San Ardo Union Elementary School District teacher Tamara Vonderheide (right) teaches her students about different cultures using a new globe. (Contributed Photo)

SAN ARDO — Just as some schools begin to reopen with in-person instruction, four local teachers have received a boost for their classrooms. 

The teachers were awarded a total of $2,085 in “Impact Grants” from Aera Energy. The Aera grants provide financial support for educational programming that enhances the academic development of students.

“This year has been extraordinarily difficult for teachers and students,” said Kathy Miller, Aera public affairs coordinator for Monterey County. “Yet teachers continue to be innovative, creative and find new ways to engage with students. We should all applaud their efforts in making great things happen for local students.” 

The teachers applied for the grants by providing a description of their desired project, how students will be impacted and how success of the project will be measured.

Grants were awarded to two San Ardo Union Elementary School District teachers, Amy Ardouin and Tamara Vonderheide. 

Ardouin received $500 to boost her classroom library with new books, and Vonderheide received $592 for materials to facilitate teaching tolerance, diversity and inclusion practices.

“This year has been difficult on every possible level, including race and equality issues,” said Vonderheide, who teaches first and second grade. “The hands-on teaching tools I purchased with the grant will provide opportunities to read about, interact with and experience other cultures and races. I’ve been thinking about doing this for a while and this grant makes it possible at a critical time in our society.”

At San Lucas Union School District, teachers Lacey McClenaghan and Tom Carvey are finding ways to engage students by combining subject matters. 

McClenaghan received $488 to help her kindergarten through second graders with age-appropriate science activities designed around classic fairytales. 

Carvey’s $505 grant will increase student engagement in mathematics through art.

“Distant learning can make school seem dull and remote,” said Carvey, who teachers six through eighth grades. “Students need to be doing activities that involve their eyes and hands in creative ways. The Watercolor for Math Engagement project funded by the Aera grant will help me to bring math to students in new ways as they draw and paint geometric shapes, including squares, triangles and pentagons. Thank you Aera for the opportunity to bring my students something new at a time when education is especially difficult.”

Previous articlePolice Reports | Published March 17, 2021
Next articleClash between union campaigns and private property at Supreme Court
A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here