The San Joaquin County Office of Education announced several teachers and other employees who submitted innovative proposals were selected to be funded by the Making a Difference Through Mini Grants program.
Sponsored by the Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s Better Together Giving Program, the mini grants give SJCOE staff the opportunity to obtain the funding needed to try out a new idea or enhance current projects that ulimately benefit students. A grant-review committee awarded $7,888 to eight successful proposals for the 2016-17 school year.
The winning proposals are:
Classroom Science Lab Setup
This project will supply additional science materials and supplies to SJCOE-run classrooms at the Discovery ChalleNGe Academy, a new program for at-risk youth beginning in January through a partnership with the California National Guard. Students will participate in activities that support crosscutting curriculum in life science, physical science, and introductions to biochemical processes.
Approximately 60 high school students from Venture Academy Family of Schools (VAFS) will participate in tours of nearby colleges. Students will have the opportunity to get a feel for the campus culture and environment and learn about the major programs and degrees offered and cost of tuition.
Historic Durham Ferry SLEWS Riparian Habitat Restoration
The mini-grant award will fund the Student and Landowner Education and Watershed Stewardship (SLEWS) program field days for students at Historic Durham Ferry (HDF). The goal of the program is to create a mosaic of habitat types that will support a diversity of wildlife at SJCOE’s 290-acre Durham Ferry site and create a variety of learning opportunities. Students will plan and install a hedgerow driveway, pollinator garden, and restore riparian woodland habitat.
HOSA State Leadership Conference
Approximately 25 students from VAFS’ Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) chapter, a professional organization for students interested in pursuing careers in the healthcare industry, will prepare for and compete in this year’s annual HOSA State Leadership Conference. At the conference, students will compete in their selected competitive event, such as medical terminology, medical math, healthy living, CPR/first-aid; network with their peers and other HOSA advisors and sponsors; and meet with legislators at the State Capitol.
If you build it, they will come…
Students at Discovery ChalleNGe Academy will build model airplanes that teachers will use to teach mathematical processes, such as scale, geometry, and aerodynamics. The project will also complement lessons in history as students learn about the industrial revolution, and World War I and II. Students will research the era from which their models were created, paint their models from an artistic perspective, demonstrating their knowledge of the elements of art and principals of design, and present their completed project to peers and the National Guard Cadre.
Mock Trial Beach Ball Classic
VAFS’ Mock Trial team will prepare for the county mock trial competition by attending the Beach Ball Classic invitational where they will scrimmage against some of the best mock trial teams in the state to improve their overall performance and gain specific skills that are best learned through competing with other teams. The invitational is a team-building experience where students learn to trust one another, learn to support each other, and work as a team while also honing their individual skills.
The one.Growing and Reaching Opportunities through Work (GROW) project will prepare 35 at-risk youth and young adults enrolled in County Operated Schools and Programs (COSP) for careers in food or food service. Students will learn about COSP’s School Nutrition Program, receive training in proper hand-washing techniques and how to effectively prepare and sanitize food preparation areas. Upon successful completion of the project, students will receive an industry-standard food handler certificate from ServSafe National Restaurant Association.
Relationships and the Environment
This project will inform students about the relationships of all things in the environment. Students will create conservation action plans that target the California coastline. Students will travel to Asilomar State Park to conduct tide pool and sandy-beach research. Conservation action plans will directly address how to restore or counteract destructive factors in the ecosystem.