Thanks to support from local donors and collaborative efforts with the Coastside’s educational community, the Cabrillo Education Foundation has allocated more than $100,000 toward several Cabrillo Unified School District programs. 

Foundation officials said that this represents the first round of funding for the 2019-2020 school year, with additional allocations to follow. The nonprofit is investing $71,500 in the district’s science specialist, Bryan Felts, who will continue to teach fifth-grade science and computer science across Cabrillo’s four elementary schools. 

Corrine Bucher, the foundation’s executive director, said that the organization received a grant to establish the science specialist five years ago. 

“We originally funded that position,” she said. “And the next year the district said, ‘Thank you, but now we’re going to take that under our wing and we’ll fund that program.’ The idea is that we would provide seed funding for programs to benefit the district.

“But the next year, (district officials) said, ‘Oh my gosh, we’re going to have to make cuts,” continued Bucher. “Could you come back in? So, the last two years, we’ve funded the position.” 

In addition, the foundation is allocating $10,000 to foster collaboration among the district’s science teachers. Bucher said the program started in 2014 to encourage science collaboration at the high school, but, over the years, it expanded to include teachers from Cunha Intermediate School. This year, the program will also loop in the district’s fifth-grade science specialist.  

The nonprofit is also investing $25,000 to Advancement Via Individual Determination, a program to prepare students for higher education and entry into the workforce. The program provides career coaching for sixth- and 12th-graders to cultivate skills like organization, time management, critical thinking, collaboration and problem solving. 

While many of the Cabrillo Education Foundation allocations this year are benefiting programs that the nonprofit has supported in the past, Bucher emphasized the importance of consistency in education — and the value of evaluating priorities with a fresh perspective. She was hired as the foundation’s new executive director earlier this year. 

“It’s time to look at things with fresh eyes,” she said.

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