EFO Logo (as of 2011)

Funding Excellence 
 in Education

December 2016
Celebrating highlights of EFO-funded programs and
 a proud history of community-supported public education!
Upcoming Events!

'Tis the season
for holiday concerts!
Don't miss out on the chance to get into the holiday spirit with our talented students! Click here for EFO's calendar of performances.

January 13, 2017
is "Grandparents and Special Friends Day" at Del Rey and Glorietta.  
To register, click here.
  Want to learn more about what EFO funds? 
Check out our new video ( click here) and hear first-hand from parents, teachers and administrators about the value added from EFO-funded programs across all levels of education in Orinda.
An easy way to give back this holiday season! 
Shop online and earn dollars for Orinda schools with AmazonSmile ( click here for more information). Please select "Education Foundation of Orinda" or your local Parents' Club as your charity of choice, and Amazon will donate a portion of eligible purchases to Orinda public schools. You shop. Amazon Gives.
Don't forget! EFO and Parents' Clubs work together to provide the excellent educational experience that benefits ALL students attending Orinda public schools.
Elementary schools are alive with  
the sound of music
Thanks to funding by EFO, students at all four Orinda elementary schools receive instruction in choral and instrumental music. M usic classes are seen as a fun and creative outlet, a break from academics, and a chance to spark an interest that can continue to grow through middle school and high school years.

In early December, elementary school students from Del Rey and Sleep Hollow joined with the OIS choir to entertain parents and community members with the sounds of the holiday season. A delight for all who attended!

Every class, kindergarten through fifth grade, has a half-hour music lesson weekly from vocal music teachers, Ron Pickett and Christina Martin Holling. Students are instructed in note reading, rhythm, harmony and music appreciation. Opportunities to experience the joy of singing include lunchtime chorus groups and spring musical productions for fourth and fifth graders, and school assemblies and seasonal concerts.

Third grade students are introduced to musical instruments with recorder lessons taught by Mr. Pickett and Mrs. Holling. Further instruction in instrumental music instruction is taught by Gretchen Nielson at all four elementary schools as a pull-out program during the regular school day for fourth and fifth grade students. These classes include a wider range of instruments, such as violin, cello, flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet and drums on a limited basis. Currently, there are 200 students playing in Band or Orchestra!

As with choir, there are many opportunities for instrumental students to showcase their talents and gain performance experience. Select fifth-grade band students perform in the district band concert and the advanced strings from all four schools perform at the Arts Ambassadors Event held in April.
Be on the lookout for these young performers! 
Bringing hands-on learning
to a new level at OIS  
EFO, together with the OIS Parents' Club, is proud to have introduced MakerSpace to the OIS elective line-up.

What exactly is MakerSpace? It's a hands-on class that fosters innovative thinking, enables students to tinker with a variety of tools and materials, and encourages them to design, create and build. Students seek solutions to problems that arise in making their prototypes, collaborate to improve plans, and work to complete their projects. This popular elective is offered to all grade levels at OIS.  

Held in OIS' woodshop room, MakerSpace students have access to a wide variety of materials and tools. Truly, the only limitations are the students' imagination and design abilities, and OIS students have already shown that they are capable of some astounding results. Students have been making everything from skateboards to etched mirrors to pinball machines, and even a bicycle-powered blender!
Guiding the students' creativity is teacher Cody Wilson (at right), a new addition to the OIS staff and an alumnus of Orinda's school system and UC Berkeley. He boasts a diverse background working with wood, metals, plastics, ceramics, and electronics with extensive hands-on practice both in educational settings and the workplace.

MakerSpace students are excited to be a part of this class, and enthusiastically give it "two thumbs up'", declaring that the best part of the class is "getting the freedom to build whatever we want." The energy in the class is positive and productive; these students are definitely happy to be here!

Next time you are on campus, come check out some of the MakerSpace works on display in the 20's Hall. You will be amazed!
EFO benefits every Orinda student every day!

We invite you to help EFO meet its $1,635,000 pledge for the 2016-2017 school year by making a donation today (click here).

Thank you for your generous support!
STEM success at Miramonte -
in and outside the classroom 
Course offerings at both the introductory and advanced levels have been expanded for the 2016-2017 school year. AUHSD's Teacher of the Year, Cindy Boyko, now teaches a new
AP Computer Science Principles class along with AP Computer Science-Java, and
Riki Sorenson teaches Introduction to Computer Science. Thanks to Ms. Boyko's leadership, more female students have enrolled in a computer class than ever before!

     "Many students see taking a Computer Science class in high school
      as an initial move to expand their career opportunities. They can
      also start off college a little ahead of the game, talk intelligently about
      advancements in the field, write their own apps, or even be able to
      choose the laptop that best fits their needs."  ~ Cindy Boyko

In addition to their classroom success, Miramonte science students have shown initiative to expand their interests beyond the regular curriculum. Last year, a group of female students started a new club, Women in STEM (Wi-STEM), with the goal of inspiring and encouraging young women to enter and pursue careers in the STEM fields. The founding officers organize lunchtime guest speakers who share insights on topics such as nuclear physics research and management in bio-pharmaceutical companies.

A unique aspect of Wi-STEM is the collaboration with OIS students and periodic visits to OIS campus to encourage students to continue to study science in high school. Last year, they arranged an egg drop competition and a Q&A panel where OIS students could ask questions about high school STEM courses or high school in general. Plans are underway for another activity in January.

      "I felt a club like this would provide the support that I had desired
      when I was younger to other aspiring, like-minded young women."
                                             ~ Jackie Decareau, Wi-STEM officer

EFO proudly supports Miramonte's Computer classes with supplies and professional development and provides funding for Wi-STEM.
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