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2014 News

CAPS Evening for Education raises $54K
10/29/14 
By Luke Phillips OF THE ATASCADERO NEWS 
 

ATASCADERO The generosity of the residents of Atascadero was more than evident at a meeting of the Atascadero Unified School District board of trustees last week, as the board accepted approximately $86,000 in donations from the public. 
   Committee for Atascadero Public Schools co-chair Melanie Karp presented the board with a check made out for $54,275, the amount raised at this year's CAPS Evening for Education event. The event included a variety of fundraising activities including live and silent auctions and a casino night. Karp said that the event was a "great success" and plans are already being put together for next year's event. 
   Funds raised at the CAPS event are distributed to AUSD teachers in the form of grants for specific items requested by the teachers. Karp says that AUSD Superintendent Deborah Bowers has been provided with a big binder full of grants that have been approved by CAPS. 
   "There are some phenomenal ideas," she said. "All the way from sheep eyes to microscopes to classroom-centered activities for kindergarteners. There are some very ingenious ideas from the teachers." 
   The Evening for Education event continues to become more successful each year and the donation last week constitutes a significant increase over last year's total of $43,000. 
   "That's impressive that every year it gets to be a little more," Bowers said. "We have an awesome community." 
   School board president Donn Clickard also praised the generosity of the community . 
   "When you think about all of the fundraisers that happen in this community for all of the various causes and lots of recipients, our kids are certainly the beneficiaries of a great community," he said. 
   The board also received a donation from the Atascadero Greyhound foundation in the amount of $23,000, partially raised through the recent Colony Band Festival, and another from the San Gabriel Elementary Parent Teacher Association for $11,000. Superintendent Bowers reiterated her point that Atascadero is an "awesome community" . 
   "The support for CAPS is one recent example," she said. "Colony Days and the band festival are another example . But it's beyond just the school district, it's the entire Atascadero Community. But within our school district we have a pretty awesome community too and I appreciate the positive relationships that we develop amongst ourselves with our staff, with each other, with our colleagues. It's always a feeling of 'we can do this together' . We do what's best for kids and that's always our main goal." 

Lee Perkins    Dec. 5, 2014  Atascadero News

There is always much written at the end of every year, happy and sad, important events, goals met, good and bad a year in review of what happens in our community. I've selected two outstanding events that highlights the spirit of Atascadero. 

   For Atascadero, one of the extraordinary events was Atascadero's new Library "opening its doors" in June to the public. 

   Another significant event happened in August and was put on by the resolute Committee for Atascadero Pubic Schools, CAPS. They raised an amazing $54,000 from their summer fundraiser in August, CAPS Evening for Education. One organizer voiced, "We have a pretty awesome community, positive relationships and a feeling of 'we can do this together.' CAPS and our community do what's best for kids and that's always their main goal." 

   As The Atascadero Unified School District budget has tightened, CAPS grants have become more and more important in helping to educate the children of Atascadero. Over the last 8 years, CAPS has been able to give nearly $435,000 to AUSD teachers to fill the grant requests that they have written. 

   Since its inception, CAPS has held seven fundraisers and has been the recipient of the "Organization of the Year" award from the Atascadero Chamber of Commerce 2012 and received the 2012 Gold Award from the California Teachers Association. 

   CAPS is totally a volunteer organization made up of parents, teachers, retired teachers and community members. If you believe in education, are a parent and/ or grandparent, you know our schools need community support. CAPS is always in need of volunteers particularly for their annual CAPS Evening for Education (it rocks with dancing and a terrific silent auction!) the end of the summer. Their website is atascaderocaps.org. 

Lee Perkins moved to Atascadero with her family in 1986 and is now retired. She has worked as a secretary, office administrator/public relations, and school counselor K-12 .


Local students head to SLO for library book- buying trip 

December 26, 2014 Atascadero News



Photo Courtesy of Kris Bell From left to right, Atascadero High School students Amanda C., Abbi W., Library Assistant Catherine Rawlings, Barnes & Noble store manager Nora Picucci, District Librarian Kris Bell, and AHS students Audrey R., Cera R. In the front row are AHS students Simone S., Owen S., and Brian C. 

