djusd

YoloShines: Davis School Arts Foundation

When given the opportunity to speak to students at UCD, be it about innovation, entrepreneurship, or clean energy, one of my favorite stories to relay engages children and creativity. Quick synopsis:

Creative consultant Gordon MacKenzie, during speaking engagements with elementary school students, would ask kindergarteners, “How many of you are artists?” All would raise their hand. But with older kids, an interesting trend develops. Fewer and fewer students identify themselves as artists as they grow up. By sixth grade, only a small percentage raises their hand in response to the same question of being an artist. As kids grow up, they feel the judgmental pressures from others and don’t want to take the risk of being judged as weird.

Unfortunately, our children become normalized to think they can't be or do something. Sad but true, particularly in our community where the pressure to succeed academically is so intense.

Fortunately, there are organizations like the Davis School Arts Foundation (DSAF), an all-volunteer, non-profit organization whose mission it is to raise money for art and music education in the Davis public schools. DSAF believes the value of visual and performing arts is equal to that of other curriculum and essential for the education of the whole child. 

On behalf of RepowerYolo homeowners (and parents of DJUSD children) Matt Donner and Kimberly Grogan, we are pleased to donate $500 to DSAF. Matt's take on the Foundation:

As a musician and artist myself, I am happy and proud to offer any and all support to this worthy cause! We tend to get caught up in academics and athletics here in Davis and it's worth supporting the arts as well!

Please join RepowerYolo, Matt and Kimberly in supporting DSAF and germinating future artists and musicians in our community.

 

YoloShines: Davis Schools Foundation

When homeowners in Yolo County go solar, we ask them to identify their favorite local nonprofit organization (aka, YoloShines). On behalf of El Macero residents Alan and Yuki Oshima, we are pleased to donate $500 to the Davis Schools Foundation. Here’s what the Oshimas had to say about DSF:

We realize the local schools can use all the help that they get for enriching the school experience. We were fortunate to have our four daughters attend local Davis schools. Three attended UC Davis, one Sacramento State University. All graduated with degrees. All are married have children and are working. We're very proud of them all.

This donation hits home with me, as the product of DJUSD schools (Birch Lane, Holmes, DHS) and the parent of an Emerson 8th grader and DHS junior. When you're the product of something great, oftentimes you take it for granted; when you're the parent of kids (involved in something great), too often you do not appreciate how good your children have it. I fall in to both camps!

Davis schools are great -- in my opinion -- because our community cares. We prioritize education, we celebrate accomplishment, and we support our schools.

Please join us in supporting Davis Schools Foundation, whether you're a product, parent or beneficiary of Davis schools. Click here to learn how you can support DSF, or contact DSF President Lori Duisenberg: 530-219-9033 info@davisschoolsfoundation.org.

And, thanks again to the Oshimas for making Yolo shine!

A great day, leading up to the Big Day of Giving

We have the fortune of helping homeowners go solar. In so doing, there are three particularly gratifying outcomes: Saving homeowners money, improving the environment (through clean energy), and giving back to our community.

Last Wednesday was a great day: We mailed ten $500 checks — $5,000 in total — to local causes, including Yolo Food Bank, Davis Schools Foundation, River City Rowing Club, Yolo Crisis Nursery, Progress Ranch, Davis High Girls Water Polo, and Make it Happen Yolo County.

The donations were made on behalf of RepowerYolo homeowners through our YoloShines program, aka our 2016 Big Year of Giving. Homeowners are not just repowering their homes and benefiting our planet, they’re also repowering our community. For this we are extremely grateful.

Leading up to the May 3 Big Day of Giving, we will share a bit about these tremendous Yolo nonprofits. In so doing, we invite you to join us in supporting the organizations and strengthening the fabric of our community. When you do so, a great day will be yours too!

YoloShines: Repowering community organizations

When we conceived RepowerYolo, we made two conscious commitments:

1. We will not solicit homeowners. No advertising, cold calls, direct mail or commission sales people.

2. We will reinvest in and support local nonprofit organizations; in other words (excuse the trite phase), repower our community.

The obvious residue of not knocking on doors, cold-calling homeowners, or peppering mail boxes with sales collateral is that we will sell less solar. We can live with that, because we strongly believe markets are conversations and nobody likes to be solicited (sans their permission). And, by eliminating sales/marketing/advertising costs, we significantly reduce the cost of going solar for friends and neighbors.

