The Calaveras Community Foundation provides support for a wide range of community programs. Here is feedback from a few grant recipients about the impact these grants have made on their organizations:
Copperopolis Community Food Pantry
How do you put a price on the happiness you see on a senior citizen’s face when they see the extra food they are receiving? What about the tears of joy and gratitude from a single mother who worries about having enough food for her kids? The grants the Copperopolis Community Food Pantry has received from the Calaveras Community Foundation in the last three years have enabled us to provide more nutritious food to our clients. With the first two grants we focused on giving meat and other protein foods such as eggs, peanut butter and tuna, which can be too expensive for someone struggling on a tight budget. Our current grant is helping us give more food to seniors and help them with their particular nutritional needs. Since our number of clients keeps increasing instead of decreasing, these extra funds are helping our community in a big way. The volunteers at the pantry are so very grateful for the help we’ve received and the opportunity to provide the ingredients for good meals to our clients. The Calaveras Community foundation is really making a difference in peoples’ lives.
Lorraine Crawford, Co-Chair, Copperopolis Community Food Pantry (2013)
The Friends of Rail Road Flat School
The Friends of Rail Road Flat School continue to thrive and offer new and exciting classes to students, thanks to a 2013 grant from Calaveras Community Foundation called STEM (Supports the learning of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). Our non-profit grass roots group is dedicated to preserving the rights of children to be educated in the community in which they live while receiving the best education possible. This mission would not be possible without grants such as this one. The Enrichment Program of our group is run solely on fundraising, grants, and small donations. While offering a wide variety of classes to students in various subjects such as gardening, creative writing, cooking, weaving, and more, we are excited to now offer a new class exposing students to engineering and computer programing.
Through this 2013 STEM Grant Award we are able to purchase and implement a LEGO robotics learning program. The LEGO robotics program is a hands-on, highly stimulative program that engages students and provides cross-curricular opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math. Students develop solutions to robotic challenges. They conduct research, develop prototypes of potential solutions, document their progress, and build, test, and improve their design. Long story short, LEGO robotic kits will enable students without formal training in engineering and computer programing to design, build, and program small scale robots.
The students will basically design robots in one of three ways: 1) through imagination and exploration the students create their own robot; 2) the students may follow a list of specific instructions; or 3) a teacher or advanced student may create a “Challenge,” a description of a problem that needs to be solved by the creation of a robot, together with a set of parameters that the student must work within to create the solution.
A monumental increase in student engagement is expected. An increase in student achievement on the yearly STAR testing is also expected. An increase in school attendance is a hoped for by-product due to excitement expected to be generated by the implementation of the program. It is also not unreasonable to expect a more positive classroom climate, as well as enhanced peer interaction due to the collaborative nature of LEGO robotics program. It is our sincere hope that, in the future, a few of our students will become engineering majors because of their exposure to the LEGO robotics program. Finally, it is expected that new friendships will develop between the students from the different small schools.
After completion of the program at Rail Road Flat Elementary School we will be passing it on to be used at West Point Elementary and then to Mokelumne Hill Elementary.
The Friends of Rail Road Flat School, our programs and classes, are grateful and made possible in part by the continued support of The Calaveras Community Foundation.
To learn more about TFORRFS visit our website www.friendsofrrfschool.org or visit and like us on Facebook.
Autumn Andahl – Secretary, The Friends of Rail Road Flat School.
Valley Springs Youth, Valley Springs, CA.
Valley Springs Youth was fortunate to receive a 2013 grant to buy new desktop computers, tablets, cameras, and software. The children have already used their kaleidoscope software to make pictures for their thank you cards. We do a lot of fund raisers so we make a lot of thank you cards. Now that we have our new equipment we can make outstanding cards that our supporters will really appreciate. We have also sold greeting cards and have made almost $100.00 selling our cards so far.
We took a survey of the youth and discovered that they think math is boring and difficult to learn, so we are showing the youth game applications that makes learning math facts fun. We downloaded an application to measure the height and distance of items only to find the application was written for the metric system. The youth are unfamiliar with the metric system, so we are now using our new equipment to give them confidence they need to work with the metric system.
This month the youth will choose a country to study and will make a meal from dishes featured in that country. With our new tablets and computers we will find videos of how to make a particular dish. We will also study the nutritional value of what we cook and apply math principles to determine how well what we cook matches the nutritional needs of children.
We also intend to take advantage of the children’s interest in robotics to help them design and create robots. There is no end to what we can do now that we have the tools we need to explore our world and create unique expressions of who we are through the use of science, technology, engineering and math. With this assistance from the Calaveras Community Foundation we will more than ever live up to our slogan: “Where success begins with fun”!
Janice Bassett. Director Valley Springs Youth
Mind Matters Clinic, Murphys, CA
“On behalf of the Mind Matters Clinic, I would like to personally thank the Calaveras Community Foundation for all that they do to improve the quality of life in our county. At our clinic, we are using a grant awarded us by the CCF last year to help seven children take part in our Social Thinking program. These young people range in age from eight to twelve and come from Angels Camp, Mokelumne Hill, Murphys, and Valley Springs.
The ability to understand and interact with other people, whether at family gatherings, at school, or in the workplace, is taken for granted by most people. However, this is foreign territory for those who are autistic and for many who suffer from attention deficit disorder. As a result, they are seen as misbehaving and people wonder why the parents can’t control them. Social Thinking addresses these issues in a supportive, non-judgmental environment with a highly trained clinician. In small groups, these young people develop the ability to interact positively, making them a much more welcome person at home, in school, and in other social situations.
So this is an example of how a CCF grant can have a direct positive effect on families in our area. The foundation deserves our support.”