Staff Report 

The Atascadero High School LIT (Librarians in Training) Club participated in its second annual book-buying trip at the San Luis Obispo Barnes & Nobles store on Saturday, Dec. 13. 

The LIT Club meets weekly during lunch to discuss books, ways to promote reading, create displays and learn about the inner workings of a library; especially book selection. For the past couple months they have been reading book reviews, soliciting suggestions from fellow students and brainstorming ideas of new books to purchase for the library. 

With the help of a grant from the Committee for Atascadero Public Schools 

and matched funding from the district, each student in the club received a budget and was able to select and purchase more than 200 books to help stock the shelves at their school library. 

"This project makes me feel like I am making a real difference at my school," said Audrey Roben, a sophomore. 

Kris Bell, the District Library Teacher, has partnered with the AHS English Department to solicit funding from CAPS the past two years. English teachers Carla Wingenbach and Emily Cherry have both helped support this project. 

"This is a great project, a way to empower students using real-world experiences," Bell said. "From reading journals to find the best book reviews , to talking with other students, to maintaining a budget, they really get a sense of the big picture and they are all such strong readers and book lovers that they get to apply their knowledge in a proactive way." 

Barnes & Nobles store manager Nora Picucci and Community Relations manager Jenn Healey assisted the students with locating items and also offered a "behind the scenes" tour. 

The students ended their day at the SLO City-County Public Library where Youth Services Coordinator Margaret Kensinger-Klopfer gave them a tour and talked about public librarianship.


Fall CAPS Event Provides Much Needed Funding for Students

November, 2014

Atascadero High School Hilltop News

by Star Kruger

             This year’s 8th Annual CAPS event was held on Aug. 23 at the Atascadero Elks Lodge. It was a huge success; they even sold out. The event featured live music by The Usual Suspects, and Kathy Stornetta catered the delicious food. Thanks to the hard working sponsors and the generous community participants and donors, the event was able to raise enough money to fund $55,000 in grants to AUSD teachers.          

            Once the money is raised, the grant team met to read and evaluate the 105 grants that were submitted. Only AUSD teachers were allowed to participate. The total amount requested by the teachers was $64,000. 

            At the high school, 16 teachers who were awarded grants include: Glenda Highland, a bus trip and a museum entrance, Alan Pietsch, a ballet barre, Emy Bruzzo, a trip to competition, Nate Conrad, misc. items, Julie Steyer, various art supplies, Mike Melzer, two ipads, Irene McDaniel, two ipads, Emily Cherry, books, Jeff Spiller, two ipads, Kevin Jones three Chrome Books, Dawn Pimienta, software, Annie Turner, a trip to Getty Museum. As a whole they received $12,280 in grant money.

            The Show Choir provided some entertainment at the event and, for the first time ever; they had a Casino at their event. They also had a live and a silent auction.


CAPS event raises thousands for local schools

'Evening for Education' a big success

By Luke Phillips OF THE ATASCADERO NEWS

ATASCADERO The 8th Annual Evening for Education event, hosted by the Committee For Atascadero Public Schools at the Atascadero Elks Lodge Saturday, was once again a huge success, bringing in tens of thousands of dollars for local schools. 

Event organizer Kathy Peterson says that 300 tickets for the event sold out a week ahead of time and the Evening for Education had more sponsors this year than ever before, a fact that Peterson attributes to "the generous people of Atascadero" .

Peterson was recognized with a bouquet of flowers for the hard work she put into planning the event along with fellow event chair Melanie Karp, but the two were quick to

"It really wasn't Kathy and I, it was our team," Karp said. "Because we are a team that put this together and we're just so happy that you're all here supporting our schools. This community is amazing."

