Schools Receive Grant Funding from Desert Sands Educational Foundation

Educational Foundation Awards Grants to SchoolsDecember found students from Desert Sand Unified School District participating in the Fourth Annual Children’s Art & Music Festival better known as CAMFest. This year it had a bit of a twist – it was a virtual event. Thanks to the generosity of event sponsors and community donations, the Desert Sands Educational Foundation was able to distribute nearly $17,000 to schools in support of the arts programs. With the addition of $1,000 from their general fund, the foundation was able to fulfill all 33 mini-grant requests!

CAMFest was first held in December 2017. It found a home at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden and the first three years of the event were celebrations of the arts in our schools. Stages set up throughout the Tennis Garden featured theater, music, and vocal performances. Dancing had their own area and the visual arts were found throughout the property. Videos were shown in a special theater set up for the event. The fourth CAMFest was a weeklong virtual event with short YouTube videos showcasing the students in all areas of the art.

We look forward to celebrating the Fifth Annual Children’s Art & Music Festival with the strong possibility of returning to the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in December 2021. CAMFest has become a true community event.

Educational Foundation Awards Grants to SchoolsIn addition to a celebration of student performances and art and video, the proceeds from the event are used to fund mini grants related to the arts. All classroom teachers were invited to apply for these grants with a $500 max award. This year 33 applications were received and funded. Requests for funding included a portable sound system for use by the Shadow Hills High School bands to enhance their performances at such events as parades, field shows, competitions, and festivals. John Glenn Middle School theater performances will have better audio in the coming years thanks to the funding for additional microphones. Gerald Ford Elementary School will use their grant to purchase a subscription for access to licensed music. The concept of linking the arts to other subjects will receive a boost as a grant to Amelia Earhart Elementary School will assist in their Fitness Fridays, a combination of exercise and dance. Palm Desert Charter Middle School combined science and art in their request for supplies to create pendulums. Teacher Jeanne Jarden noted that the project will “combine engineering skills, color theory relationships, as well as patience in experimentation”.

At Shadow Hills High School students will be introduced to various ceramic glazes as they use scientific methods to determine which glaze is best for specific ceramic projects. Students in the CTE (career technical education) program at Indio High School provide creatively and artistically designed floral arrangements throughout the community. Their grant is going to purchase updated hand tools to enhance their technical skills leading to industry-recognized certification. Two elementary schools, Ronald Reagan and Martin Van Buren, received costume funds for their Ballet Folklorico groups.

Educational Foundation Awards Grants to Schools

Desert Sands Educational Foundation logo

With pride, the Desert Sands Educational Foundation Grants and Scholarships Committee Chair Cathy Doyle shared, “The requests to support the arts through this round of mini-grants well-represent the diverse needs of the district’s schools such as continuing existing programs, supporting fledgling programs, and aiding in the creation of new programs that all introduce DSUSD students to the arts. CAMFest is our way of opening children’s eyes to the endless possibilities in the world or art and music while emphasizing to the community the value of preserving these gifts.”

From art supplies to the latest in art technology, the funding of classroom projects is a commitment of the Desert Sands Educational Foundation. Following their mission statement, DSEF looks forward to CAMFest 2021 and other upcoming fundraising events. The Desert Sands Educational Foundation’s mission is to secure funding and awards money to provide supplemental resources that enrich and enhance student learning in Desert Sands Unified School District.

For more information on the work of the Desert Sands Educational Foundation, click here.

Image Sources

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