SB County Teachers Awarded Care for Our Earth Grants

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Source: Air Pollution Control District

Hundreds of local business and community leaders and educators helped celebrate the teachers who earned this year’s Care for Our Earth Grants, as part of the annual Santa Barbara County Education Celebration held at the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott on Thursday, May 25. Twenty-three classroom projects — spanning 21 Santa Barbara County schools — earned the 2016-2017 grants. Every year, the grants are awarded by the Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District, Santa Barbara County Education Office, and Santa Barbara County Water Agency.

“We are grateful for all the local partners who value investments in environmentally focused education,” said Santa Barbara County Superintendent of Schools, Bill Cirone. “These grants help students and teachers engage in real-world problem-solving, underscore the importance of being stewards of the environment, and help students as they develop the skills necessary to make informed and responsible decisions in the future.”

“In supporting teachers in such meaningful ways,” Cirone concluded, “our generous community partners, including county agencies and utility companies, acknowledge what we all know to be true: our teachers are true heroes in our community. We say congratulations to this year’s grant recipients and award winners, and we thank our local partners for their continued strong support of our teachers.”

Every year, the Care for Our Earth Grants are given to K-12 teachers who propose classroom science projects that reduce pollution and save energy and water. The grants support the District’s clean-air mission and have helped thousands of local students understand concepts related to the environment, energy, and alternative transportation. The schools also benefit from reduced energy use, water use, and traffic.

“It is inspiring to see so many Santa Barbara County teachers highlighting the importance of our environment,” said County Supervisor and Air Pollution Control District Boardmember Janet Wolf, who represented the District in recognizing the Care for Our Earth Grant recipients at this year’s Education Celebration. “This grant program provides lasting benefits to the schools, teachers, and students.”

A full list of the 2016-2017 winners, with brief project descriptions, is below:

•       Lela Alcocer, Oakley School, Santa Maria-Bonita School District: “Every Drop Helps”

•       Tim Barker, Hope School, Hope School District: “Hydroponic Garden Towers”

•       Michelle Brunkhurst, Lovenneea Marchetti, and Terri O’Donnell, Roosevelt Elementary School, Santa Barbara Unified School District: “2nd Grade Deep Root Watering”

•       Stephen Criley, Cleveland Elementary School, Santa Barbara Unified School District: “Save the Sea from Marine Debris”

•       LoriLee Collins, Carpinteria Family School, Carpinteria Unified School District: “Carp Kids Community Bike Club”

•       Barbara Courain, Vandenberg Middle School, Lompoc Unified School District: “Vandenberg Middle Goes Green — Everyone Recycles”

•       Kelly Davis, Pioneer Valley High School, Santa Maria Joint Union High School District: “Sharing Space, Saving Energy”

•       Christine Edwards, Oak Valley School, Buellton Union School District: “Garden Based Learning — From Small Acorns Great Oaks Grow”

•       Ty Fredriks, Orcutt Academy High School, Orcutt Union School District: “Understanding Electricity Conservation”

•       Sonia Galvez, Delta High School, Santa Maria Joint Union High School District: “Water-Saving Shower Routine”

•       Rob Goettler, San Marcos High School, Santa Barbara Unified School District: “Just Dew It: Collecting Morning Roof Runoff to Support Pollinators”

•       Chad Hartford, Fesler Junior High School, Santa Maria-Bonita School District: “Solar Cars”

•       Sarah Hebert, El Camino Junior High School, Santa Maria-Bonita School District: “Agents of Positive Change: Making the World a Better Place”

•       Terri Ingram, Dos Pueblos High School, Santa Barbara Unified School District: “Tube to Table/Hydroponics Happening from Tube to Table Keeping it Local, Very Local from Start to Finish”

•       Brian Malcheski, Open Alternative School, Santa Barbara Unified School District: “Water World”

•       Linda Mayer, Santa Ynez Charter School, College School District: “Pedal Power”

•       Kelly McDonald, Solvang School, Solvang School District: “Drought Tolerant Garden”

•       Juan Sanchez, Delta High School, Santa Maria Joint Union High School District: “Drought Tolerant Plants”

•       Keri Santos, Vista de las Cruces School, Vista Del Mar School District: “Reduce & Reuse”

•       Jan Silk, Carpinteria Family School, Carpinteria Unified School District: “Walking & Riding Our Way to a Healthier Community”

•       Carol Stein and Judy Cosio, Monroe Elementary School, Santa Barbara Unified School District: “Importance of Water Awareness/Domestic Water Conservation”

•       Ronnie Tow, Santa Ynez School, College School District: “Killing the Kilowatt Hours!”

•       Markie Wordley, Lompoc High School, Lompoc Unified School District: “Water Conservation, Reclamation, and You!”

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