The Education Committee works on various education issues with the San Lorenzo Valley Schools, T-K through high school graduation. In addition, the Committee works on projects with the students to enhance their knowledge and appreciation of the unique environment where they live and to promote future caregivers for the protection and maintenance of our beautiful Valley. The VWC Education Committee also provides scholarships and our new McPherson Teachers Grant. Our scholarships and grants are funded by donations from the community and carefully managed investments. Thank you for your continued support and contributions to the future.
Applications can be submitted beginning Monday, Sept. 5, 2022.
The application deadline is Monday, Oct. 10, 2022, at 5:00 p.m.
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By Sandi Clinton, VWC Education Committee
The Valley Women’s Club of the San Lorenzo Valley (VWC) is excited to announce the creation of its first annual Fred and Roberta McPherson Environmental Education Grant for Teachers. The grant, which is named for one of our beloved VWC Board members and her late husband, has been designed to support K-12 educators who are passionate about the environment and have creative ideas for projects that will educate students on the uniqueness of our local surroundings and the preservation of our native habitats.
As we navigate through our beautiful valley these days, there is little doubt that a new school year is upon us. The roads are lined with vehicles containing eager learners, and the air is filled with excitement for their adventures. This year especially brings with it the promise of new opportunities for our learning community. After persevering and adapting through the unprecedented challenges of COVID, the CZU fires, and other significant losses of the past couple of years, our educators and students alike are more resilient and ready than ever to meet this moment and reimagine new and creative ways of achieving educational goals.
The VWC is excited to seize this moment and be part of the momentum toward positive change. We have always been dedicated to community action, awareness, and leadership in environmental, educational, social, and political concerns that affect the health and welfare of the San Lorenzo Valley and our community. We are inspired by and grateful for our educators’ determination, fortitude, and unwavering commitment to teaching and caring for our young people throughout these trying times. We are honored to partner with them and support their mission to recreate a beautiful, thriving educational landscape for our community’s children.
All K-12 educators in the SLV are invited and encouraged to apply for up to $1,500 to fund a project that focuses on such topics as local environmental monitoring, data collection and analysis, habitat restoration, and public education. Awardees and their students will also be encouraged to present their completed work at the VWC annual membership meeting. This is a tremendous opportunity to create strong connections and bonds between the members of our community who have been involved in environmental preservation and advocacy for decades and those who will ultimately continue this vital work in the future. There is vast wisdom to be shared by our experienced residents, and who among us would not benefit from the infectious positivity, optimism, and boundless potential of our youth?
No one understood this better than Fred McPherson, a passionate, enthusiastic, and lifelong educator. Fred and Roberta became residents of SLV in the late 1960s, and they dedicated decades of their lives to environmental education, preservation, restoration, and advocacy for our valley. Fred was a biologist of environmental sciences and taught about the natural history of the Santa Cruz Mountains and the San Lorenzo River at UCSC for several years. Among his many passionate projects, Fred served on the Board of Directors for the San Lorenzo Valley Water District and was part of its Environmental Committee. Fred’s favorite pastime was videography. He and Roberta spent countless hours capturing footage of the SLV watershed and editing it into educational videos with the support of grants from the SLV Water District. Fred’s unexpected passing in 2018 was felt by so many in our community. The VWC is privileged to honor both him and Roberta and to carry on the McPherson legacy of environmental education and preservation by supporting those preparing the next generation of residents to continue the work that has defined Fred and Roberta’s lives in the San Lorenzo Valley.
Are you or someone you know interested in participating in this exciting new project? Is there a teacher in your life bursting with creative energy and needing a little support to help them realize their innovative vision? Encourage them to apply now and help us make this program a success for our teachers, students, environment, and community!
Support the Fred and Roberta McPherson Environmental Education Grant for Teachers with your tax-deductible donation!
For additional information or assistance with the grant application or review process, please email the firstname.lastname@example.org