DATE: July 27, 2017
CONTACT: Phil Giaramita, Public Affairs and Strategic Communications Officer
PHONE: 434-972-4049

16 Programs at Nine Albemarle County Public Schools Receive Shannon Grants; Largest Gift Supports Conversion of a School Bus Into a Food Truck at CATEC

(ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Virginia) – A new restaurant will be making its debut next spring in a rather unusual form—a traveling school bus. The Charlottesville Albemarle Technical Education Center (CATEC) has received a $5,000 grant from the Shannon Foundation to begin work on the project, which will bring together students from across the school. It is believed to be the first program of its kind in the nation.

“This is hands-on learning at its best,” says Daphne Keiser, CATEC’s Director. “We will be building upon the strengths of our outstanding culinary arts program to offer students authentic lifelong-learning experiences and to offer city and county residents some wonderful food choices,” she adds.

Students from the entire school will contribute to the food truck’s success. In addition to culinary arts students, Auto Service and Auto Body students will assist in the conversion of the school bus into a working kitchen, supported by students from the Building Trades & Electrical program. Healthcare & Medical Service students will design menus to ensure nutritious options, and Information & Engineering Technology students will help prepare systems for tracking sales and expenses. Additionally, Music Industry and Cosmetology students will assist with the food truck’s marketing campaign, including the design and development of communications materials such as flyers, menus and packaging.

“We are grateful for the Shannon Foundation’s support, “Keiser said. “Community partnerships are a focus of our strategic plan and will add a tremendous amount of value to this innovative approach to learning,” she added.

In addition to CATEC, the Shannon Foundation awarded $8,137 to eight Albemarle County public schools in support of 15 programs.

Baker-Butler Elementary School teachers earned four awards for programs supporting the school’s garden; weather studies; video interviews celebrating the diversity of the school’s community; and a science project using Lego creations to demonstrate light, sound and movement.

Teachers at Crozet Elementary received three grants for STEM-related activities and for broadening their physical education program to incorporate dances from around the world.

Meriwether-Lewis and Stone-Robinson elementary school teachers each were awarded two grants. Students at the former school will study bird species and set up feeding stations and will design mazes to blend the study of history with current technology. Stone-Robinson teachers will use their grant awards to support a portable cooking station for students and to evaluate and recommend additions to the library collection to honor cultural diversity.

Brownsville and Hollymead elementary schools, Jouett Middle School, and Western Albemarle High School each received single grants: at Brownsville to use electric connections to animate art work; at Hollymead for a butterfly garden; at Jouett to create architectural mosaics; and at Western to study past and current issues important to women as portrayed in various art forms.

The Edgar and Eleanor Shannon Foundation for Excellence in Public Education was established in 1990 to provide funds to public school teachers in the city and county for use in innovative programming. The Foundation is named for University of Virginia President Emeritus Edgar F. Shannon, Jr., and his wife, Eleanor, in honor of their contributions to public education over many years.

According to the Shannon Foundation, teachers who have received grants have documented an increase in student test scores and greater enthusiasm for learning among students. All administrative costs for the foundation are funded through contributions from its board of directors, so 100 percent of monies received from the public are used for school projects.

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