Furthermore, many an eye has been rolled at our community fundraising efforts: Why are you donating large amounts of money to nonprofits (when you could/should be pocketing the money to send your kids to college)? In simple terms, we believe RepowerYolo is a community program and our commitment to — and support of — local nonprofit organizations is a community dividend.

This community dividend is growing. To date, we have donated upwards of $23,000 to more than 25 local causes on behalf of RepowerYolo homeowners. And, in 2016, we created YoloShines: Every time a homeowner goes solar, we donate $500 in their name to their favorite Yolo County nonprofit.

The first four recipients of YoloShines donations in 2016 are Progress RanchYolo Crisis NurseryDavis Schools Foundation, and River City Rowing Club. 2016 is off to a great start … the future is bright for both homeowners who go solar and nonprofit organizations that stitch the fabric of our community.

The Opportunity to Grow Fresh Food and Understanding

[Originally published October 22, 2015]

Repower Yolo is a Gold Sponsor of Yolo Farm to Fork's School Programs. When you go solar with us, we'll donate $500.00.

The benefits of all the love, sweat, time, dollars and meticulous care showered upon Holmes Junior High’s garden are rippling outward. Integrated, experiential learning about the beauty of fresh, nutritious food and the art of preparing it deliciously are becoming available to all. Who threw the first stone that is causing all the ripples? Keri Hawkins, Garden Coordinator of Holmes Junior High’s gardening project.

"Thank you for supporting our school gardens! They are a wonderful place for children to unwind and learn through doing."

--Keri Hawkins, Garden Coordinator, Holmes Junior High

In 2012, Keri inherited a neglected, overgrown, weedy mess. But she saw the potential right away to cultivate far more than vegetables, herbs and flowers. The art and cooking classrooms opened to the garden with its courtyard, and the garden could benefit both with gorgeous subjects for still lifes and fresh ingredients for culinary masterpieces and learning about nutrition.

She envisioned the impact the garden could have on the lives of children of all physical and mental abilities. Keri also saw the potential of the garden to provide the enriching experience for collaboration amongst the diverse students. Keri said that her aim is “to make the garden accessible to students of all abilities and to have the students working side by side.”

In 2013, Keri and the students replanted the garden to be low maintenance. In 2014, she had the idea to sell pumpkins in order to raise the money for the gardening program. The Esparto Lions donated the pumpkins and $1,000 was raised, with a matching grant fromTandem Grants. “The garden is truly a community garden. The more people involved, the greater the community ownership of the garden,” she said.

Keri applied her Masters in Architecture to designing tables that were accessible by wheelchair. She gave the designs to Holmes' tech teacher, Lance Gunnersen, and his students, who built the tables and entered them in the State Fair. After the fair, the tables came home to the courtyard next to the garden.

Keri then designed a potting table accessible to all users. She and her enthusiastic team pulled out everything from the existing Zen Garden, a part of the overall garden and courtyard areas, and Dave Leveque, Holmes teacher Deanna Leveque’s husband, built the framework for the Zen Garden. Sadly, with the drought, the water to the garden was cut-off and everything died.

After the potting table came a three-tier planter box, again with the idea that students of all abilities would be able to access it. Avery Phimmasehn, a BoyScout, helped design the planter box, and then built it to achieve his Eagle Scout rank. The planter now boasts seasonal beauty and bounty, replete with beets, broccoli, carrots, celery, kale, lettuce, kohlrabi and cilantro, which are quite often enjoyed immediately after picking.  Special Ed life skills are taught in the garden, where students learn about the tools and feel the utter satisfaction of using them.

The garden and courtyard are thriving, but there one more step before it can be truly accessible to all. In wet weather, the wheelchairs get stuck in the muddy pathways. Keri said that, to remedy this, they need the garden's remaining area graded. And they also need decomposed granite for the space. Please EMAIL KERI if you'd like to help with the grading or donate the decomposed granite. 

Yolo Farm to Fork’s Dig In Yolo! Restaurant Fundraising Campaign makes Davis Farm to School programs possible. For example, last year, Yolo Farm to Fork contributed $250 to Holmes’s garden for garden supplies and plants, with the PTA matching the amount.

These restaurants are digging in to help educate Yolo’s children to live sustainably throughout the month of October. Eat well and help Yolo’s children learn about fresh, healthy food, recycling, and respecting the planet and one another.