Karp recognized each member of the event planning team, which included CAPS members Jeannie Malik , Nicole Hider, Lori Bickel , Jeanne Anderson, Brook Black, Karina Haskell, Angie Erb, Robyn Schmidt and Paige Rutherford. The event consisted of silent and live auctions featuring items donated by local businesses and individuals and presided over by auctioneer Douglas Filipponi and Master of Ceremonies Donn Clickard. The event also featured a Casino Night element for the first time this year with numerous games available including roulette, craps and blackjack.

All of the proceeds from the event will be used to fund grants requested by teachers in the Atascadero Unified School District. Over the past eight years, CAPS has raised more than $380,000 for Atascadero's schools, which has funded grants for everything from field trips and learning materials to iPads and classroom projectors.

During the "Stack the Deck" portion of the event, Filiponi asked the audience if they would be willing to donate certain amounts of money , starting with $10,000 and then dividing by half. While nobody agreed to donate $10,000, CAPS board member Lori Bickel agreed to donate $5,000 and was the only member of the audience willing to do so. Dozens of audience members agreed to make smaller donations.

Long-time Atascadero teacher Mark Glenesk spoke at the event, sharing a story about how he received a phone call from a parent thanking him for teaching a student who had graduated years 


 AUSD accepts $86K in donations from public

CAPS Evening for Education raises $54K

10/29/14

By Luke Phillips OF THE ATASCADERO NEWS  

ATASCADERO The generosity of the residents of Atascadero was more than evident at a meeting of the Atascadero Unified School District board of trustees last week, as the board accepted approximately $86,000 in donations from the public. 

   Committee for Atascadero Public Schools co-chair Melanie Karp presented the board with a check made out for $54,275, the amount raised at this year's CAPS Evening for Education event. The event included a variety of fundraising activities including live and silent auctions and a casino night. Karp said that the event was a "great success" and plans are already being put together for next year's event. 

   Funds raised at the CAPS event are distributed to AUSD teachers in the form of grants for specific items requested by the teachers. Karp says that AUSD Superintendent Deborah Bowers has been provided with a big binder full of grants that have been approved by CAPS. 

   "There are some phenomenal ideas," she said. "All the way from sheep eyes to microscopes to classroom-centered activities for kindergarteners. There are some very ingenious ideas from the teachers." 

   The Evening for Education event continues to become more successful each year and the donation last week constitutes a significant increase over last year's total of $43,000.

   "That's impressive that every year it gets to be a little more," Bowers said. "We have an awesome community." 

   School board president Donn Clickard also praised the generosity of the community . 

   "When you think about all of the fundraisers that happen in this community for all of the various causes and lots of recipients, our kids are certainly the beneficiaries of a great community," he said. 

   The board also received a donation from the Atascadero Greyhound foundation in the amount of $23,000, partially raised through the recent Colony Band Festival, and another from the San Gabriel Elementary Parent Teacher Association for $11,000. Superintendent Bowers reiterated her point that Atascadero is an "awesome community" . 

   "The support for CAPS is one recent example," she said. "Colony Days and the band festival are another example . But it's beyond just the school district, it's the entire Atascadero Community. But within our school district we have a pretty awesome community too and I appreciate the positive relationships that we develop amongst ourselves with our staff, with each other, with our colleagues. It's always a feeling of 'we can do this together' . We do what's best for kids and that's always our main goal."


 CAPS asking for support in contest

By Nicholas Mattson OF THE ATASCADERO NEWS 

 ATASCADERO Over the past five years, the Committee for Atascadero Public Schools has given nearly $380,000 to the Atascadero Unified School District to fulfill grant requests made by the teachers of Atascadero, and is now in competition for thousands of dollars as a part of a KSBY and PG&E giveaway to "Your Favorite Charity on the Central Coast." 

