District schools awarded $11K in grants for projects

By: Joyia Emard, Loomis News Staff Writer
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The Loomis Basin Education Foundation has awarded $11,000 in grants to teachers and school community members to benefit students in the Loomis Union School District. “It’s a groundbreaking moment for our school district,” said Loomis district superintendent Paul Johnson. Johnson said the grants were given to 13 different teachers and one parent volunteer representing Placer, Franklin, Loomis, H. Clarke Powers, Ophir and Loomis Basin Charter schools. “The grants all support academic learning in the classroom, and in the areas of visual and performing arts, technology and reading. One parent volunteer, who runs a garden docent program at Franklin School, also received a grant for her program,” Johnson said. Grant recipients are Becky Lucas, Nancy Turner, Carleen Foley, Kari Hazen, Dana Swain, Cindy Soldano, Janine Hanson, Wendy Stralen, Carla Krueger, Julie Bills, Deborah Chew-Smyth, Erika Sloane and Ruth Shykowski. The Loomis Basin Education Foundation was formed in 2007 by a group of parent volunteers with the goal of raising funds to support the district’s strategic goals. Their Web site states that the “Foundation is committed to raising funds that will directly benefit and support the local K-8 schools in the district.” Parent volunteer Cindy Soldano describes the foundation as “the parent teacher club for the district.” The Foundation raised money last fall with their first annual Mandarun, a five and ten kilometer run and fun run, and through smaller fundraisers and donations. The second annual Mandarun will be held on Saturday, Oct. 18, and begin at Franklin School. The foundation is also planning a holiday home tour to be held in early December. For more information on the foundation, visit their Web site at