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Stories written by jeanniem

Flowergrams aid earthquake survivors

   Ramona High School dance students wanted to do something to help victims of the earthquake in Haiti, so they decided to take half of the money raised by their “Flowergrams” fundraiser in February and donate it to those in need.
   “They are extremely happy to be helping,” said teacher Lynn Chastang. “They just want to do some good in the world. They came up with the idea for it on their own and I am so proud that they are thinking way beyond themselves.”
   The students raised $300 and are hoping the money will aid in giving survivors clean water and medical attention.

Montecito High forms first soccer team

   With so many talented soccer players attending Montecito High
School, it seemed only natural to start a team. So coach Mike Gallion
got to work and the team was born through the After School Safety and
Enrichment for Teens (ASSETs) after-school program.
   ASSETs is part of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers
program that was authorized in 1996 under federal law. The No Child
Left Behind Act of 2001 transferred the administration of this program
to the states, and Ramona Unified School District is among California
school districts receiving ASSETs grants.

Program aids students with emotional, behavioral problems

 In 1957, Vista Hill came on the scene in San Diego County to aid those struggling with mental illness.
   It started by opening the first private freestanding psychiatric
hospital in the area. Now, over 50 years later, the nonprofit
organization has  many accolades to its name and it has expanded into
just about every aspect of mental health care, including working with
families and schools in every community—big or small, rural or urban.
   For the past 11 years, it has been involved in the Ramona community
through its Learning Assistance Centers (LAC), which provides services
such as individual, group, and family therapy, case management support
to help link families to needed resources, behavioral support services
at school and at home, crisis intervention, and psychiatric evaluations
and medication monitoring.

Preschool program caters to special needs

   Finding the right preschool can be a tough task for parents—the
nervousness, separation anxiety   and hope that their child loves it.
After all, this is the child’s first experience with school, and every
parent wants it to be positive.
   For parents of special education students, the task can be even
tougher as the list of needs is even broader. Ramona Unified School
District offers a program just for special education preschoolers that
is in its 21st year at Ramona Elementary School.
The Special Education Preschool annually serves up to 90 children who
have a moderate to severe disability, and all disabilities are served
in the same program whether the child is autistic, deaf, blind,
orthopedically impaired, speech impaired or has any other disability.
All the services are offered at no charge, and busing is also available.

Third-graders wage campaigns to aid Haiti victims

 When third-graders in teacher Grant McNiff’s class heard about the
earthquake in Haiti, they immediately had it on their hearts to help.
   And when a third-grader in teacher Craig Croman’s class learned of
the disaster, she had an idea she and classmates put to work.
   “We came up with the idea for the project after talking about what
we saw and heard on the news,” said McNiff.

School district bands entertain at Winter Concert

Ramona school district music students presented their annual Winter Concert at Ramona High School on Friday evening.
   The concert featured the Ramona Unified School District Elementary
Band, Olive Peirce Middle School Band and Jazz Band, the Ramona High
School Royal Blues Jazz Band, and the Ramona High School Royal Alliance
Band and Guard.

State group honors school district with Golden Bell

   For most students the traditional model of school works. They arrive
on time, listen, learn, grow and graduate. Once they cross that stage,
they either go on to continue their success in college, trade schools,
or in the work force.
   But for others, school is a bit more of a challenge. It is either too fast, too slow, or they lack support.

Co-workers, students, boss agree: McKibbin should be Educator of Year

   If you asked teacher Casey McKibbin to name every student in the
seventh grade at Olive Peirce Middle School, she just might come close.
Even though she only has a third of them in her language arts
classroom, her extracurricular involvement has her serving nearly every
single one.

RHS ‘Change agent’ Robert Grace is finalist for Educator of the Year

   At Ramona High School, teacher Robert Grace is sort of a rock star.
He is liked and admired by all and has a personality that just draws
students and staff to him.  
   “He is a combination of zany Hawaiian shirt and mullet hair; cool
fast car and can fix anything; friendly uncle who will counsel you with
a problem, remind you to clean up your trash and to look someone in the
eye when you are talking to them,” said Joanne Parker co-class adviser
alongside Grace.

Target volunteers spruce up Ramona Elementary library

   Since 1946, Target has returned 5 percent of its income to the
community in support of education, the arts, social services and
volunteerism. Today, that amounts to about $3 million a week, and
Ramona Elementary was recently on the receiving end of this commitment.