Project: Montessori Music Program
Desert Sky Montessori is the first and only tuition-free Montessori elementary school in Central Oregon. The Music Program is being developed in three phases, and funds will help support Phase 1 of the project, which includes the following objectives: Obtain and utilize Montessori-centric music instruction tools for all seven classrooms, provide Orff Instrument training to one teacher in the 2022-23 school year, utilize any obtained music equipment during the 2022-23 school-wide winter performance, invite musicians to the DSM campfire ring to share their music with the children, hold group sing-alongs, etc. Desert Sky will strive to bring a diverse array of musicians so children can see, hear and possibly touch various instruments.
Project: Playground improvement
The staff at Marcola Elementary would like to give its students an improved playground, allowing the children to play at recess. Funds would be used to improve or replace broken equipment, including a slide that has been broken since 2018, a basketball hoop, new tether ball polls, and improved storage area for the playground equipment. They will also make landscaping improvements on school grounds, including the playground and track that students use for PE and jog a thon fundraiser.
Project: Fire recovery and art therapy
The fire of 2020 continues to leave a lasting impact on the McKenzie River Community. The residents and kids of the small rural school district are still recovering from that trauma. The McKenzie School District would like to provide art and music education, using art as a form of therapy. Funds would be used to buy art supplies to provide supportive mental health.
Project: Butterfly and habitat learning gardens
Pioneer Elementary School’s vision is to enhance its campus with butterfly and habitat learning gardens to support outdoor learning opportunities. A growing body of evidence suggests that teaching students outdoors has many positive impacts, including increased attention span, better focus, higher interest in the subject matter, and improved test scores. The Learning Gardens will provide increased access to nature and science for all students, staff and the community, as the campus is open to the public after school hours. The school will use Community Builder funds to purchase plants, seeds, soil, CMU block, and pressure-treated wood to build planter boxes and interpretive/educational signage.
Project: Greenhouse special education program
The Reynolds Community Transition Program provides post-high special education students ages 18-21 with work experience in on-site greenhouses. Funds would be used to purchase items to expand the student business, Sweet Gum & Cedar, by having regular plant sales that involve the school district and surrounding community. Funds will also help add several raised garden beds and standing garden beds to plant and grow a wide variety of vegetables, including culturally significant plants. Students will participate in the construction of the raised and standing garden beds. The program allows students to explore career options, practice work skills, and help maintain the campus. Graduates of the Community Transition Program become more employable in the community.