Ryan Thompson, MD, Mind Matters Clinic
Friends of Rail Road Flat School
“The Friends of Rail Road Flat School sincerely appreciate receiving a grant from The Calaveras Community Foundation. Since conception in 2010 this grassroots group has worked tirelessly to keep this 116 year old blue ribbon school open and to uphold our Mission – to enhance learning by implementing activities that will result in increased student success while creating and maintaining a stewardship with the community and preserving the rights of children to be educated in the community in which they live.
This program offers classes to students during and after school in Art, Drama, Construction, Gardening, Sports, Sewing and Weaving, Food Preparation, Dance, Music, Storytelling, Ceramics, Poetry, Photography, Sign Language, Mural-Painting, and more.
As this program is run solely on fundraising, grant writing, and small donations, the majority of the equipment and supplies are available in only limited numbers. Through this grant we are able to purchase an adequate supply of new state – of- the – art equipment; much needed new supplies, and provide participation opportunities to more children of the community. Our community is grateful to have the support and dedication of The Calaveras Community Foundation. Visit our website to learn more: www.friendsofrrfschool.org.
Autumn Andahl, Secretary, The Friends of Rail Road Flat School
Calaveras County Seniors’ Center, Inc.
“The Calaveras County Senior Center has benefitted greatly from the generosity of grants received from the Calaveras Community Foundation. As our building ages, and economic times remain hard, the Senior Center has been able to provide viable services to our seniors and many other members of our community with the grants awarded us from CCF. Grants over the last five years have provided us with handicap-compliant front doors, partially funded HVAC units and new roof, and kitchen floor-tile replacement.
All of these projects could not have been completed without the funding from CCF. With the Calaveras Community Foundation support the Calaveras Senior Center can maintain the Lunch Service in our Phoenix Kitchen as well as continue to serve as a central hub for sources to aid our senior population.
Our gratitude and appreciation for the financial grants the CCF offers our community are beyond measure.”
Sharon Neckel, Treasurer, Calaveras County Senior Center
“Harmony Ranch, a non-profit Equine Assisted Activities Program, designed for children in our community with special needs, has received a $2,000 grant from the Calaveras Community Foundation.
The money will be used to support horse care during the 2012-2013 school year, which will allow the program to provide scholarships to deserving children in our community. Although Harmony Ranch is available for any child who wishes to learn equestrian skills, funding will be used to serve children with special needs living in Calaveras County who cannot afford the program financially, but would benefit.
According to Tara Glessman, Executive Director of Harmony Ranch, “Equestrian therapy has been shown to improve self esteem, communication, balance, coordination and muscle strength and lead to increased confidence.”
Not every family in Calaveras County can afford equestrian therapy. The CCF grant will help make it possible for some children in need to have a great experience, learn new skills and benefit from building a relationship with our horses. For more information about Harmony Ranch Equestrian Therapy, please contact Tara Glessman at (209) 753-7816.”
Soroptimist International of Calaveras County
“Soroptimist International of Calaveras County sincerely appreciates and values CCF’s financial support as we both strive to give back to our local communities. CCF’s grants to SICC truly are saving lives of women and girls through SICC’s “Take Women to Heart Program”. Since 2005, SICC with their partnership with Mark Twain St. Joseph’s Hospital has provided free comprehensive cholesterol testings including a risk evaluation for heart disease to over 3000 Calaveras County women.This program is on-going and free testings are available to all women each spring.” Visit our website: www.sicalaverascounty.org.
Lee Croletto, President Soroptimist International of Calaveras County 2011-12.
Calaveras County Senior Center
“The Calaveras County Senior Center has benefitted greatly from the generosity of grants received from the Calaveras Community Foundation. Grants received over the last several years have helped contribute to the safety and comfort of the building. The front doors were upgraded to comply with safety regulations thanks to a grant from CCF. Two of the Heating/Air Conditioning units were replaced with the help of partial funding from CCF thanks to the Foundation’s willingness to be flexible in the funds they awarded the Center. The most recent grant helped the Center’s Re-Roofing Project to completion just in time for winter rains. The Calaveras County Senior Center’s Board of Directors appreciates and values the commitment to the community that the Calaveras Community Foundation has presented over the years.”
Sharon Neckel, Treasurer, Calaveras Senior Center Board of Directors
Calaveras Arts Council
“The Calaveras Community Foundation grants have helped Calaveras Arts Council to provide live musical, dance, and storytelling experiences at local K-8 school assemblies. For many, it is the first time in their young lives that they live performances.
It is difficult to measure the benefit of the arts programs because of the esoteric nature of the arts but if a young boy finally tells his friends that he plays violin because he saw a performing artist play the fiddle, or a young student calls out “are they real?” when he sees a live dance performance, then we are successful bringing more of the world alive to them. We’ve unlocked another door to learning.
The Calaveras Community Foundation has been instrumental in introducing students to the arts through their generous grants within the Calaveras Arts Council’s Arts in Education Program, Performing Artists in the Schools.”
Mary Jane Genochio, Executive Director, Calaveras Arts Council
Highway 4 Teen Steering Committee
“We are very grateful to the Calaveras Community Foundation for providing a grant to get our grassroots organization, Highway 4 Teen Center, off the ground and running. With this funding, we are able to move forward to create a teen center to serve youth from Arnold to Copperopolis and attract the community support needed to make this dream a reality. The true beneficiaries will be all the local teens who are seeking a safe haven and place to find positive, creative ways to express themselves and make the right choices through art, music and sport play.”
Highway 4 Teen Center Steering Committee: Sue Funkey, Tim Hildabrand, Jan Hovey, Michele Rugo, Tim Saunders, Lloyd Schneider, Tim Smith