   CAPS is one of more than 150 nonprofit organizations that entered into the contest, and after the first cut, the winner will be determined by a public vote. 
   The community of Atascadero has an opportunity to help CAPS earn a prize between $2,000 and $10,000 by voting for the organization on www.ksby.com. 
   One of the original CAPS chairpersons, Jeannie Malik, wrote a 100-word entry to earn advancement in the contest, and after the first cut, they are one of 22 left in the running for the prize money. 
   "It would be another source of funding," Peterson said. "The more money we make, the more money we can give away." 
   CAPS supplements the needs of the AUSD with donations of grant money based on the student population of each school, so every child receives equal attention . "We fill about about 100 grants per year," Peterson said. "One of the rules is that we will not buy anything that the school district is supposed to buy, but as the money gets tighter, we overstep that rule at times." 
   Beginning on Monday, July 21, through Friday, August 1, those with internet access can register and vote once per day for CAPS to win. According to the press release however, the voting is regulated by a voter's IP address , and if an IP address is used more than once per day, all the votes from that IP address are erased. 
   The technical guidelines of the voting process gives a big advantage to the organization whose supporters understand and follow the rules of the voting process. Winning the grand prize will provide a monetary gift to CAPS, but will also provide a great advertising opportunity for the organization. 
   CAPS has held several successful fundraisers that help keep the funding for AUSD programs going, and will hold its 2014 event at the Atascadero Elks Lodge on Saturday, August 23. The dinner will be catered by Kathy Stornetta Catering, and music will be played by The Usual Suspects. Tickets to the event are $50 and can be purchased on the CAPS website or by mail at P.O. Box 730, Atascadero . 
   Fundraising and sponsorships fuel the grant support that CAPS delivers to AUSD, and the sponsors have given about $20,000 to the organization so far this year. 
   The local sponsors include K-Jons , Opolo, Greg Malik Real Estate Group, Mid American Solar, Pambrun Bracing, ADTA, K-Man , Debbie Arnold, Kathy Peterson , Heritage Oaks Bank, Wysong Construction, BLoved , Rabobank, Diana and Wayne Cooper, Office Practicum , Leavitt Family Dental, Melanie and Tim Karp, Vineyard Industry Products Kitchell, Mike Obayashi, SolarPonics Energy Systems, The Sign Place, Atascadero Elks Lodge, Dr. Chalker and Peterson, RSH Construction, Atascadero Police Association , and Davis Body Shop. 
   The CAPS mission is provide grants to support educational programs for all Atascadero public schools. During the 2013-14 school year, CAPS gave $43,000 to AUSD teachers, and the money goes a long way in the classrooms around Atascadero . A list of grant recipients can be found at the CAPS website. 
   More information about CAPS can be found at www. atascaderocaps.org, or by email at atascaderocaps@ gmail.com. 
   To vote for CAPS in the KSBY contest, go to www. ksby.com.

March 12, 2014

CAPS Evening for Education raises money for classroom grants

Aubree Middleton  - AHS Hilltop News

 The Committee for Atascadero Public Schools (CAPS) holds an annual “Evening for Education” to raise money for programs to help students and teachers be successful in the classroom. Since the budget cuts that have occurred over the past several years have decimated the amount of money available for projects, field trips, and supplies, CAPS has come to the rescue by offering grants to teachers. Next year’s event will be held August 23, 2014 at the Taft Barn in south Atascadero. Organizers are looking for volunteers to keep the program alive and well.

            Last year’s event raised enough money for the organization to award $43,000 to Atascadero teachers for projects that directly benefit students. There are both live and silent auctions at the event, along with gourmet food and music. CAPS is hoping to get even more donations for this year’s event. Last year some of the donors included $20,500 of goods and services to CAPS. Those donors include: K-Jons Jewelry, Opolo Winery, Greg Malik Real Estate Group, Dr. Jason Pambrun, Mid-American Solar, Wysong Construction, Mike Obayashi Architect, Atascadero District Teachers Association, Mission Bank, K-Man Cycle and Run, Solarponics, Debbie Arnold, First Solar, Madrone Landcapes, Rabobank, Diana and Wayne Cooper, Heritage Oaks Bank, Vineyard Industry Products, Wine Country Pack and Ship, Aaron Sherer, San Luis Sports Therapy, Atascadero Police Association, Atascadero Trail Riders, M.E. Avila Construction Corp., and Big Al’s Shave Ice. Some of the donated items included a weekend in a vacation home, dinners, artwork, and baskets that have multiple items that go with a theme. Many people just give monetary donations.

