PEF provides funding for multiple, grade-specific, 21st Century Education (21CE) curriculum in elementary school music and middle school computer science. PEF continues to fund middle school band through Music Matters in Pacifica, and fifth grade slam poetry. PEF works with Pacifica School District for continuing to fund support the 21CE projects as they evolve.
ELEMENTARY SCHOOL MUSIC
PEF will fund weekly music instruction, by a credentialed teacher, for Grades 4 and 5 students, beginning Fall 2015. This will also set students up for greater success in middle school band. As an added benefit, Grades 4 and 5 teachers will also have planning/prep time restored to them that was taken away during budget cuts a few years back. In future years, as the program gains fundraising traction, PEF hopes to expand the music program to third grade and, ultimately, all the way down to kindergarten.
Among the many benefits of early music education, studies have proven that participation in music programs results in increased intelligence and better study skills, increases children’s cognitive development and improves test scores. Students who participate in music education programs are consistently more successful in completing their high school education than students not exposed to music programs.
MIDDLE SCHOOL COMPUTER SCIENCE
Pacifica Education Foundation (PEF) has endeavored to enable the Pacifica School District (PSD) to bridge the computer science gap for our students, beginning in middle school and eventually expanding to lower grades. PEF will pay for all devices needed, so that the computer science program would add to a school’s technology resources, rather than competing with them. Teachers would also be provided with professional development, a curriculum, and in-class coaching. With a US need for 1.4 million programmers by 2023, a major shortfall of 1 million is our reality. Silicon Valley must import talent from other countries. Currently only 9 states require computer science for graduation (California is not one of them).
MUSIC MATTERS IN PACIFICA
In early 2011, when funding for the Pacifica School District (PSD) Middle School Band program was at risk, the Pacifica Education Foundation (PEF) stepped in. MMiP is a PEF program dedicated to fund-raising specifically for PSD music education.
Today, PEF's MMiP supports the Middle School Band program by providing about $20,000 in annual funding for essential expenses such as sheet music, venue rentals, instrument purchase, repair and more. In the future and with additional funding, PEF hopes to extend music education to the elementary K-5 grades and ensure an equitable and consistent music education for all the children in our District.
The fifth grade Slam Poetry unit, taught by Mike Taylor, is a student favorite. An energetic form of poetry, slam is performance and content in equal measures, and boosts student confidence and public speaking skills. Students typically deliver their poems in groups, and they perform at a variety of local venues.
DETERMINING PROGRAMS TO FUND
PEF funds are allocated to programs selected by the PEF Board, after collecting input from PEF Board members, leaders in school Parent-Teacher organizations, parent and community volunteers and PSD representatives. PEF will fund programs that meet these basic criteria:
Support the Pacifica School District strategic plan
Promote equitable education across district schools
Align with PEF budget and funding constraints
Are attractive to outside funding sources
In addition, recommended programs are evaluated against the following criteria:
Addresses a broad or acute educational gap
Reaches a significant portion of student or faculty population
Potential for significant impact in improving test scores or other assessments
Promotes volunteer efforts across schools
Encourages student engagement and love for learning
Programs may be single year or span multiple years provided the PEF Board approves the plan and commits to the fund-raising efforts necessary to sustain the program.