The schools in the Santa Maria-Bonita School District appreciate the support that comes from so many local businesses, organizations and individuals.

The district and its 19 schools would like to thank the local business people who gave up their time to participate in the Principal for the Day program. These community members shadowed a school principal for an entire morning, assisting with the many varied tasks that a principal tackles every day. They visited classrooms, spoke with staff and parents, met with students, monitored the playgrounds, even served breakfast in the cafeterias. Principal for the Day is a wonderful way for business people to see what’s happening in local schools and for educators to hear from business people about the kinds of skills students need to enter the workforce. The event is sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce and the Industry Education Council. The SMBSD Principals for the Day that deserve a round of applause were: Erica Reyes, Americorps; Marcy Lariz, Chamber of Commerce; Bob Poole, Santa Maria Pacific; Michelle Lynch, WIB Youth Program; Jack Boysen, Santa Maria City Councilman; Kathyleen McClenathen, Mission Community Bank; Eddie Taylor, United Way; Gabriel Morales, CET; Anna Boeger, Santa Maria Pacific; Mike Cordero, Santa Maria City Councilman; Lara LaFranc, Russco; Marilyn Randall, Rabobank; David Camphouse, St. Andrew’s United Methodist; Alice Patino, Santa Maria City Councilwoman; Steve Lavagnino, Fifth District County Supervisor; Wes Brown, Wells Fargo Advisors; Donna Randolph, State Farm Insurance; Alicia Ashbrook, Community West Bank; and Tara Hoffman, Shaklee. Thank you all for being interested in education!

El Camino Junior High recently held a BBQ fundraiser to help with the medical and family expenses of two former students who were involved in a car accident. More than $8,000 was raised and it would not have been possible without the donations and generous support of a number of local businesses and people. A big thank you goes to Randy Aldrich at Coca Cola, employees from several Santa Maria city departments, the Marian Medical Center Records Department, Waste Management Recycling, Speedling crew in Nipomo, Spring Harvest crew, Oilfield Environmental & Compliance, Coast Hills, Community Health Care Center, Kmart, C & D Aerospace, Associated Professional Advisors, Best Western employees, Pioneer Valley High School, Food Maxx, Smart & Final, Orowheat, numerous other businesses and hundreds of community members who bought BBQ tickets. El Camino also thanks its awesome staff who organized the BBQ, especially Espie Ruiz, Tim Vincent, Linda Schnell, Migrant parents and district retirees.
The district would like to thank the partners who contribute to the THRIVE Healthy School Pantry program each month. The Pantry program provides fresh food to almost 200 families from specific schools. It is a team effort of community partners, agencies and volunteers all contributing to a successful event. It includes healthy food distribution, cooking demonstrations and tasting, an information and outreach center,  physical fitness activities, and free family fun. Recent supporters and participants include Bank of America volunteers, Fighting Back Santa Maria student volunteers and El Camino Junior High student volunteers. Contributors include Staples and Associates which distributed low energy light bulbs for families, First 5 Santa Barbara County which gave Potter the Otter books to families, the Food Bank of Santa Barbara Country which distributed fruits, vegetables and pantry items, Orfalea Foundation chefs and the UC Cooperative Extension program which provided cooking demonstrations and tasting, the City of Santa Maria which provided the facility and fantastic staff, SBCEO Health Linkages which treated 150 children with fluoride varnish, Santa Maria Healthy Start staff who provided logistical support, and Pete Ruiz of A Class Act Entertainment who provided music. The THRIVE Healthy School Pantry is held every 3rd Tuesday of each month at the Veteran’s Memorial Community Center. Thank you to the volunteers and partners for making it a wonderful program for so many families.

Fairlawn School thanks the United Way and its CEO Eddie Taylor for donating six months of a reading program called Reading Plus. The school has been using it as an afterschool reading intervention program for 4th grade students. The United Way also donated $100 to use toward student incentive prizes and will provide a grand prize students can win at the end of the program. Fairlawn is also very excited by a new partnership with C&D Zodiac. C&D Zodiac has adopted Fairlawn School this year for its Give, Grow, and Create community outreach grant program. In April, C&D Zodiac will  bring in more than 100 volunteers to paint murals and create many enhancements to the Fairlawn campus. The work they will do includes: painting six large murals in various locations on the campus, painting storage sheds to look like red barns, painting a racetrack on the kindergarten playground, painting a large US map on the playground, refreshing the paint on the hopscotch and tetherball courts, creating and providing history timeline artwork for the cafeteria and computer lab, and donating art supplies and PE equipment. “We are so grateful for C&D Zodiac and its employees for everything they are doing for Fairlawn,” said principal Antoinette Kelly. “They are going to make our campus even more beautiful and welcoming for students, staff and the community.” To thank C&D Zodiac for its work, the Fairlawn staff is going to provide a BBQ lunch for all of the volunteers. In the spirit of a “full-circle” community partnership, the following businesses and groups have donated time, supplies, or provided discounts toward the supplies for the “thank you” BBQ: San Luis Sourdough, Target, the Santa Maria Elks Lodge, Trader Joe’s, and Sabora Mexico in Pismo Beach.