A Visit to Berkeley High’s Orchestra Rehearsal

Visiting Karen Wells and Mary Dougherty’s Berkeley High orchestra rehearsal, we were pleased to observe two types of Schools Fund grants in action. The first, a contrabass clarinet, was the result of a directed gift from Another Planet Entertainment. The second was a Classroom Grant for Professional Music Mentors. Another Planet Entertainment’s Annual Gift to […]

Architecture of Life: Third Graders Visit BAMPFA

Posted on May 23rd 2016 in Grants

The inaugural exhibition at the new Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA) is “Architecture of Life,” which explores the ways that architecture (“as concept, metaphor, and practice”) illuminates different aspects of life. Featuring over 200 works of art in a range of media, including scientific and architectural drawings, the exhibit is the perfect […]

Building Artists: Preschool to High School

Posted on April 22nd 2016 in Grants

Last week I had the opportunity to visit two Berkeley student art shows: one at Berkeley High and another at Franklin Preschool. The shows covered the full spectrum of student artistry, but both were gratifying and impressive in their own right. In both I found abstract thinking, narrative explorations, self-reflection, and out-of-the-box creativity. I also […]

Storytelling Festival at Berkeley High

Posted on April 19th 2016 in Grants

I sat in Berkeley High’s Little Theater waiting for the Storytelling Festival to begin, listening to student conversations happening around me. Some quietly tackled math homework, others sang in Spanish, a few more chatted about their crew team. Soon one conversation melted into another, the crew kids picking up on basic Spanish phrases, exclaiming, “You’re […]

Partnering with UC Berkeley on Be a Scientist

Today we welcome guest bloggers Teresa Barnett (Community Resources for Science), Kate Spohr (Berkeley Research Development Office), and Mary Wildermuth (UC Berkeley’s Department of Plant and Microbial Biology) to tell us more about the Be a Scientist program, which is supported by a Strategic Impact Grant. SCHOOLS FUND: We know Be A Scientist is beneficial to […]

Work Hard Play Hard: Franklin Preschoolers Explore Careers

Posted on February 9th 2016 in Grants

A fireman, a construction worker, and a veterinarian walk into a classroom. They’re all roughly 3 feet tall and use plastic tools exclusively. This isn’t the set up for riddle; it’s playtime at Franklin Preschool where students are using Community Career Costumes provided by a Schools Fund classroom grant. Franklin teacher Joni Miller requested funds […]

Mr. Mac Explores the Meaning of Life

Robert MacCarthy’s classroom at Willard is packed with personality. Mannequins display messy wigs, student work tiles the walls, a disco ball dances from the ceiling. The place is high energy, high humor, and high inspiration. Stepping into his classroom, one instantly feels motivated to learn more. This semester Mr. MacCarthy (aka Mr. Mac) is implementing […]

Getting in the Zone: Hilary Mitchell’s World of Hip Hop

“Get in the zone, people!” Sixty fourth and fifth graders are lined up in imperfect rows in the Washington cafeteria. Younger students look on, snacking on apples and doing their homework. It’s an energetic space, full of elementary student chitchat and fidgeting. When we come through you know we shut it down! Beats bust through […]

A Look Back at 2015

Posted on December 15th 2015 in About the Schools Fund, Behind the Scenes, Events, Grants, Volunteers

As we reflect on the past year, it’s clear that 2015 was a huge year for Berkeley Public Schools Fund. We saw big changes in our office, achieved major organization goals, and increased our support for Berkeley schools. It’s a gratifying process to look back, and we’re even more excited to see what 2016 has […]