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The following articles appeared in the Spring 2006 edition of Spotlight on Schools, published by the Fremont Unified School District.


FEF takes “Sentimental Journey” for teacher grants

The Fremont Education Foundation hosted its Fourth Annual Excellence in Education Gala on Feb. 24 at the Fremont Marriott Hotel. The theme of the gala, in keeping with Fremont’s 50th Anniversary, was “Sentimental Journey.”

The event featured auction items and entertainment with a Fremont theme.  Proceeds from the gala provide funding for Innovative Education Grants to Fremont Unified School District teachers.

FEF traditionally honors two individuals at its gala for their outstanding contributions to educational excellence in Fremont, one from the Fremont community at large and one who is affiliated with the Fremont Unified School District. This year the foundation honored retired Fremont City-Alameda County Library Director Sandi Pantages as its community honoree and Irvington High School social studies teacher Cheryl Cook-Kallio as its district honoree. 

Pantages has contributed generously to Fremont children during her 32-year career with the Alameda County Library and in retirement. She was instrumental in founding the Alameda County Library Foundation and has served for many years with the League of Women Voters, the Fremont Symphony Guild, the Niles Rotary Club, the Fremont Police Department Citizens’ Advisory Committee and the Fremont Downtown Advisory Committee.  She also served on the FEF Board of Directors for 13 years.

Cheryl Cook-Kallio led her "We the People" Constitutional debating class to a fourth-place finish in the National Finals in 2005. She has been teaching in FUSD since 1979 and has received numerous professional honors, grants and fellowships for her teaching, mentoring and excellence in the area of social sciences. She is a nationally recognized leader in teaching American Government and the U.S. Constitution. In 2004, she was named Woman of the Year by State Senator Liz Figueroa.    

FEF provides grants to teachers in amounts up to $3,000 for innovative approaches to teaching core academics, visual and performing arts, and programs that foster creativity, critical thinking and leadership. This year, the foundation announced two new categories of grant eligibility: health and physical fitness, and conflict resolution and diversity education. 

Captain Robert Nelson of the Fremont Police Department served as master of ceremonies for the gala.  Lee Glover led the Mission San Jose High School Chorale in singing "Sentimental Journey" and "Chatanooga Choo Choo". 

In keeping with the 50th anniversary theme, the entertainment featured songs about Fremont, and the entertainers wore giant hats representing each of the five historic districts and one hat representing Fremont as a whole.  Students from Cook-Kallio's "We the People" classes for the past five years presented a skit honoring their teacher and coach.

The major sponsors for the event were Fremont Bank, Greenstein, Rogoff, Olsen and Co., Regis Homes, Kaiser Permanente, Washington Hospital and NUMMI.

It’s not too late to donate and increase next year’s grant fund. To read about previously funded grants or to learn more about the program, visit the FEF web site at www.fremont-education.org or call (510) 659-2561.


2006 Innovative Education Grants available

Do you know a district teacher with a wonderfully creative idea that will excite and inspire students to learn but who needs money to make the idea a reality? The Fremont Education Foundation Innovative Education Grant program may be the answer. FEF awards grants to Fremont Unified School District teachers to support innovative programs or projects that can help students reach and exceed their educational potential. FEF invites students and community members to encourage teachers who have great ideas to apply for an IEG this year. 

Grant applications are available at www.fremont-education.org. The deadline for applications is April 24.

Managers and staff of the Happy Fish Swim School present a ceremonial check to Fremont Education Foundation President David Bonaccorsi and FUSD Board of Education member Guy Emanuele at the Dec. 14 Board meeting. The swim school contributed more than $16,000 to FUSD and the FEF Guy Emanuele Sports Fund from their Oct. 16 Run for Education. More than 300 children and adults participated in the run, which the company plans to make an annual event. Pictured from left to right are Emanuele, Bonaccorsi and Happy Fish staff members Liz Elliott, Jennifer Moore, Scott Schroeder and Tom Montoya.


Annual elementary band fundraiser set for April 4-6

In a world where music is all around us every day and the greatest compositions and performances in history are available at the touch of a button, it is easy to take for granted the time and energy required for musicians to master their craft. Besides talent and dedication, the best of them have one thing in common: they started early.

Because California provides virtually no funding for elementary school band programs, however, a whole generation of talented kids could be denied the chance to start music lessons before junior high school. For the past six years, the Fremont Education Foundation has been working to change that bleak prospect by raising funds to provide after-school band programs for students free of charge in all Fremont Unified School District elementary schools.

The FEF After-School Band Program is open to all interested fourth-sixth graders at all FUSD elementary schools. More than 1,200 students are participating in the program this year.

To maintain that level of participation through the end of the school year, FEF will need to raise about $106,000. Because the After-School Band Program receives no financial support from the school district or any other government source, community support – your support – is essential for the bands to play on.

The primary source for providing that support is the Annual Music Telethon, which is scheduled this year from April 4-6. The telethon will be presented each of those three evenings from 7-9 p.m. on EdTV, Cable Channel 26, the FUSD public access channel.  

Each year the telethon features Fremont students from the first day they hold their instrument to their performance live in the studio. Students from all FUSD elementary schools are scheduled to participate. The telethon also will include local celebrity volunteers who will be answering the phones and occasionally displaying their own musical talents.

Please help support music in FUSD schools. Watch the telethon and visit the FEF web site at www.fremont-education.org for details about the After School Band Program and how to contribute. You may contribute by credit card or send a check payable to the Fremont Education Foundation to FEF Music Telethon, PO Box 14415, Fremont, CA  94539-1115.  Please write "band" on the memo line.

You can also support the telethon by answering phones and calling contributors during the event. Parents, high school students and other community members are needed with good verbal communication skills in English, Spanish, Mandarin and other languages. Please call 659-2561 or e-mail Lara York at LMYork@comcast.net for more information.

(at right) Ardenwood Elementary School After-School Band Program student Ananya Singh concentrates on her flute as director Gabe Eaton rehearses the group for the 2006 Music Telethon in April.