Oct. 26, 2012
AUSD is $38,000 richer
CAPS donates money for programs, equipment
Creig P. Sherburne ATASCADERO NEWS
ATASCADERO In a time when Atascadero Unified School District has had to cut literally
millions of dollars from its budget, a $38,000 windfall represents a lot of good in the form of field trips, extra activities
and materials. And that's exactly what the Committee for Atascadero Public Schools bestowed to the district on Tuesday, Oct.
"I love following students who have expressed enthusiasm over programs that AUSD offers
and can continue to offer, and that is exactly what CAPS wants to be able to do," outgoing CAPS Chair Lori Mello said.
"Not only help provide extra funds for these extras, but keep up that enthusiasm."
is an organization that was created specifically to help fill some of AUSD's financial holes left by constantly dwindling
revenues from the state of California. It does that by raising money via a yearly fundraising dinner, soliciting grants and
then writing checks to fulfill some of those grants.
This year, the total raised and distributed
was $38,000, which brings the amount CAPS has donated since its inception to more than $300,000. The way the money will be
used will vary widely.
"It was really fun reading the grants because it was such a huge
variety of stuff that people asked for," Kathy Peterson. "We gave away 15 trips and those ranged from going to Hearst
Castle to Emy Bruzzo's team going off some place. " We had 11 people ask for iPads, so we're buying 11 iPads. We're buying
12 netbooks for the junior high. And 11 different sets of books are going out to various places."
year's donation of $38,000 is down from last year's $72,000, but Mello pointed out something very positive: "In an age
of less and less and less money and having to ask teachers to do more and more with less and less " We are happy to report
that we are able to present $38,000," she said.
For more information about CAPS or to participate, go to www.atascaderocaps.org or call
May 4, 2012
The Channel Islands Service Center Council of the California Teachers Association selected CAPS to receive the Gold
Award for Outstanding Citizen. CAPS was nominated by the Atascadero district Teachers'Association. The award was presented
to CAPS representatives Melanie Karp and Kathy Peterson by ADTA president Tracy Ellis-Weit.
From the Atascadero News on Jan.
can't cap CAPS
Posted: Friday, Jan 25th, 2012
The Committee for Atascadero Public Schools
was formed with one simple but far-reaching goal: present grants to all Atascadero public schools so those schools can buy
equipment and field trips and other similar educational tools.
It's had quite a bit of success, too. Kathy
Peterson, a retired kindergarten teacher, is in charge of registrations, maintaining CAPS' website and does a plethora of
other technical and general volunteer work. She said that since its inception , CAPS has bestowed just shy of $300,000 worth
of grants through the district.
That money, she said, is raised through local sponsors and at an annual dinner
and auction. Last year, Peterson said, CAPS received approximately $12,000 from sponsors, $12,000 from ticket sales, $38,000
from the live and silent auctions and $10,000 from miscellaneous donations.
In case you weren't counting
, that's a total of approximately $72,000, the vast majority of which was put directly into Atascadero Unified School District
"We have a very generous community ," Peterson said.
The dinner event
is a big deal for CAPS. This year, it will be held on Saturday, Aug. 11 at the Atascadero Pavilion on the Lake. CAPS chairwoman
Lori Mello said that last year, the event included dinner, live and silent auctions and dancing, and that's the plan for 2012,
"Managing the event, securing a location, catering, a band, if we have a band, coordinating
the volunteers , it's kind of like planning a wedding," Mello said.
She went on to say that all of the
auction items are donated and that each school site builds a gift basket to be auctioned off. In the past, she said, auction
items have included everything from dinners at local restaurants and products from local shops to trips to Hawaii and everything
Another big deal for CAPS is processing grants.
Peterson said that the grant
process isn't complex, but there are a few steps.
First, an educator writes his or her grant request. The
paperwork is available on CAPS' website, www. atascaderocaps.org. There's a limit of $1,000 per request. All grants get mailed
to CAPS' post office box.
Once received, CAPS volunteers sort the grants by school site. Then, a panel of
three readers read each and every grant. The panel, Peterson said, usually includes a retired educator from each significant
grade grouping: elementary , junior high and high school.
Then comes the hard part: choosing which and how
much of the grants will be granted.
"Reading the grants is ecult because we have to turn things down,"
Peterson also said that CAPS tries very hard to distribute grant money based on the number
of students. For instance, if CAPS had $100,000 to distribute and there were 10,000 students in AUSD, CAPS would distribute
grants to reflect approximately $10 per student. That means that Carrisa Plains Elementary gets less grant money than Atascadero
High School, but it receives the same amount per student .
And, she added, CAPS doesn't give grants for things
such as pencils or paper. CAPS grants funds for more substantial things that the district isn't required or able to provide.
For instance, last year CAPS provided four Casio keyboards to Atascadero Junior High School, a touch-screen monitor to San
Gabriel Elementary, funding for six field trips at Monterey Road Elementary, calculators and rechargeable batteries to AHS
and lots of document projectors to a lot of schools.
