Highlights of 2012-2013: Anacapa Island Trip

At Aspen Elementary, 3rd grade teachers Emily Kneller, Diane Barrett, & Kathi Byington took their 55 students on a very special field trip.

This was made possible by a double grant funded by our generous donors Harvey & Joanie Prince.

Ms. Barrett describes the experience:

“It took us one hour and fifteen minutes to arrive at the dock on Anacapa Island. Let me just tell you I had many students that had never been on a boat before. They thought the boat ride was awesome. My students were wide eyed, excited, and taking it all in; this was quite a sight… Our tour lasted all day. We learned about the life cycle of a sea gull. We saw how both the mom and dad take care of their young. We saw many eggs, and many chicks just born… We were shown different native plants to the island. Our tour guide also told us how the gulls go to Anacapa Island to lay their eggs because they have no predators. We hiked the island and were given many facts about the Chumash Native Americans.  We learned about light houses and what their function is. My third graders were shown how to view and respect nature. After our program was finished we loaded on to the boat and came back to Ventura Harbor. The trip back was beautiful. The Island was spectacular and an adventure  my third graders and I will never forget.”

“Thank you for helping us go on such a special, once in a lifetime trip.” – 3rd grade Teacher Diane Barrett

Posted in Donors, Elementary Schools, Field trips, History/Social Science, Science | Tagged

Highlights of 2012-2013: Maple Elementary School


2nd grade teacher Anne-Marie Cavanah used grant money to create a nonfiction listening library in her classroom.

Ms. Cavanah describes the impact upon her students:

“All of my students are benefitting tremendously. It is by far their favorite literacy center and it brings me such satisfaction and joy when they call me over to show me the books they are listening to because they are so excited about interesting scientific facts they are learning.  Their increased depth of understanding is evident in their explanations and subsequent writing.”

Posted in Elementary Schools, Language Arts, Reading/Literature | Tagged

A Look Back: Projects funded by Cash 4 Conejo Classrooms – Elementary Schools (part 2)

At Aspen Elementary, K/1 teacher Shannon VanWagner used her grant to purchase “Explode the Code” phonics program.

Ms. VanWagner reports:

“…thank you so much for the grant to buy the Explode the Code program… [it] has been a success as it allows me to tailor my instruction to fit the individual needs of my learners. Also, now that I have the teacher editions, there was a phonemic awareness component that is oral for my students that I was not able to offer prior to receiving the grant.”


Aspen elementary 5th grade teacher Amanda Haver bought materials for 38 science experiments!

Ms. Haver’s students worked in pairs to conduct their experiments.  She explains:

“76 students were affected by these science experiments. They were able to ask a scientific question, make a hypothesis, plan a procedure with controlled variables, conduct the experiment(s), record results, draw conclusions, and present their findings to the class.”

“Thank you so much for this wonderful science opportunity!! My students had a blast creating their own experiments, following through with them, learning from successes as well as mistakes, and presenting their results to their classmates!”



It was an African Safari Adventure for Aspen elementary 1st graders when teachers Christy Button & Tammy Farhit took their students on a field trip to the Santa Barbara Zoo!

Ms. Button & Ms. Farhit sent this cute photo montage along with their description:

“Our students had a “growling” good time with all of our activities…our lil’ ‘Firsties’ wore ear-to-ear grins (along with their animal t-shirts) as we wrapped up our unit with an adventure like no other to the zoo!”

“Asante! “ (Thank You, in Swahili) – Aspen 1st graders

Posted in Classroom Projects, Elementary Schools, History/Social Science, Reading/Literature, Science | Tagged

A Look Back: Projects funded by Cash 4 Conejo Classrooms – Elementary Schools (part 1)

At Madroña Elementary, 4th grade teachers Janet Dieterle, Sandy Eicher, & Donna Luft used their grant to purchase supplies for their book club.

Ms. Dieterle reports:

“The 4th grade teachers at Madroña have implemented book club groups as part of our differentiated program.  There are 108 students that participate in this program to earn their Bachelors, Masters, and PhD degrees in reading after following some very specific criteria.”

Pictured here are students being recognized for earning their degrees.

These students earned Masters and PhD degrees.



At Glenwood Elementary, 2nd grade teachers Muriel Miller & Kelly MacDonald used their grant to bring Scholastic News to their students every week.

Ms. MacDonald wrote to us:

“We were able to purchase a year long subscription to Scholastic News Weekly. Since 2nd grade is a big year for building reading comprehension, we are lucky to have such high interest and entertaining things to read. This weekly subscription will help supplement our literature program as well as allow students to connect to the world they live in.”

Ms. Miller reported:

“Each issue offers interesting articles to read and to write about.  Also, every child takes each issue home to keep… enriching the home’s literacy.”


At Lang Ranch Elementary, 3rd grade teacher Paula Golem created a classroom listening center.

Ms. Golem wrote to us:

“Thank you, thank you, thank you, to the Conejo Schools Foundation, for your amazing and generous grant to our classroom. Your donation made it possible for me to purchase a new and much needed, state-of-the-art listening center, with books, CDs, and audio tapes for my students to use…The new listening center allows me to address the different learning styles  my students have in the classroom, and better meet their individual needs.”

“…second language learners are excited to use the new equipment to listen to a variety of stories and poems, as they follow along with the text. The opportunity to both see and hear the stories… helps my students build their English vocabulary skills as well their fluency and comprehension skills. In addition, they are excited to record their own voices reading the stories and listen to themselves read.”

“The opportunity to listen to the material in our stories and text books repeatedly, helps those auditory learners absorb the information and remember it in a way that is comfortable and effective for them… students are asking to record their own voices reading  stories and plays for others to enjoy. They are also excited about writing and publishing their own literature to record.”

“Today there is a new buzz of excitement in my classroom. The kids have a energized interest in reading, and I could not be happier.” – teacher Paula Golem



At EARThS science magnet school, 4th grade teacher Laura Pewe purchased science books.

Ms. Pewe wrote to us:

“This grant of $250.00 for my classroom purchased five sets of Delta Science Readers. Each set of 8 includes topics of Earth Movements, Water Cycle, Magnets, Soil Science, and Oceans, supporting the curriculum integration so integral to EARTHS Magnet School. These readers will not only educate this year’s 4th graders, but will continue to enlighten countless numbers of students in the years to come.”

“I am grateful to the Conejo Schools Foundation for understanding the limitations and needs of classroom teachers and for providing the means to accomplish academic goals within the classroom. Many children will benefit as a result of this grant program.” - teacher Laura Pewe

Posted in Classroom Projects, Elementary Schools, History/Social Science, Language Arts, Math, Reading/Literature, Science | Tagged , , ,

Conejo Elementary receives another grant thanks to generous donors!

At Conejo Elementary, pictured alongside 1st grade teacher Frankie Perez is C4CC program donor and community partner, Harvey Prince.  Harvey and his wife Joanie have generously funded several classroom grants.

Mr. Perez will use grant money to purchase educational software that will enrich his students’ language arts and math education in a most engaging way.

Along with Mr. Perez and his students, Cash 4 Conejo Classrooms would like to extend a huge thank you to Mr. & Mrs. Harvey Prince!

Posted in Donors, Elementary Schools, Grant Winners, Language Arts, Math | Tagged