Castaic Education Foundation awards grants to classrooms

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News release 

The Castaic Education Foundation recently announced that 16 grants have been awarded for the 2022-2023 school year, totaling $50,000, which will be used to enhance student learning programs and supports including music, mindfulness, art, reading, math, science, video production, robotics and more. 

The foundation provides a means for schools, individuals, businesses and the community to work together to help all students be successful by providing education grants. The foundation is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization that has been supporting the students of the Castaic Union School District since 1994.    

“The Castaic Education Foundation is excited to award grants this school year that will provide enrichment opportunities across all grade levels, including preschool,” Castaic Education Foundation Chairperson Julia Phippen said in a prepared statement. “Grants for career education, outdoor learning, writing, socialization programs and technology will allow teachers to support the needs and interests of our students.” 

The grants and recipients were celebrated in a March 15 ceremony at the district’s headquarters. 

“Philanthropy is about generosity, which comes in many forms,” Phippen added. “I think about it as time, talent and treasures. The Castaic Education Foundation is a nonprofit organization and all of our members are volunteers. They are giving their time and talent to help support and recognize CUSD staff and students in various ways.” 

“I am immensely excited to see all of the winning projects come to life in the classroom,” Castaic Superintendent Steven Doyle said in the statement released by the foundation. “Our partnership with the Castaic Education Foundation allows our teachers to create educational and socialization opportunities that benefit all the students of Castaic Union School District.” 

Since 1994 the foundation has partnered with the district to provide more than $400,000 to District educators for technology, library materials, outdoor play equipment, small appliances for the culinary arts program and many other things. Additionally, the foundation annually hosts a student art contest, funds the middle school promotion ceremony, buys T-shirts for the preschool program, “welcome” gifts for new teachers and also participates in staff appreciation week.  

The first four of this year’s grants were awarded under the Peter Sharp Mini Grant. In 2017 the foundation was the recipient of a large endowment from the Peter Sharp Trust. Those four grants went to Jodi Lopata (Mindfulness Room), Natalie Urso (Beth Smith) (Rooted in Reading); Erin Oxhorn-Gilpin (Reading Manipulatives); and Kerry Summers (Math Multiplication Machines). 

Additional recipients wrote grants for items and professional development totaling up to $5,000 each: Kaityln Siemantel, Hester Sheppard, Dan Chandler, Patty O’Mara, Karla deLemos, Katrina Weiner, Robin Peters, Brianna Gehrke, Lara Frandzel, Michele Silverlake, Terry Parent, Brian Malette and Lori Tompkins. 

Lori Tompkins, with a classroom grant application focusing on robotics, was one of 16 recipients of grants totaling $50,000 from the Castaic Education Foundation. Courtesy photo.
Lori Tompkins, with a classroom grant application focusing on robotics, was one of 16 recipients of grants totaling $50,000 from the Castaic Education Foundation. Courtesy photo.

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