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Spring 2018 Achieve Awards Bring Over $60,000 to 21 Projects

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In March 2018, the APS Education Foundation granted Achieve Awards to 21 different projects for clubs and activities at schools throughout the district. In all, $60,494 was granted, said Foundation Executive Director Shannon Barnhill. Grants ranged in size from $400 to $10,000, with the average about $3,000. Achieve Awards are designed for clubs and extracurricular activities needing extra support to reach more students and provide opportunities that keep kids engaged and in school.

Members of the Foundation’s board of directors helped select the winning submissions. About one-third of the total number of requests were funded.

Heather Boni, Manzano High School: $400

The Santa Fe Youth Opera Night Trip will give 50 students and 10 chaperones the opportunity to travel to the Youth Opera Night performance of Madame Butterfly on Tuesday, June 26, 2018. Most of these students have never been to an opera before and it is very exciting chance to see an iconic show in a world-class venue.

Heather Boni, Manzano High School: $1,000

Seven students from Manzano's Creative Writing Club will attend the UNM Writer's Conference on April 14, 2018 at a cost of $150 per person. These students have already self-identified as writers, and they are serious about their work and they plan to pursue writing and editing as part of their careers. This conference and the professionals they meet there help them to see the practical side of these types of careers, while also inspiring them to continue their efforts.

Soraya Vincent, Eldorado High School: $1,000

Eldorado's literary magazine - Transcend - is a student produced magazine of student writing, art, and photography. Funding from the Foundation will allow the school to afford the printing of the magazine, allowing students to showcase their creative work and experience being published authors and writers.

Sara Winsett, New Futures School: $3,000

The LapTime Reading Club allows students to earn prizes for time spent reading to their children. Books are given and special events are held for students who participate by reading to their children on a regular basis. The LapTime Reading Club seeks to help pregnant and parenting teens give their children a better future through reading.

Diane Thomas, S. R. Marmon Elementary School: $770

The Mission to Mars Club integrates Science, Mathematics, Language Arts and Technology standards in a series of hands-on, student-driven activities. In partnership with the Air Force Research Lab, students use teamwork and problem solving to design and test a unique, livable Mars habitat and build their math and science aptitudes.

Deborah Cline, Highland High School: $10,000

Each year, DECA students compete at the district level and then state level.  Winners at the state level, become eligible for competition at the international level. Funding from the Foundation will make it possible for every student from Highland High School who qualifies to attend the DECA International Career Development Conference in Atlanta, Georgia.

Philip Friedman, James Monroe Middle School: $1,068

The mission of the James Monroe DJ and Music Production Club is to introduce the world of digital music making and DJing to students in order to foster a passion for music, pass on skills and talents that are valuable in the music industry, and give students opportunities to collaborate in creating their own music. With this project, Bringing the Future of Music Production to Middle School, students will have the opportunity to work with cutting-edged software and hardware.

Kerri Banach, Sandia High School: $3,300

Within the Project Screen Print's first year, it has created a sense of community within Sandia High School and continues to teach students valuable 21st century skills. With a plotter and heat applied transfer, the club can continue to support and promote Sandia High School and continue to teach students a valuable trade. The hands on aspect of this project has given the students an entrepreneurial mindset that they enjoy learning from daily.

Nathan Matherne, Cibola High School: $2,025

The Wind Ensemble at Cibola High School is comprised purely of volunteer-based enrollment. Through Strike Up the Band, these dedicated students will have the opportunity at more content-specific technology as well as a band-day clinic where students can work with professional educators to develop the technique necessary to utilize the technology to the max.

Laura Flores, Rudolfo Anaya Elementary School: $4,500

By exposing our population to a cross-curricular, hands-on learning environment using LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 robotics, the After School Coding/Robotics Club will develop and promote 21st-century skills and allow students to develop collaboration, communication, creativity, critical thinking, and problem solving skills.

Doris Merzweiler, Hawthorne Elementary School: $265

The Hawthorne Elementary School After School Jump Rope Team has been practicing intermediate to advanced skills, synchronized group routines, and creating individual routines. Through this grant, students would showcase their skills and hard work during an end of the year assembly at Hayes Middle School.

Tina Ecker, Douglas MacArthur Elementary School: $5,490

The STEM Community After-School Program will target 5th grade students how to code and operate robotics, with help from high school mentors. In addition to robotics, the STEM Community program will include engineering via bridge building, alternative energies, and career inquiry.

Nikki Turman, Del Norte High School: $500

All students in the school will participate in creating an installation on a large chainlink fence during rotating sessions of the Fine Arts Assembly.

Connie Giannini-Dennis, East San Jose Elementary: $600

This grant will fund archery equipment, target practice, shooting skills and competitions for the National Archery in the Schools Program.

Carolina Gonzales, Atrisco Heritage Academy High School: $4,000

The focus of this project - Mariachi Herencia: Stewards of Mariachi and Culture - is to become stewards of mariachi education to the district, state, and southwest region. Foundation funding will allow students to participate and compete in as many mariachi conferences and festivals as possible, including the Las Cruces Mariachi Cobre.

Alexander Morgan, Harrison Middle School: $775

The After School Creativity Club meets on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursdays to do origami, play board games, card games, and take part in interactive building activities. The club started its activities with donated materials and amazing bargain finds, but needs funding to buy additional materials to increase student thinking, self-esteem, and collaboration.

Louise Menking, Harrison Middle School: $1,611

The After School Cooking Club has six cooking stations, which were designed to be used by five students per station. Unfortunately, the school only has enough pots and pans for four of those stations, with only four students per station. The pots and pans are falling apart. With new pots and pans, we could have thirty students rather than sixteen.

Joseph Britton, Sandia High School: $2,500

With help from the Foundation, more students will be able to participate in the Annual APS BSU Civil Rights Southern Tour.  Students will have opportunity to travel to Little Rock, AK, Memphis, TN, Birmingham, AL, Atlanta, GA, Montgomery, AL, and Dallas, TX. The tour will allow them to experience first hand the rich history of Civil Rights from the beginning until the present.

Vivian Chavez, Rio Grande High School: $3,000

The goal of the Four Seasons of Rio Grande project is to create stories. We define stories as special memories or significant moments that are shared with friends, family and future generations. Student Leaders of 4SRG will plan, prepare and implement the activities/events for the student body at RGHS.

Aleli Colon, Van Buren Middle School: $6,160

Rube Goldberg Hack-a-Thon is a competition in creating & designing a machine that tackles a mundane task in a wacky & hilarious contraptions using ordinary materials.  Students will learn to strategically finish the machine thus teaching them collaboration and perseverance at the same time having fun.

Irene Encinias, Cochiti Elementary School: $8,480

With Project Build, the school will promote critical thinking through hands on projects and written communication. Students will participate in designing projects using building materials, recyclables, Legos, robotics and more. These projects will be scientific in nature with a purpose of solving problems.

Debi Cline, the DECA Advisor at Highland High School thanked the Foundation for making her deepest wish come true. "Not one of my students will be denied the right to compete at DECA ICDC! Each has earned the honor of competing on the world stage and now they do not have to fear not being able to afford getting there! I cannot even begin to express my gratitude for this opportunity for the Hornets!"