            Many Atascadero High School teachers wrote grant applications and were awarded last year, including the following:

Mr. Pascolla, who was awarded funds for a color printer.

Ms. Wingenbach received a grant to purchase new books.

Mr. Pietsch got the funding for a dance show.

Ms. McDaniel was able to purchase 25 solar calculators.

Ms. Williams was able to purchase an iPad and an Apple TV software.

Ms. Highland was able to fund a trip to the Warbirds Museum.

Mr. Muff was funded for field trip to see Hamlet at PCPA.

Ms. Harback and Ms. Steyer were able to purchase miscellaneous art supplies.

Ms. Gulassa was able to purchase new magazines for her class to read.

Mr. Conrad received enough money to get new recording equipment.

Ms. Tingley will be able to fund a trip to the Special Olympics for her students.

Ms. Bray was awarded funding to take student trips to Cal Poly.

Ms. Lombard was awarded funding to purchase an iPad.

Ms. Bruzzo was awarded funding for a trip to Musical Theater Competitions of America.

Ms. Turner was awarded funding to take students on a trip to the deYoung Museum.

Ms. DeLuca was funded for an iPad with case purchase.

Mr. Miron was funded for an iPad 4 and router. 


Happy feet: CAPS gives ballet shoes to AJH students

By Luke Phillips OF THE ATASCADERO NEWS 
 

ATASCADERO Drama and choir students at Atascadero Junior High School will be looking much more spiffy on stage thanks to generous donations from the community through the Committee for Atascadero Public Schools. 
   AJH drama teacher Donna Kehl wrote a grant asking CAPS for 47 pairs of ballet shoes for her drama class and says she was surprised when her request was granted. 
   "I didn't think it would be approved because it was kind of an off-the-wall request," Kehl said. "But they loved it." 
   The slippers arrived just in time for AJH students to use them in their production of Disney's Aladdin Junior this past November and Kehl says they'll be using them for years to come. "We'll have these shoes for years so it will help our program save money in the future," she said. "We won't have to be scrounging around for shoes for every play we do. So to have long term, high quality shoes that we can just pull out year after year and not have to worry about matching shoes for costumes is very cool." 
   Before receiving the slippers , Kehl says students had to wear their own personal shoes and were often left scrambling to find shoes appropriate for each play. She says she's even lent students her own wedding shoes and her husband's Navy shoes or borrowed them from friends or members of the community . 
   "We just kind of scrounged together whatever we had," she said. "So it was nice that I didn't have to do that this time." 
   The slippers cost about $20 per pair $990 total and came from the Web site www.capezio.com as requested by Kehl. They're all black, all leather and range in size from size 5 to size 10. 
   "They're high-quality ballet shoes," Kehl said. "I thought that they'd last for a number of years for our drama and choir departments." 
   Kehl says she chose black shoes because of they match with most costumes and also because it allowed them to be utilized by the school choir as well. Kehl says the choir got marked down for appearance during recent competitions for not having matching shoes. 
   "I found that in my drama productions having black works the best most of the time, especially since a lot of our plays are period pieces," she said. "And the choir can use them and they'll all have the same color shoes. It's worked out well for both drama and choir." 
   Kehl says the AJH choir will wear the slippers at three more scheduled performances before the end of the school year and the drama students will be wearing them during their production of Disney's Peter Pan Jr. on June 5, 6, and 7. 
"We're going to have pirates and fairies and mermaids and lost boys and I think that we'll be able to have all the kids in our play wear the ballet flats," she said. 

   In addition to providing a uniform look, Kehl says the slippers also give dancers a better grip on the slippery wood floors of the AJH stage and will lead to less falls and injuries during performances and rehearsals. 
   Kehl says the slippers will help the drama and choir departments tremendously and sent her thanks to the CAPS organization and all of the community members who donated to the cause.