"The projectors are really popular," Peterson
So popular, she added, that CAPS has granted a total of 72 of them throughout the district to date.
In addition, Peterson said, in previous years, CAPS has had an extra auction called "fund a need." Fund a need,
she said, is a little different from the normal auction, in that CAPS will select a need elementary school libraries needing
to buy books or funding new AHS marching band uniforms, for instance and will solicit donations for that cause at the auction.
It's not a standard auction in that buyers do not receive anything for their money.
"You don't get anything
for it," Peterson said, "except to have done it."
Peterson said she is not yet sure what the
fund a need item will be this year.
One thing she is sure about is the need for volunteers.
"It's just a bunch of volunteers raising money and giving it to teachers in what we hope is a fair way," Peterson
"We'll take as little or as much help as a person can provide," Mello agreed. "We try
to encourage community members in general aunts and uncles and grandparents, but anyone who feels the need to [get involved]."
Mello gave the example of a volunteer doing nothing more than visiting a single local business to pitch a sponsorship.
One such person is volunteer-at-large Jeannie Malik. She works with the Atascadero Chamber of Commerce, among others, and
said the chamber has been involved since CAPS' inception .
"They're one of my favorite organizations,"
Malik said, "and our teachers depend on [CAPS] now."
For more information on CAPS, go to www.atascaderocaps.org,
call 952-5443 or go to its first meeting of 2012 tonight at the AUSD district office , 5601 West Mall in Atascadero, at 6:30
The meeting is open to the public and free of charge.
CAPS received the "Organization of the Year" award at the annual installation dinner January
28th at the Pavilion on the Lake from the Atascadero Chamber of Commerce! Great job everyone!
Tribune on September 13, 2009
"A committee of parents and community members
recently raised more than $100,000 for Atascadero schools — a contribution welcomed after large cuts in state funding.
A $15,000 anonymous donation will be given directly to the district’s elementary school libraries. The remaining money
will be distributed to teachers in the form of grants.
The Committee in Support of Atascadero Public Schools formed in
2007 to raise grant money for educational programs, and a dinner and auction in late August raised $107,000 — making
it the largest single fundraiser for the Atascadero Unified School District.
“The level of attendance and participation
in this fundraiser, especially in the context of the current economic climate we all live in, was nothing short of inspirational,”
Superintendent John Rogers said. “It is amazing to see evidence of the commitment to our children and our schools demonstrated
by the volunteers, donors and contributors to this event.”
The committee selected the elementary libraries as a
“specific fund-in-need” project because it helps all students, Chairwoman Jeannie Malik said.
for elementary school libraries has declined to $4 per student this year; a decade ago, it was $33 per student — $43
in today’s money when adjusted for inflation.
Many districts have used money that would otherwise go to libraries
to help balance their budgets. That happened in Atascadero, Rogers said.
The donated money would likely be used to purchase
books, support a reading incentive program called “Battle of the Books” and update computer equipment.
addition, each year the committee uses donated funds to award small grants to teachers who request the scholarships. Teachers
can apply for up to $1,500.
In the past, the money has been used for a kindergarten math workshop, college field trips
for youngsters in the Advancement Via Individual Determination program, lab equipment, classroom supplies, exercise bicycles
and current-event magazines.
The next round of grants is scheduled to be awarded in October.
School officials say
this kind of funding is key to keeping elective programs available to students. Each year, PTA organizations raise tens of
thousands of dollars for various schools for field trips, science camps, materials and activities for students.
is through these private fundraising efforts that, despite the state’s decreasing support of education, our students
are still able to enjoy new library books, new materials, and are able to participate in a variety of activities that assist
educational and intellectual growth, provide leadership experiences and provide opportunities to build strong relationships,”
Tribune on July 25, 2008
(Committee in Support of Atascadero Public Schools), is excited to announce a generous donation of $2,000 from OptiSolar Inc.
Hayward-based OptiSolar manufactures photovoltaic
(PV) modules and
produces power from its own solar
farms. Since OptiSolar
is in the process of building a solar farm in the Creston area, they are committed to helping the schools their employees’
With an additional private donation of $500 from the Lawrie family of Atascadero,
CAPS will be able to purchase school memberships to the Paso Robles Children’s Museum for all of Atascadero’s
elementary schools, including Creston / Carissa Plains. Classes
that take field trips to the museum will receive standards-based instruction in the sciences, math, and/or visual and performing
arts. Its purpose is to develop and maintain an interactive educational facility
for the children, families, and educators in our community
From the Tribune, 9/18/09
Good work in raising
school funds! "We’re delivering an apple-a-day bouquet to the Committee in
Support of Atascadero Public Schools for raising $107,000 for public education.
The contributions will help fund elementary
school libraries and will pay for small grants for individual teachers to help them with special projects, field trips, classroom
equipment and other “extras” that have been in short supply on account of state budget cuts.
that public schools have to struggle to maintain programs that used to be taken for granted — including bus transportation,
libraries, art and athletics — but it’s inspiring when a community like Atascadero steps up in such a big way."