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Post date: Tuesday, October 25, 2016 - 10:13

My Fun in the Sun success story happened during week one in the Physical Education class. I planned a variety of games that focused on team building that included using respectful actions and displaying citizenship.  During these activities, the kids had to work together in order to win the game.  One game I chose to play with the students was called Shipwrecked.  This game is similar to Battleship, in which two teams compete against each other to find out where the other team’s ships (hula hoops) were located on the other side of a wall.  

The next game the students played was Math...

Post date: Tuesday, October 25, 2016 - 10:11

“Apples to Apples is boooooorrinnnnggggg!”

Finding a game everyone wants to play often proves challenging, but on this day I thought I had something we’d all agree on: I’d found an “Apples to Apples” box, a word game in which players match noun and action cards to adjectives before deciding whose card best fits the given adjective. It’s a personal favorite of mine, and I imagined the kids would love the debates it generates. For example, if the given adjective was “slippery,” one might overhear “Starfish are the most slippery!” “No, they’re all rough and covered with bumps! Sponges...

Post date: Tuesday, October 25, 2016 - 10:07

On Thursday, July 7th, Fun in the Sun students from Franklin Elementary returned to the Montecito Family YMCA for another afternoon of fun in the pool. Having passed their swim tests the previous week, students displayed remarkable confidence: with the help of YMCA instructors, those in one corner practiced swimming strokes unaided by flotation devices; in another, cheers went up from the pool wall as two students pushed through the water side-by-side in a friendly test of aquatic speed. From a third corner, Giovanni Villafana of Pod 4 called me over to show off the back float he’d just...

Post date: Tuesday, September 27, 2016 - 11:18

At Aliso, there is a student named Katie. She is smaller than most students her age, and has severe food allergies. Last year, Katie was very shy. She would hardly respond when spoken to. Her mother said she was afraid to eat her lunch unless she packed it for her and assured her she would be okay. She would sometimes have to bring it to her during lunchtime. By the end of the program this year, Katie's mother said she noticed a huge change in her. She is much more confident in all areas. She packs her own lunch and knows how to manage her allergies. She is much more outgoing,...

Post date: Monday, September 26, 2016 - 15:45

Karen & Arlen Knight recognized as 2016 Outstanding Legacy Supporters

Members of the Heritage Club gathered at the El Encanto Hotel on June 1, 2016 to celebrate and to be celebrated for their legacies to this community.  The honorees were treated to a panoramic view of Santa Barbara and a sumptuous lunch which was generously sponsored by Dennis and Jeff Forster of the Forster Group at Morgan Stanley.

Arlen and Karen Knight received special recognition as the 2016 Outstanding Legacy Supporters for making extraordinary contributions to the growth of United Way’s Endowment...

Post date: Monday, September 26, 2016 - 15:40

Santa Barbara Police Activities League and VITA

Santa Barbara Police Activities (PAL) was awarded the financial empowerment partner of the year at the 93rd annual awards celebration on may 18, 2016.  during the 2016 volunteer income tax assistance program (VITA), they created an additional site in santa barbara, allowing the program to serve even more individuals and families in the community by providing free tac assistance and long-term financial Asset building to lower income families. We spoke with Michelle Meyering of SB PAL to learn more about their goals and experience with...

Post date: Monday, September 26, 2016 - 15:35

Year Round Education Tools for Pre-K Children

The first 5 years before Kindergarten are extremely important to a child’s intellectual and social development. Educational experiences such as reading and being read to, pre-school education, and engaging in developmentally appropriate challenges have long-term benefits for children – they are more likely to graduate high school and provide a sustainable income for themselves and their families. Moreover, communities who encourage and support children’s education see a lower rate of crime and benefit from the economic advancement that...

Post date: Monday, September 26, 2016 - 15:31

Afer four years of excellent results at five Goleta Union Schools, United Way of Santa Barbara County’s Power Reading Program is being expanded to all nine schools in the Goleta Union School District.  The first phase of the partnership will span a three-year period from August 2016 to August 2019.  This district-wide project - with its individualized, research-based literacy tools, techniques, and embedded evaluations - has the potential to significantly improve the futures of thousands of children and their families.  

In August 2016, Power Reading implementation will begin with...

Post date: Friday, February 5, 2016 - 10:35

Legos have become one of the most prolific toys of all time. Simple, polychromatic, plastic blocks have been tweaked, remixed, and configured in a multiplicity of formats. You can find Legos that create a farm, Legos for 3 year olds, or Legos that replicate the Millennium Falcon (Star Wars).

Legos have such a robust usage because, at their core, Legos represent an essential human value: the desire to build.

Humans build basilicas over centuries, we build neighborhoods, we build ornate furniture, and we build cultures. The instinct to create is deep inside all of us. Humans...

Post date: Friday, February 5, 2016 - 10:24

United for Literacy (UFL) is UWSBC’s largest initiative and consists of numerous programs that aim to improve education within the Santa Barbara community. One of the various programs that fall under UFL is Kindergarten Success Institutes (KSI).  The program operates 3-4 weeks before the start of kindergarten, where students learn school-related behaviors that are essential to their success throughout their schooling.

Krista Munizich, a KSI teacher at Canalino Elementary for the past 15 years, believes that KSI gives students an opportunity to really build the foundational skills...

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