Unrestricted dollars that we raise not only underwrite classroom grants and the volunteer program, but also allow us to support unique programs offered within our schools by other organizations. Three of these in particular have been on our list for several years, owing to the value they bring across multiple grades and schools. Our students are fortunate to have the talent and services of these top-notch professionals and volunteers:
Berkeley Symphony Orchestra
BSO’s Music in the Schools serves nearly 4,000 students in all eleven elementary schools with interactive on-campus concerts, classroom visits and instrumental instruction, and an annual culminating “I’m a Performer” concert that gives everyone a chance to shine before peers and parents. BSO’s talented Education Director & Conductor Ming Luke is a sparkling personality who takes out the fear and emphasizes the fun of playing music, all the while passing on skills and performance values to our developing musicians!
Community Resources for Science
Science is a subject that can be introduced across the curriculum and provides endless sources of delight and wonder for students of all ages. CRS staff help K-5 teachers in Berkeley build confidence in their science teaching by providing information and lessons, scientist volunteers, and support with extracurricular activities. “The staff at CRS are amazing…super helpful and flexible” says one teacher, who like all K-5 educators in Berkeley receive a free CRS membership courtesy of a the Schools Fund grant.
Writer Coach Connection
Over 250 men and women, from Cal students to retirees, undergo 6 hours of rigorous training to prepare them for the job of coaching middle and high school student writers. “It would be difficult to give each student such personal attention without them ” is how a King Middle School teacher describes her coaches, and students are overwhelmingly positive in their annual assessment of the program’s usefulness. We work closely with WCC through our the Schools Fund School Volunteers office, and also offer a grant for their middle school and high school program in Berkeley.