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Tandem Foundation donates $30,517 in grants for Davis schools

Bill Roe and Roxana Pana of Tandem Properties, right, listen as Davis High School English and journalism teacher Kelly Wilkerson describes how she'll use the grant funds awarded Tuesday to upgrade the campus' multimedia computer lab. Fred Gladdis/Enterprise photo

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From page A4 | May 23, 2013 |

New books and computers for school libraries, athletic equipment, support for public concerts by student musical ensembles, hands-on materials for teaching math and more iPads for diverse purposes at various schools — these were among the projects funded by grants by the Tandem Foundation, announced Tuesday.

It was the 13th year that Tandem has donated grants to support projects in the Davis school district.

“Investing in Davis schools is always a good thing to do,” said Tandem Properties partner Bill Roe.

His wife Nancy, noting that one of the schools receiving a grant was Marguerite Montgomery Elementary, couldn’t resist mentioning that “I had Marguerite Montgomery as a fifth-grade teacher,” in a classroom in the building that is now the district’s administrative headquarters at Fifth and B streets downtown.

School board president Sheila Allen thanked the Tandem Foundation “for stepping forward as a major player, year after year, in support of our schools. This is part of what makes Davis so great.”

This year’s grants involved $30,517 in funding, spread over dozens of projects. Among the recipients:

* $1,500 to the Davis High School Symphony Orchestra to present four free concerts for elementary school students, plus one concert for the community, during the 2013-14 academic year. Davis High Vice Principal Sheila Smith noted that the orchestra presented five  such concerts in February featuring the popular piece “Peter and the Wolf” (supported by a Tandem grant announced last spring) which drew a combined attendance of more than 2,300 people.

* $1,932 for improvements to the weight room at Davis High. Football coach Steve Smyte mentioned that “all 24 interscholastic teams at the high school” benefit from the weight room.

* $3,197 for up-to-date multimedia computer equipment benefiting Davis High’s journalism, yearbook and video/film classes. Journalism teacher Kelly Wilkerson said the program’s current computers are so old that “new software can’t be installed” in many cases. “We are breaking out of this logjam with your help,” Wilkerson said.

Other grants included:

* Da Vinci Charter Academy (high school section): $399 for an iPad 2 to be used in several classes; $216 to purchase texts for U.S. history and government courses; $1,822 to support hands-on student research in the Putah Creek Project (including money for boots and waders, which have until now been borrowed from UC Davis); $500 for a student-created magazine about the 1920s; $264 for a magazine subscription that will benefit Da Vinci’s students studying Spanish.

* Davis School for Independent Study: $571 for biotechnology equipment that will upgrade the school’s science department.

* Emerson Junior High: $2,975 for five iPad minis that will be used in the school library; $1,000 for five document cameras to be used in classrooms.

* Harper Junior High: $2,490 for a Samsung Google Chrome Book to be used in the project-based learning STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) program; $460 for on-stage sound monitors in the multipurpose room (so performers can hear what the audience is hearing).

* Holmes Junior High: $574 for athletic equipment and a wireless router in the athletic department; $445 for lunchtime intramural equipment; $487 for library books.

* Birch Lane Elementary: $500 for an iPad for special education students; $875 to support Sly Park science camp scholarships.

* Chávez Elementary: $1,000 for iPads to be used in the math department.

* Korematsu Elementary: $1,000 for a playground coordinator.

* Montgomery Elementary:$399 toward iPads to be shared by teachers and specialists.

* North Davis Elementary: $3,150 toward an iPad learning lab.

* Patwin Elementary: $480 for special instruction and progress monitoring; $678 for vocabulary enrichment handbooks to be used by 70 students.

* Pioneer Elementary: $1,240 for a science lab update.

* Willett Elementary: $900 for two iPads to be used in fourth through sixth grades; $1,000 to support the Willett School Chorus; $500 to purchase books for the Reading Counts program.

Film teacher Jerry de Camp noted that a Tandem Foundation grant had helped purchase new equipment for the Davis High filmmaking class several years ago, “and we now have several Davis High graduates who are studying at film school, or have jobs in the film industry.”

Music at Tuesday’s reception was provided by the Kaleidoscope String Quartet, an ensemble from the Davis High string program featuring violinists Brian Li and Emily Kapes, violist Sam Lee and cellist Jeremy Chen.

Tandem Properties owns several apartment complexes in Davis, including Adobe at Evergreen, Arlington Farm, Casitas, Chaparral, Suntree, The Willows, Anderson Place, Chautauqua, Cranbrook, The Colleges at LaRue and Sundance.

The Tandem Foundation began making grants in 2000, pledging $5,500 that year.

— Reach Jeff Hudson at jhudson@davisenterprise.net or 530-747-8055.

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