Bon  Appétit!

The Savory Café

722-A Main Street, Woodland

DIG IN SPECIAL: Organic Butternut Squash Gnocchi with Lamb Sogu


Café Italia (The Dancing Tomato Café)

1121 Richards Boulevard, Davis

MENTION DIG IN YOLO!


Maria’s Cantina

306 Sixth Street, Woodland

MENTION DIG IN YOLO!


Dos Coyotes (both Davis locations)

2191 Cowell Blvd., Davis | 1411 W. Covell Blvd. #7

DIG IN SPECIAL: Banh Mi Taco Plate


Jack’s Urban Eats (All Locations)

DIG IN SPECIAL: Fresh Harvest Salad


Broderick Road House

319 Sixth Street, West Sacramento

DIG IN SPECIAL: Fiesta Burger


Guinivere’s

317 Second Street, Woodland

MENTION DIG IN YOLO!


Kitchen 428

First and Bush Streets, Woodland

MENTION DIG IN YOLO!


Osteria Fasulo

2657 Portage Bay East #8, Davis

MENTION DIG IN YOLO!

RISE and Shine! Dining Out Helps Yolo's Kids

[Originally published October 9, 2015]

Repower Yolo is a Gold Sponsor of Yolo Farm to Fork's School Programs. When you go solar with us, we'll donate $500.00.

It really does takes a whole village to raise a child. And we’re continually astounded at the willingness and generosity of Yolo’s citizens to dig in. Whether the harvest is sunshine, vegetables, or healthier living, we celebrate all the good people who are repowering our community with their passion, expertise and time by teaching Yolo’s children to live sustainably. RISE (Recycling Is Simply Elementary) is a Davis Farm to School program that receives support from Yolo Farm to Fork.

Joy Klineberg has been overseeing RISE at Willett Elementary School for four years now, where she trains sixth graders to train their schoolmates to recycle. “When I was PTA president, the recycling role needed filling. I took it on and the rest is history,” she said. Each sixth grader serves two 1-week shifts during the year. The RISE student mans the recycling and trash area to helps their compadres understand what goes where and why. The peer-to-peer approach is really effective.  

Joy donates her stipend for overseeing the schools’ recycling from the District to help fund the sixth graders’ outdoor education week in Pollock Pines. The district pays her stipend from the money recycling saves them. (It’s costly to haul all the garbage away to landfill.)

“RISE gives me a chance to interact with the kids,” she said. “I’m charmed by the little first grader who is trying to throw her sandwich away when no one is looking.” Joy also presents Why Recycling Matters, a PowerPoint, to the school children.

Davis Farm to School’s role is on the administrative side. They advocate for and manage RISE, negotiate the stipend, and provide pilot programs for all the elementary schools. “RISE is in the Davis junior high schools to varying degrees, although most of them don’t do composting,” said Joy.

We love being a Gold Sponsor of Farm to Fork’s Dig In Yolo! Restaurant Fundraising Campaign that raises money for Davis Farm to School’s programs, including RISE. Here’s the skinny. Some Yolo County restaurants have created Dig In Yolo! Specials and, every time you order the special, the restaurant will donate to Davis Farm to School. Other restaurants are contributing in different ways. 

These restaurants are digging in to help educate Yolo’s children to live sustainably throughout the month of October. Bon  Appétit!

The Savory Café

722-A Main Street, Woodland

DIG IN SPECIAL: Organic Butternut Squash Gnocchi with Lamb Sogu


Café Italia (The Dancing Tomato Café)

1121 Richards Boulevard, Davis

MENTION DIG IN YOLO!


Maria’s Cantina

306 Sixth Street, Woodland

MENTION DIG IN YOLO!


Dos Coyotes (both Davis locations)

2191 Cowell Blvd., Davis | 1411 W. Covell Blvd. #7

DIG IN SPECIAL: Banh Mi Taco Plate


Jack’s Urban Eats (All Locations)

DIG IN SPECIAL: Fresh Harvest Salad


Broderick Road House

319 Sixth Street, West Sacramento

DIG IN SPECIAL: Fiesta Burger


Guinivere’s

317 Second Street, Woodland

MENTION DIG IN YOLO!


Kitchen 428

First and Bush Streets, Woodland

MENTION DIG IN YOLO!


Osteria Fasulo

2657 Portage Bay East #8, Davis

MENTION DIG IN YOLO!