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Lucerne Valley Public Education Foundation Donates Over $3,500 to Support Early Literacy

LVUSD Staff Report
The Lucerne Valley Public Education Foundation recently approved over $3,500 to support programs at Lucerne Valley Elementary School.
The foundation is a charitable organization registered as a 501c3 in the United States that operates under the belief that strong schools build strong communities. The organization is committed to the support of helping children build foundational skills through early literacy, to support programs within the district, and to support other areas as needed.
The foundation is inspired by the creativity and innovation we see in our public school classrooms, said Lucerne Valley Unified School District Superintendent Peter Livingston, a member of the Foundation’s board.
“By supporting our schools in helping build their foundational skills and supporting other programs we are creating a better future for our students and for our community. The grants issued are all in support of the school and go above and beyond the curriculum.”
Joining Mr. Livingston on the board are Chuck Bell, whose late wife Julia Bell was a beloved educator, school principal and school board member, local banker Brooke Diegmiller, LVES Booster Club President Sarah Courtney, longtime educator Vici Miller, and the school district’s Chief Business Official Doug Beaton.
“Chuck Bell has been an integral part of building the mission and vision of this foundation to support early literacy projects for our district in our early learning center,” Mr. Livingston said. “He wants to see our students get the necessary support in the early learning center to be successful in school.”
“This foundation supports the Julia Bell Early Learning Center,” said longtime school board member Tom Courtney. “Julia’s heart was reading to children. She always volunteered to do this.”
Programs supported include technology to help third-graders have more opportunity for hands on learning in literacy above and beyond the curriculum, sets of chapter books for small group reading for second graders, additional resources to support curriculum in first grade, a purchase of books to support the community at the school literacy evening, a handwriting curriculum for our Transitional Kindergarten and Kindergarten students, and leveled reading books for first grade.
Last year the foundation supported bilingual books for a take home program with English Learners so students could read with their parents who may not speak English and resources for our intervention program for take home reading.
The foundation enables teachers to fund programs, activities and related supplies that they otherwise couldn’t afford, according to LVES teacher Laura Raschke.
“We are planning to host a Literacy Night in the Fall and I was hoping to be able to have a variety of books available the evening of the event,” Raschke said. “Each student who attends the event with their family would be able to choose a book to take home and keep. Without the grant to fund this opportunity, I would not be able to personally fund it.”
Teacher Liu Hirschhorn is looking forward to implementing a “decodable text” program for her students, partially funded by the foundation. Decodable texts are sequenced to incorporate words consistent with the letters and corresponding words taught to new readers. As a result, new readers can decipher words with their new skills.

Teacher Christine Fuller and other TK and Kinder teachers will be using a new penmanship program this year thanks to the Lucerne Valley Public Education Foundation. Handwriting Heroes is a multi-sensory program developed by an occupational therapist that reinforces teaching of letters and their sounds as well as letter formation.
“Many of our students come to us with weak fine motor skills, so we are excited to get this resource,” Fuller said. “It is so great that the foundation is so willing to support our little learners with what they need.”
Mr. Courtney, whose daughter Sarah Courtney serves on the foundation board and as president of the LVES Booster Club, sees the foundation’s assistance as a key to the school district’s continued commitment to its students.
“My dream now is to utilize the learning center for Pre-K and TK as it was meant to be,” Mr. Courtney said. “We have an opportunity to educate our youngest and fully prepare them for a life of learning.”

To make a contribution via mail to the Lucerne Valley Public Education Foundation you can mail contribution to:


First Mountain Bank

Lucerne Valley Public Education Foundation

PO Box 2100

Lucerne Valley, 92356


Or you can visit First Mountain Bank if you would like to make a contribution.