SAN DIMAS/LA VERNE – Bonita Unified teachers received a welcome boost from the Rotary Club of La Verne when the service organization continued its annual tradition of awarding District educators mini-grants to promote learning during the Jan. 17 Board of Education meeting.

Rotary Club president Diana Laguna, joined by members Craig Rubin, Steven Johnson and Deborah Deacy, distributed $3,200 in mini-grants to 10 Bonita Unified teachers. The grants, which are worth up to $500 each, will help fund projects and resources that include a two-person tricycle for preschoolers, dramatic play centers, a sensory light table and an assistive technology library.

Two Grace Miller Elementary School teachers are ready to implement their projects. Transitional kindergarten teacher Gayle Cervantes will use her grant to install a sensory light table in her classroom, to better enhance her student’s learning experience.

“A light table in my TK classroom acts as a luminescent canvas, illuminating learning in vibrant hues,” Cervantes said. “It enhances sensory exploration, fosters fine motor skills and sparks creativity, casting a bright glow on the path to early childhood development. I am delighted to incorporate the light table into my lessons.”

Grace Miller first-grade teacher April Maidens received a grant to fund a shaded, outdoor classroom.

“My students love being outside and requested benches and shade outside our classroom,” Maidens said. “I am happy with this grant, as we can provide this area to extend our learning outdoors. I know my students will love using this area for years to come.”

The mini-grant program, which began in 1998, provides money to teachers to develop ideas and enrich the student classroom experience. Applications are reviewed by a panel of Rotarians, who evaluate them for innovation, clarity and potential benefit to students. The mini-grants, which can be used to purchase materials, equipment and classroom supplies, are funded entirely by the Rotary Club.

The Rotary Club of La Verne 2024 mini-grant winners are:
• John McLuckey – Bonita High School
• Renee Gregory – Grace Miller Elementary School
• Jennifer Svoboda – Grace Miller Elementary School
• Gayle Cervantes – Grace Miller Elementary School
• April Maidens – Grace Miller Elementary School
• Karla Iniguez – La Verne Heights Elementary School
• Lori Dukowsky – Roynon Elementary School
• Megan Shockey – Roynon Elementary School
• Cherry Agapito & Mary Udria – Roynon Elementary School

“Thank you to the Rotary Club of La Verne for continuing to recognize that innovations in the classroom lead to a larger percentage of students living their purpose, and provide support for teachers who are eager to develop new methods of learning,” Superintendent Matt Wien said. “We are thankful for their continued investment in the students and teachers of Bonita Unified School District.”


BUSD_ROTARY_MINIGRANTS: Rotary Club of La Verne members present Bonita Unified teachers with mini-grants during the Jan. 17 Board of Education meeting.