The Sierra Schools Foundation seeks to accomplish our mission of providing supplemental funds to address the inequities in the educational experience due to geographic isolation and limited local economic resources through the Roots & Boots Initiative. Via school and teacher grants, along with direct program creation and enhancement, we bring the Roots & Boots Initiative to all students of the Sierra-Plumas Joint Unified School District.
The Roots & Boots Initiative encourages students to explore, appreciate and preserve their rural “roots” and the rural and remote landscapes that shaped them, while also providing them with the “boots”, or skills, training and experiences to walk into their future prepared and inspired for what is ahead.
In the Roots focus area, The Sierra Schools Foundation funds experiences and programs in Outdoor Education, Agriculture Education, Rural & Mountain Heritage and Environmental Science. Below are examples of grants funded in the Roots focus area:
- Farm to School Program Funds go to upgrade the elementary school’s green house and put in outdoor beds, fencing, and sheds. All grade levels will participate in planning, planting, cultivating, harvesting and preparing the food they grow with the future hope to bring it to the school cafeteria for all students to enjoy.
- The Yuba River Riparian Outdoor Classroom A place-based project connecting 6th grade students to their immediate community to strengthen historical understanding, environmental and watershed awareness, and art-of-the-wild creativity.
- Agriculture for Today’s World In order to keep up with the changes in 21st Century agriculture, the Loyalton High & Middle School Agriculture and Future Farmers of America departments purchased new computers, software and other necessary technology.
- The Wild & Scenic Experience Students from Downieville High School attended the Wild & Scenic Film Festival in Nevada City, CA and attended documentary film workshops and presentations on the filming of landscape and how it informs every aspect of humanity.
In the Boots focus area, The Sierra Schools Foundation funds experiences and programs in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), Art, Music, Career Development and College Readiness. Below are some examples of grants funded in the Boots focus area:
- The Digital Media Project Purchase of audio/visual equipment and software to build a digital media library and create an after-school film club for Loyalton High & Middle School students to write, direct, film, edit, and produce their own short films and documentaries. The equipment and software purchased with this grant will build on the students’ 21st century skills and enhance technology use for the new Common Core Standards.
- “Exploring STEM with a 3D Printer” project The 3D printer will be used to enhance design, iteration of math and engineering concepts, production, and data gathering in the mathematics and industrial arts classrooms.
- Advancing to College Program SAT preparation workshops (instruction and student supplies) free for Loyalton and Downieville High Schools.
- The Experience of Musical Theatre Field trips for the entire Loyalton Elementary school to see the musical performances of “Annie” & “Miracle on 34th Street” in Reno, NV in 2011 & 2012
- Music for All Working with the Sierra County Arts Council, we have awarded several grants to bring back instrumental and choral music to elementary, middle, and high school students. Since 2011, the Loyalton schools have enjoyed music education and instruction with a future plan to build a full-time music program for all ages.