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Post date: Wednesday, November 30, 2016 - 10:57

     Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program is a free tax preparation service for individuals and families in Santa Barbara County. Tax returns are prepared and completed by IRS-certified volunteers each year from February through April throughout southern Santa Barbara County.        Manuela, portfolio manager at Montecito Bank and Trust, moved to Santa Barbara from Austria three years ago. Her husband came here to do research and they both began the journey of getting to know a new place. Manuela decided to attend UCSB and after finishing her degree joined the Montecito Bank...
Post date: Monday, November 7, 2016 - 16:52
        This month, Brianne Aguilar, General Manager of Atlantic Aviation, presented a $2,000 corporate gift to United Way of Santa Barbara County. Brianne stated, "Active involvement in the communities we serve is a priority, and giving back is more than a commitment. It's part of our DNA. Atlantic is honored to contribute to the United Way of Santa Barbara County. United Way's focus to identify and resolve community issues and make measureable changes in those communities is truly inspiring."
       Atlantic Aviation is a chain of Fixed-Base Operators (FBO's) that offers ground...
Post date: Monday, November 7, 2016 - 16:50
"Fun in the Sun has impacted me; I feel like I am making a difference. It has also made me a better teacher." - Lynne Vargas
  Lynne Vargas is a vibrant, enthusiastic, and passionate 4th grade teacher at Oak Hill Elementary School. After 20 years of teaching, Lynne has had the privilege of working with a variety of students, many of whom she has seen excel and move on to higher education. 
  In the summer of 2014 when Lynne received the letter regarding United Way of Santa Barbara County's summer program Fun in the Sun (FITS), she had no idea of the great impact it would have in her...
Post date: Monday, November 7, 2016 - 16:49

     United Way of Santa Barbara County (UWSBC) is committed to helping students and teachers address summer learning loss and the achievement gap. During the summer months UWSBC offers the Virtual Summer Reading Camp to parents and students which allows participants to sharpen their literacy skills. Partnering with local schools in Santa Barbara County, parents and students are able to utilize UWSBC's Power Reading tools to master their foundational literacy skills so they can develop their fluency, vocabulary and comprehension. This summer, UWSBC partnered with 9 schools throughout Santa...

Post date: Tuesday, October 25, 2016 - 10:25

Though many Fun in the Sun students at Franklin elementary have made substantial progress in their English literacy skills since the start of the program, literacy program leader Gayle Leyva commends one student in particular. Walner Fabian has made a tremendous leap.

According to Ms. Leyva, Walner entered the local school community several years ago as an English language learner. At the beginning, she says, “He was pretty much all-Spanish.” Now, as a rising third-grader, Walner speaks English confidently, but his reading and writing skills have continued to lag: at the...

Post date: Tuesday, October 25, 2016 - 10:24

The group almost unanimously wanted to assist the homeless.  We contacted the Transition House, plus watched some videos about their program.  The kids were visibly moved by some of the success stories from parents who had been given a helping hand in their hardship.  Transition House said personal hygiene items would be appreciated.  The group went to each pod with a presentation, asking for help in helping the helpless.  Other pods brought in items, alongside of our group.  Hence, this box filled with goodies, and a personal card signed by each of our 6th graders.  Tomorrow we'll...

Post date: Tuesday, October 25, 2016 - 10:22

Estefania, one of my students in Pod 1 had never been to a pool before in her life. She is 8 years old and just moved to the U.S. from Mexico this past January. She was nervous at first to even go in the water, but she did anyway. She is now putting her head under water and paddling across the pool with her life jacket like a true swimmer. She overcame her fear and is so excited about swimming. She has also passed 2 levels in Lexia Core 5 this summer!!

Post date: Tuesday, October 25, 2016 - 10:20

Luis Mestas-Rubio was my student in 4th grade and 5th grade at Oak Valley Elementary School in Buellton.  He attended Fun in the Sun last year and now again this year. Luis had been a slow, struggling reader, but is very smart and quick to catch on to new concepts. At the end of 5th grade in Oak Valley Luis made Honor Roll with a 3.5 average!!  He is also reading Harry Potter Books and passing Reading Counts tests on them with 100%!! The Fun in the Sun summer reading program in Fun in the Sun helped bridge the gap for Luis!!

Post date: Tuesday, October 25, 2016 - 10:15

In pod 4 (Blue group), we journal everyday. I typically have students share their response to the writing prompt out loud.  I had one student who was not confident in her reading skills and never wanted to share because she had to read aloud.  After two weeks at Fun in the Sun and with continued encouragement from myself and fellow campers, she had the courage to share her entry aloud!  I asked her how she felt after reading her entry and she said she felt great about herself because she had make it a goal for the summer to be able to share.  Now, I can count on her to be one of the first...

Post date: Tuesday, October 25, 2016 - 10:14

Samuel Gomez started Fun in the Sun as a young man with difficulties staying seated and not speaking out of turn.  He was also someone who had a hard time staying focused. Those disruptions make learning more challenging for him.  

Samuel has made a conscious effort on staying seated and speaking only when called on.  He has shown tremendous growth in his efforts to succeed.  Not only has Samuel displayed a vast amount of knowledge in all subject areas, bus has also been a great team member in our pod.  His sense of humor, kindness, fairness, and respect towards all FITS scholars...