Your Donations Making a Difference
Obviously, the Corona Virus has changed all of our lives in 2020 and perhaps, forever. One area hard hit by the virus is education. This is especially true for the Oracle School District and the students attending Mountain Vista School. Some families within this district had income challenges and kids with special needs prior to COVID. The compound impacts of the virus, with shutdowns, job/business losses, parents/teachers scrambling to deal with on-line education has only made matters worse. Our foundation has postponed the annual fundraising gala for a year and the effect on expected donations has been significant.
The pandemic has required the board to explore supplementing our current focus from a preschool/scholarships priority to additional student needs resulting from impacts of the virus. All efforts fall within the original purpose of this foundation which is to “support the Oracle School District and its students with financial assistance and volunteer efforts”.
How COVID -19 Has Impacted Our Work
Your generous donations during these difficult times is appreciated.
Needs Based Preschool Scholarships
The Foundation’s current focus is early childhood education and literacy specifically. Preschool is critical in ensuring children enter kindergarten ready to learn and the payback can be as high as $7 for every $1 spent. In 2017, the Foundation Board made a commitment to funding preschool for all children in the District. With your help, we can continue to ensure our students are afforded the opportunity for great start to a lifetime of learning.
Levenson and Crum REACH Scholarship
This scholarship award was established by Alan & Betsy Levenson for distribution through the Oracle Schools Foundation. Chris and Larry Crum joined the effort by donating a second scholarship. The scholarships now award two $1,500 scholarships to worthy Mountain Vista students to allow them to attend an in-depth summer academic program. The first year’s recipient, 6th grader Natalye Pinedo attended the Sally Ride Science Camp at UC San Diego this summer. The second year's student, 8th grader Kevin Valenzuela, attended an UCLA Writing Camp. Providing opportunities like these to very deserving students like Natalie and Kevin is indicative of the type of life-changing experiences the foundation hopes to facilitate.
Accelerated Reading Program
The Accelerated Reading Program (ARP) by Renaissance Learning Company helps assess students’ reading level via program tests which help them select appropriate books to read. After a student reads a book, they take a test to prove they actually read the book. The teacher then takes that information and gives rewards, grade points or another appropriate incentive. Students in the ARP are assigned a reading goal based on the number of points they earn which encourages them to read more.
As the District buys new books, the ARP provides the tests to go along with those books. The Oracle School District has found the program to be very effective in encouraging students to read and is incredibly grateful for Clay and Carol Heflebower's generous donation of the $4,000 required to fund this program the past two years. According to the Renaissance Learning Company, a recent study drawing upon patterns of growth in 2.8 million students, found the ARP is associated with higher levels of growth in three high-interest populations: struggling readers, English language learners, and students receiving free or reduced lunch.