Board Gives Praise, Accepts Grants

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At the first school board meeting of the new school year, Newport-Mesa trustees recognized the student winners of a national fashion design contest and accepted two grants to support adult and pre-school education efforts.

The board first honored Corona del Mar High School students who won the 4th Annual Hurley “Walk the Walk” fashion contest. The nation-wide high school competition is an integral part of the U.S. Open of Surfing.

After three months of video challenges, the remaining school teams competed in front of crowds of thousands for a fashion “walk-off.“ The six finalists, including CdM, were from Hawaii, New Jersey, Virginia, San Diego and Huntington Beach.

The CdM team’s fashion walk included back flips, war dances, Dalek-inspired mirrors and a student in roller blades jumping off of a quarter pipe. The students earned $25,000 for their school.

The school board also reviewed and approved two grants that will help with other educational programs.

The board approved the William F. Gooding Even Start Family Literacy Program Grant award from the California Department of Education for $137,265 for 2010-2011.

The grant will provide funding for one Event Start program: materials, teacher on special assignment, a part-time preschool teacher to provide toddler car for the parents enrolled in the Even Start program while they attend adult education classes and the required program evaluation, and field trips.

The NMUSD was originally awarded the grant in 2009.

The Event Start program serves 30 low-income NMUSD families and provides a comprehensive family literacy program consisting of education for adults, children 18 months through 5 years of age, parents and parent-child interactive literacy activities. The goal of the program is to help both children and parents break the cycle of poverty and illiteracy in families. The program provides it services through the BESST Center Adult Education Program, Rea Preschool and Rea Toddler Program.

The first year of the program in 2009-2010 had impressive results, said NMUSD spokeswoman Laura Boss, as five of the 38 parents that served in the program passed their GED tests.

The board also approved the an agreement for the Local School Readiness Initiative Grant, for $87,550 for the 2010-2011 school year. The funds are allocated for a teacher on special assignment/early childhood education and outreach advocate/early childhood education.

The NMUSD was originally awarded the grant in 2000. The grant is funded by the Children and Families Commission of Orange County and provides funding to support early childhood programs and services and that invest in children from birth to 5 years of age.




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