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Wonders of Nature, Open to All; SEF initiative helps all students

Every year, fifth graders across the district travel to Walden West in Saratoga for a week of immersive learning among the redwoods, studying plants, observing animals, and learning about science in a way that is impossible to replicate in the classroom.

Until last year, students engaged in individual fund-raising activities to help offset the cost of the camp. Now, thanks to a partnership initiated by Sunnyvale Education Foundation (SEF), all fees for all students district-wide are covered at the district level, with substantial funding support from SEF.

“Science Camp really is the capstone of the fifth-grade experience,” said SEF President, Michelle Eugeni. “We are delighted to be able to partner with the District to cover fees for all students, to make sure it’s easy for everyone to participate. 

SEF is an all-volunteer-run organization that raises funds for field trips, special assemblies, arts, music, STEM projects, and a variety of other enrichments to benefit students at all District schools. Its work is in full alignment with the district’s education priorities, so equity is at the forefront of its interests. Its science camp initiative is just one example of how it puts its principles of equity and inclusion into action every day.

“We are so grateful to have Sunnyvale Education Foundation, a team that is fully aligned with our work to provide equitable learning opportunities for students,” said Superintendent Michael Gallagher. “Science camp is just one of many such initiatives boosted by the Foundation’s support.”

Look for more SEF highlights and its impact in future issues of the District Digest. For more information about SEF check out their website here:

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