The Santa Maria-Bonita School District thanks the businesses, local organizations and people throughout the community that support students and schools in many ways during the year.

Adam School would like to thank Kiwanis of Santa Maria Valley and Scholastic Books for donating to the school’s new Reading Oasis in the library. The Kiwanis group donated $5,000 which was matched in kind by Scholastic. The donations provided new bookshelves, bean bag chairs, a modular reading center and more than 1,000 books. The area is a welcoming spot for students to settle down with a good book. “The Reading Oasis is a wonderful addition to our site that will continue our focus on literacy for all students through access to and enjoyment of reading materials,” said principal Laurie Graack. “Each one of these 1,000 books, not to mention the beautiful and inviting furniture and equipment, represents a chance to experience something new for our students.” The school hopes that the Reading Oasis is the start of a larger library upgrade. Thank you Kiwanis of Santa Maria Valley and Scholastic for making the project a reality.

The organizers of the recent SMBSD Battle of the Books event would like to thank everyone who made the literature-based student competition successful. First, thank you to the many volunteers who read questions to the students, kept time and kept score. Jim Morrow from the Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum deserves special recognition for his vital contributions. Mr. Morrow provided a large display of many items mentioned in two of the books students had to read for Battle of the Books. Mr. Morrow gathered numerous artifacts and food items described in Island of the Blue Dolphins and Sign of the Beaver and had them on-hand for students to touch, taste and ask questions about. “His display helped bring the books alive for the students,” said teacher and event coordinator Kellie Ouellette. The sponsors of Battle of the Books are also very much appreciated. Thank you to Altrusa International of Golden Valley, the Kiwanis Club of Santa Maria Valley and the Rotary Club of Santa Maria for donating money to provide prizes and books for all of the students who participated and Tshirts for the winning teams. Many people and community organizations came together to inspire students to read. Thank you for your support!

Sanchez School would like to thank the Starbucks at 1419 South Broadway for providing coffee and all of the accompaniments for the community volunteers who read to the students on Read Across America Day. The adults appreciated the delicious brew.

Ontiveros School and Rice School send a very heartfelt thank you to the late Judy Hedman. For three years, Mrs. Hedman anonymously donated money every month to a different class. She would include encouraging notes to the teachers at the school and the principal. The teachers used the generous donations to buy books and other supplies for student classroom use. Mrs. Hedman was a strong supporter of education, students and teachers. Her support and encouragement will be missed but her legacy and memory live on in the many students she helped over the last three years.

Tommie Kunst Junior High School would like to thank Ravi Chahal from the 7-Eleven stores on North Broadway, West Cook and South Blosser. Mr. Chahal donates free food coupons for the school to use as student incentives and he also donated $250 to help upgrade the school’s PA system. The school appreciates his support! Tommie Kunst staff would also like to thank the Industry Education Council and United Way of Northern Santa Barbara County for providing a computer for a deserving student through the Computer Connections program.

The school district thanks the many community members who participated in this year’s Principal For A Day event. The following people took time out of their busy schedules to visit a school and shadow the principal, learning about the successes and challenges that happen every day in education. Special thanks to Leslie Neighbors from Comcast Business Services; Angel Ortega of Boy Scouts of America; Santa Maria City Councilman Jack Boysen; Treena Leonard from CalPortland Construction; Lisa Dart of Girl Scouts of Central Coast; Cliff Step from Urgent Care; Regina Ojeda of Rabobank; Etta Waterfield from the City of Santa Maria Planning Commission; retired police officer Mike Cordero; Karla Azahar from Fairfield Inn & Suites; Andrea Martinez with the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara; Dan Blandford with CalPortland Construction; James Thomas from Union Bank; Eddie Yubeta of Hardy Diagnostics; George Majoue with Knights of Columbus; Jose Uriarte from Toyota of Santa Maria; and Gabriel Morales with the Center for Employment Training.