Summer programs get boost from SV Fund

The movers and shakers behind Sonoma Valley Summer School include (back row): Karla Conroy, summer school principal, Harriet Derwingson, Sonoma Valley Fund president, Catherine Harrison, Premier Banker/Exchange Bank, Joe Valentine, Community Foundation Sonoma County, and Rolf Nelson, SVP, Branch Banking/Exchange Bank, John Matli, Sonoma Branch Manager/Exchange Bank. Photo credit: Steve Aja, courtesy of Exchange Bank.


The Sonoma Valley Fund’s Youth Initiative Council will provide grants totaling $36,500 to two important summer programs for Sonoma youth.

First, the Summer School Enhancement Program focuses on 160 academically challenged fifth and eighth grade students who will be transitioning into middle and high school this fall. The grant will augment continued instruction in core subjects and orientation to the students’ new schools with enrichment activities: time with expert teacher-coaches and teen mentors, and curriculum-based field trips. Students will visit such locations as the state capitol, Asian Art Museum, and Pt. Reyes National Seashore. They will also tour nearby universities.

Also funded, the Summer Activity Support Program is broader based, aimed at providing financial assistance for summer activities such as swimming lessons, camping and sports camps, and musical instruction to fourth through eight grade students from low-income families. Students applied for grants by means of application forms distributed through the schools and were chosen based on financial need and a short written essay.

“From what we saw last year, the summer school trips are what really engaged these students and made summer school a truly positive experience. None of this would have been possible without the support of the Sonoma Valley Fund. We’re so lucky to have such amazing community backing,” said summer school coordinator, Lyndsey Munn.

Summer school is administrated by the Sonoma Valley Unified School District, and the Youth Initiative Council coordinates Summer Activity Support. Both Programs will get underway June 9.
“These programs are part of the Sonoma Valley Fund’s year-round effort to make sure that all Sonoma youngsters have access to after-school activities that are both educational and enriching,” said Harriet Derwingson, president of Sonoma Valley Fund. “We are funding these particular summer programs because we know they work, and we are most grateful to our funding partners, which include the Todd Trust, Exchange Bank, Kiwanis Club of Sonoma Plaza, Rotary Club of Sonoma Valley, the Scott Evans Foundation, The Vadasz Family Foundation, Jerry Biers, Mike and Mary Schuh, Mike and Elizabeth Minigan and the Sonoma Valley Fund board members and advisors.

Sonoma Valley Fund is a resource for donors who wish to make charitable gifts, especially as part of their estate planning, to preserve and enhance the quality of life in Sonoma Valley. Donors may make gifts through a variety of programs custom fit for specific causes, or rely on Sonoma Valley Fund’s board of directors, who are long-term, active residents of Sonoma Valley.


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