Category: academic enrichment

The first day is worth celebrating.

Spotless shoes. Freshly cut hair. Brand new backpacks. Empty notebooks. The first day of school is filled with excitement and possibility. At SchoolPower, we remember the joys (and fears) of the first day of school. Today we are energized and hopeful. As always, our mission is to enrich the education and support of the well-being of all children in the Laguna Beach Unified School District. Last week, we worked with the district to distribute backpacks filled with school supplies to ensure all students can start the year ready to learn. Our SchoolPower grant application is open to allow our [...]

Together, we helped students thrive…

In 2020-2021, thanks to our generous community... We awarded over 50 grants to educators, counselors, and coaches who are engaging students in creative ways. We deployed assistance to district families to help with basic needs, including groceries, gas, and clothing. We funded programs including suicide prevention training and peer mentorship to support kids during this tough year and beyond. We granted camp scholarships to ensure all students have access to summer fun. We are proud of what we accomplished in as school year like no other. And we look forward to the year ahead!

Breakfast with Phil Kaye & Sarah Kay

LBHS students and teacher enjoyed a special live performance with two world-renowned spoken word poets, ​Sarah Kay and Phil Kaye, this morning through Project VOICE​.​ The duo has collectively performed in 30 countries on stages from TED Talks to the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and garnered over 20 million views online. Their most recent poetry books have both been Amazon bestsellers: ​All Our Wild Wonder,​ by Sarah Kay, and​ Date & Time,​ by Phil Kaye. Their work was featured in Uniqlo’s “Poetry Beyond the Page” artist series and sold in stores around the world.Next, Phil and Sarah will meet [...]

Thurston Students Program Robots

Sixth graders in Andy Crisp’s computer class, a 6-week long course on the Exploratory Wheel, are reaping the benefits of Mr. Crisp’s recent SchoolPower teacher grant, which funded two different types of robots that are programmable with Swift. The SchoolPower Endowment awarded over $110,000 to fund grants in diverse areas including outdoor education, athletics training, reading intervention, science and technology for implementation in the 2019-2020 school year. “It is such a joy to watch my students build robots from scratch, learn how to program the robots almost entirely on their own, and then use their creativity to have the robots [...]

Fund-a-Need Update: Navigating the Information Age

This fall, LBUSD hired a Digital Media and Library Specialist and two part-time teacher coaches to improve digital literacy and bring coding and computer science to our classrooms. Teachers Brian Kull and Carrie Denton have been active in the elementary classrooms, exposing kids to the basics of coding through hands-on activities as well as a block-based language that teaches the logic and foundations of Python. In high school, Stephanie Gamache works with students to help them develop strong research skills, including keyword search logic and database navigation.The $185,500 raised by SchoolPower at our annual Dinner Dance made it possible for [...]

A Dreamy Night for Laguna Beach Schools

SchoolPower held its 33rd Annual Dinner Dance Catching Dreams on February 10 at the Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel. The magical event grossed over $320,000 for Laguna Beach schools. $185,000 of this money will go directly toward the annual Fund-A-Need. Remaining funds will assist SchoolPower’s year-round efforts supporting academics, music and the arts. SchoolPower President Kristin Winter welcomed the spirited crowd, setting the stage for the real purpose of the night’s festivities by saying, "Your presence here tonight is everything...it shows that you understand that community support is the way we set Laguna Beach public schools apart." The crowd warmly applauded [...]

Navigating the Information Age Fund-a-Need

Having strong digital literacy skills is not an option - it's a must. In today's information age, whether in academics or the job market, students need to possess a broad range of abilities - from conducting deep research, to evaluating a source, to creating and communicating content responsibly. To support LBUSD in addressing this need, the 2018 Fund-a-Need Navigating the Information Age will invest in a district-wide Digital Library Specialist, as well as part-time teacher coaches. Using a proven model, this team will lead a K-12 effort to improve students’ digital literacy skills. The 2018 Fund-a-Need was held at [...]

Super Success of Dinner Dance 2016

It was a heroic evening at Montage Laguna Beach on March 19th as SchoolPower's 31st annual Dinner Dance "Calling All Superheroes" shattered records by netting over $350,000 for Laguna Beach schools. Superman and Wonder Woman impersonators greeted 325 guests on the Montage lawn at sunset. When "kryptonite" appeared, the superheroes saved the day by guiding guests into the ballroom for dinner, where they were welcomed by SchoolPower Executive Director Robin Rounaghi and President Amy Kramer. The highlight of the evening was the video for this year's Fund-a-Need, "The Reimagined Classroom (and Library!)", to support the district initiative of transforming [...]

The Reimagined Classroom Fund-a-Need

The highlight of the evening was the video for this year's Fund-a-Need, "The Reimagined Classroom (and Library!)", to support the district initiative of transforming 11 classrooms at the high school and middle school, as well as the Thurston library. Created by teachers Andy Crisp and Jun Chen and introduced by LBUSD's Chief Technology Officer Mike Morrison, the fast-paced video had the crowd laughing out loud as they followed a twisting and far-fetched journey that ultimately led to the practical conclusion of investing in our schools' future. Completely energized by the video, the crowd gave a standing ovation to its creators [...]

SchoolPower doles out nearly $85,000 in teacher grants

SchoolPower has awarded $84,684 to teachers at all four Laguna Beach Unified School District campuses for programs and equipment. Officials from the nonprofit, which raises funds for the schools, announced the awards during Tuesday’s school board meeting. A record 892 donors contributed to SchoolPower’s Community Campaign, which raised an unprecedented $528,000 this year. Money for teacher grants was part of this total. Read More