Though the 2013-14 school year may be coming to a close, classrooms across Cambria are alive with learning. From a “Battle of the Books” at Santa Lucia Middle School, Career Day at Coast Union High and Theater Classes at the Grammar School, out-of-the box teaching and learning experiences are happening. Grants to fund these innovative programs are a result of a partnership between Coast Unified teachers, who research and pioneer these programs, and the Cambria Education Foundation (CEF), a nonprofit organization that raises funds to support teachers at all four Coast Unified campuses.
Much of what the Foundation has been able to fund this year is the result of an unsolicited donation from a 1961 graduate of Coast Union High School (CUHS) who now resides in Northern California. Joe Bania only attended Coast Union for one year, but that year made an impression. “Although I only spent my senior year at CUHS, I felt at home graduating from a small school. The people were friendly and the teachers were very good in pointing me in the right direction,” says Joe.
Joe’s passion for science is evident in our classrooms where he has donated funds to outfit labs with microscopes, enriched the STEM program with robotics and drones and provided for hands-on learning experiences at family events including Physics Day and upcoming Ocean Science Day at the middle school’s Open House. According to Joe, “Small schools have an advantage in personal interaction that helps stimulate students but, generally, fiscal resources of small school districts are limited. As the world gets more technology oriented, we want to help the CEF raise funds for supplemental equipment and educational activities that are not currently covered by School District funding.” It is hoped that Mr. Bania’s generosity will encourage other alumni to consider donating to CEF to support their alma mater.
In the spirit of recognizing the excellence of education in our community, the Cambria Education Foundation invites all to attend a Celebration of Education on Friday, May 30. This year’s event starts at 4 p.m. in the afternoon at The Garden Shed, 2024 Main St., Cambria. The Foundation will celebrate both the teachers in the district and our community whose financial donations and continued support at CEF fundraisers make inspired teaching a reality.
The Foundation will also award the 2014 grants, thank interim Superintendent Dr. Richard Malfatti and welcome the district’s new superintendent, Victoria “Vicki” Schumacher.
Tickets for the Celebration are available at any of the school libraries or online at www.CambriaEducaitonFoundation.org. Tickets are $10 for CUSD staff and guests, $20 for the general public. Food and drink will be provided. For more information, call Erin Martin at 305-7838, Katie Beery at 440-2244 or email email@example.com.
Erin Martin is co-president of the Cambria Education Foundation.