer Dobbie, Terry Brenner-Ferrell, Diana Georghiou, Scott Kneff, Olivia Ramirez, Kathleen Thrift, Shauna Catalano, Cari Leidig, SPYF Board member Jeri Mead, not pictured Marliyn Applebee (photo by Brian D. Wilson)

Santa Paula Foundation for Youth announces 2009-10 mini grant winners

December 23, 2009
Santa Paula News

Eight teachers from the Santa Paula Elementary School District will be implementing new art-based programs into their classrooms thanks to the Santa Paula Foundation for Youth mini-grant program. This year’s recipients are Scott Kneff, Cari Leidig, Diana Georghiou and Shauna Catalano from Isbell Middle School, Terry Brenner-Ferrell from McKevett, Olivia Ramirez from Grace Thille, Jennifer Dobbie from Bedell, and Kathleen Thrift from Blanchard. Each teacher submitted a proposal for a project designed to enhance their curriculum through some aspect of the Fine Arts. 

At Isbell Middle School, Shauna Catalano will be using her grant money to fund an Anne Frank art/literature project. Cari Leidig and Diana Georghiou will be enriching their MESA program with an after-school “Technical Art for Teens” class. Scott Kneff will be receiving funds to help with bus transportation to middle school band performances.

Jennifer Dobbie is using her grant money to purchase the script, costumes, and props for her first grade musical “Grammarosaurus”. Olivia Ramirez is receiving grant money to support second grade students at Grace Thille School who will be traveling to the J. Paul Getty Art Museum. Terry Brenner-Farrell’s grant money will help McKevett’s school-wide magnet class program. Kathleen Thrift’s grant will help support her “Meet the Masters” after-school program.

“We are so excited to get the grant program up and running again, and the projects that we are funding this year are really deserving,” said SPFY board member Jeri Mead. The 2009-2010 grants mark the first time the Santa Paula Foundation for Youth has awarded any grants since 1999. 

Funds raised at SPFY’s “Spring Fling” event were used for these grants. The event, held last May at Limoneira’s Teague-McKevett ranch, included silent and live auctions, and musical performances by the Xavier Montes, the Isbell band, and the Holly-Street Rollers. 

“The Spring Fling was a great success this year. The community really came out to support us, and we were amazed at how much we made last spring,” said SPFY President Ralph Fernandez, “and now that money is going right into our local classrooms. It’s really gratifying.”   

SPFY would like to thank the sponsor’s of the Spring Fling, which included Kane Industries, La Unica Panaderia, Gente Foods, Trader Joe’s, El Pescador, Dominos Pizza, Golden State Hay, Santa Paula Rotary Club, Edwin F. Beach, and Chino’s market, as well as auction donors CP Aviation, Lucinda Anderson, Gail Pidduck, Ralph Fernandez, Bonnie Owen and Red Tail Vineyards, The Mupu Grill, Santa Paula Theater Center, Rubicon Theater, AgRX, Familia Diaz, Tisa’s Salon & Spa, Ojain Estate, Crown Cold Pressed Regalo, Cheryl and Dave Phillips, Brokaw Nursery, Do Right’s Nursery, and Thomas Aquinas College. Plans are already underway for this year’s event. “We may even showcase some of the artistic products of this year’s grants,” said Mead, “which would be really wonderful to see.” 

The Santa Paula Foundation for Youth is a non-profit organization dedicated to joining public and privates sectors in partnership for the benefit and enrichment of all children of the Santa Paula Elementary School District, with special attention given to fine arts. For more information, send an email to: spfoundationforyouth@gmail.com.

Site Search



Call 805 525 1890 to receive the entire paper early. $50.00 for one year.