Through the valuable programs we fund, we seek to:
Create engaging opportunities across the entire district, fueling real, lasting learning and life lessons.
Ignite a spark within all students that will propel them through their school/education & lead to productive and fulfilling lives.
Deliver innovative tools and training for educators and support their passion for inspiring students to learn and be successful.
The arts programs we support engage and inspire thousands of students each day. Our funding allows for the long-standing Front & Center Theater Collaborative (FCTC) program that reinforces lessons in literacy, history and language arts through collaborations with professional theatres during in-school hours for all students grades K-12. We also partially support the Academy of Visual and Performing Arts (AVPA) which offers intensive in-school and afterschool workshops in Film, Music, Theatre, Visual Arts and Dance for Culver City High School (CCHS) students.
In addition, our Culver City Middle School students may participate in Comedy Improv afterschool programming. Additionally, we have music programs such as vocal arts in all elementary schools and the Symphonic Jazz Orchestra (SJO) program designed for students in 4th-5th grades, and all 3rd grade students receive a recorder to introduce them to instrumental music. These programs help students learn about the world around them as they question, create and express. Students also gain confidence, social emotional skills and essential life skills such as collaboration, communication and creative problem solving.
CCEF has had many targeted accomplishments over the years. Since assisting with the creation of the FCTC in 2009, the theater arts program has grown to include six arts partners and several committed funding partners now serves over 7,000 students. Since the collaboration with SJO began in 2007, the music education program has gone from serving one grade at one school, to serving over 2,000 students every year within every CCUSD elementary school.
CCEF has further supported the growth of music programming by providing over $200,000 in funding to purchase musical instruments for the middle and high school band and orchestra programs. These instruments have allowed expanded access to the music program for students who could previously not afford to provide their own instrument. CCEF has a strong commitment to the arts and established an Arts Endowment campaign in 2018, raising $550,000 in the initial phase, with a goal to provide a sustainable stream of funding for arts education programs throughout the district.
The highly-regarded STEM programs we fund include the CCHS Robotics Team, Mathletes for grades 4th-8th, Growing Great Gardens Nutrition Program (GGGNP) where elementary students learn hands-on science and nutrition education according to state standards. We have also established MakerSpaces, which are workspaces for elementary school students to engage with materials and equipment for tinkering, inventing, designing, building and learning.
Our STEM programming and these spaces foster curiosity, encourage exploration, celebrate unique solutions, and are led by the guiding principle that children learn best through creative thinking and hands-on experimentation, and they develop better thinking through better questioning.
CCEF’s key accomplishments in the area of STEM education have included collaborating with school sites to fund the construction of the learning gardens at every elementary school and providing annual funding for the GGGNP program for all K-5th students. CCEF has also provided over $130,000 in funding to purchase equipment and technology resources to create Makerspace Labs at every elementary school. Additionally, CCEF has provided $130,000 in funding to support professional development for elementary school math teachers to incorporate new teaching methods into their classroom math instruction.
Our comprehensive program to encourage collegiate aspirations and preparedness begins in elementary school with our Sailing to Success College Visit Days (SSCVD), funded since 2015. All 5th graders in our district visit one local college. In their 6th grade year they receive guidance on the academic requirements for college. In their 8th grade year they travel to another college campus.
Additionally, we support college access by offering students in our adult school who move on to higher education, a $500 scholarship. We also have an Advancement Via Individual Determination Program that helps students who will be first generation college students with college preparation and access to set them up for success. Additionally, in 2019 CCEF began funding the #IApplied program which pays for a college application fee for every graduating high school senior.
Additional programs include: Athletes & Academics, which provides athletes at CCHS with extra academic support to balance athletics with academic success; Culver Closet which provides CCUSD families in need with access to free clothing and toiletries; Sandy Segal Youth Health Center which provides on campus health services; our district wide Spelling Bee with cash prizes for grades 4-6; School library support for new culturally-relevant books and other resources throughout the district.