March 31, 2020
Dear Friends,

With all the uncertainty in our community, the nation and the world right now, the Sonoma Valley Education Foundation’s priority is to help those students and families most in need, while keeping our underlying programs and services viable for the future. To that end, we are working with you - our donors and business partners - to provide immediate funding for high-priority initiatives for our students. And you have totally risen to the challenge by being so responsive and amazing in providing support to our school families…Thank you!

As students’ and teachers’ needs evolve during the school closures, we know you want to be informed and help. We’ll continue to tell you about our own programs but will also bring you relevant school district and community news around initiatives that are supporting our school families.

Make sure to check out the amazing homeschool resources listed below. Several of these are from local organizations or providers.

Read on for a quick update on our new initiatives. Again, thank you for your support - we hope you are faring well during these uncertain times.

Stay well!

Mary Favaro
Executive Director
SVEF Initiatives
Internet Access for Distance Learning

A big challenge for all public school districts is implementing online distance learning when all students don’t have access to reliable internet service. Until all students have equal access, online learning can’t be used effectively to deliver instruction. Luckily, our district has a good understanding of which students at the secondary level do not have reliable internet service. So, the challenge is how to get those students connected quickly to their schools and teachers.

Through some very generous donors, the Ed Foundation is funding the first 200 Wi-Fi hotspots to give every high school student internet access. These first Wi-Fi devices will be in place this week! That will be followed by middle school students in the next week, and eventually a program for elementary school students will be developed.  

Not only will this internet access initiative help with the current school closures, but it will be in place for future closures and/or extending online learning during the regular school year. Keep watching for updates on how this initiative is impacting Sonoma Valley schools in the future!
Grocery Gift Cards For Students and Their Families

As soon as local school closures were announced on March 14th, the District created a meal pick up plan for students on the free and reduced lunch program. That program was quickly expanded to serve any Sonoma Valley child between the ages of 0-18 years. Our donors knew that our school families would need more help in addition to breakfast and lunch, and they responded generously to our appeal to distribute $50 grocery gift cards to families. 

More than 700 school meals are being distributed every day at three school sites. Last week, the Ed Foundation put over $12,000 in local grocery gift cards in the hands of school families, and we will be distributing another $15,000 this week and again the following week. Our goal is to be able to continue this program through the entire school closure (at this point, at least through May 1st) and we ask for your donations and support as we try to achieve this goal!  
Click below if you'd like to help us meet our goal of providing grocery gift cards every week throughout the school closures.
Schools and District Communications
Recent communications from the School District include the following information:
SVHS Principal Solorzano Sends Inspiring Video to High School Community
Latest SVUSD Communications: "Where We Are, Where We Are Headed, What to Expect" (Dated March 27, 2020)
SVUSD Announces Meal Service Guidelines to Include All Kids Aged 0-18
Community Information and Links
How You Can Help

Redwood Empire Food Bank To Hold Drive-Thru Donation Event at Sonoma City Hall on April 3

Community Leaders Join to Launch Broad-Based Coalition For Food Security

Sonoma Valley Looking For Community Volunteers

For more, follow @SonomaValleyTogether on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Homeschool Resources
If you are looking for supplemental curriculum or programs for your students at home, below are links to a few high quality, comprehensive educational resources.

"Becoming Bookworms" Goes Remote For All Kids in Kindergarten through 5th Grades
https://tinyurl.com/BecomingBookworms

Homeschool Buyers Co-Op

Learning Resources Prepared by Sonoma County Farm Bureau

Sonoma Valley Museum of Art Offers  ARTS@Hom e for Art-Focused Lessons

Transcendence Theatre Company Offers TTC EDU Learn @ Home Online Arts Curriculum for Grades 1-5
for supporting our students during
this challenging time!