teacher Patricia Pluckett got a surprise from the : a giant check for $261.85.
When she turned the corner from a hallway into the front office Thursday morning, Pluckett froze for a split-second and began jumping with excitement.
“You don’t know how hard it’s been this year,” she said.
Pluckett was one of eight recipients of Project Enrichment mini-grants awarded by the foundation to support co-curricular and extra-curricular activities in the .
Now in its third year, Project Enrichment is modeled after the foundation’s program for classroom projects. Over the last six years, the two programs combined have donated more than $40,000 to 115 teachers, coaches and advisors.
A majority of the funding for this year’s grants were provided by Wells Fargo Bank and the Tropics Mobile Home Park in Union City, with foundation member Art Kuhlmann and his wife, Cheryl, donating funds specially for Pluckett’s program.
“It’s always nice to give away money,” Kuhlmann said while delivering checks Thursday.
The money Pluckcett received will go toward the school’s Filipino folkdance group, Anak ng Bayan. The 18-year-old program, which she said translates to “Children of Our Community,” serves about 45 students from various academic, cultural and socio-economic backgrounds. The grant was awarded specifically to purchase bamboo poles used in traditional Filipino dances.
But that wasn’t the only surprise for Pluckett. Her son, Clinton, who followed her footsteps into teaching, also received a mini-grant.
Just down the road at , Clinton Puckett’s class was taking a break for a rainy-day recess indoors.
“We’re rich!” one student exclaimed when New Haven Schools Foundation president Cindy O’Brien walked in with a giant check.
Clinton Pluckett was awarded $158.62 to purchase a new speaker system that will be used by both Alvarado Elementary’s three dance groups, which includes 80 second- through fifth-grade students, and the Alvarado Middle color guard, which is made up of 50 sixth- through eighth-graders.
Over at , Kenneth Karlin received $500 for the Middle School Jazz Ensemble, which includes students from both Alvarado and Middle Schools. The money will purchase 10-12 compositions to help start a library of sheet music
“It’s a natural way for us to build our jazz program,” James Logan High School Principal Amy McNamara said.
Another unique Logan program that received a $500 mini-grant was the Humanitarian Assistance Club’s Princess Project. Through the program, the club collects formal attire for students who may not be able to afford them so that they can attend the Senior Ball.
“We try to make sure everyone has the ability to go,” McNamara said. “It’s just a really neat thing. I’ve never seen [a program] like this before.”
Teachers Tina Bobadilla-Mastel, Gaby Esquivez and Stephanie Papas help club members collect dresses, vests, jackets and other articles for young men and women at Logan, and in independent studies programs.
Donations can be dropped off at Logan’s front office.
“Last year, several students were able to attend the senior ball because of the Princess Project's aid,” Bobadilla-Mastel said. “If not for the gowns and bids provided, these students would not have had the opportunity to enjoy the evening that many seniors look forward to all year.”
Other Project Enrichment recipients:
- The drama department at James Logan High School, under the direction of Debbie Hughes, received $500 for lighting equipment.
- American Literature classes at James Logan High, taught by Trish Tripepi, received $250 toward the purchase of professional attire from thrift stores for mock job interviews.
- The track team at Alvarado Middle School, coached by Mark Simmons, received $250 toward the purchase of new uniforms.
- The after-school dance class at Alvardo Elementary, under the direction of Maureen Tecson, received $342.40, for a voice amplifier, and iPod/iPhone speakers.
The New Haven Schools Foundation also distributes nearly $60,000 worth of college scholarships each year. The group’s annual scholarship luncheon is Friday, April 22, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel.
For more information, visit www.nhsfoundation.org.