VENTURA : School Fund-Raising Group Nears Goal

The Ventura Unified School District Educational Foundation is nearly halfway toward its goal of raising $50,000 this school year for Ventura’s public schools, the organization president said last week.

The nonprofit group has received donations from corporations and small businesses in the city amounting to about $15,000, foundation president Virginia Mendoza O’Neil said.

The group also received an anonymous pledge of support from a business owner who is sponsoring two math and science teachers this year, including purchasing classroom equipment, O’Neil said. The gift will total about $9,000, she said.

The foundation began its “We Give Back to Schools” campaign drive in September. Money from the drive will be given to 10 Ventura teachers in individual grants of $500 each. A foundation committee will decide in January which teachers receive the grants, O’Neil said. Awards are given in the areas of fine arts, literature, science and math.


In addition, $2,000 will be given to the district’s Artist in the Classroom program, which the foundation co-sponsors with the city and the Ventura Arts Council, O’Neil said.

Donations from about 50 businesses have generally ranged from $35 to $500. Chuck Smith, the owner of K. B. Roberts gift stores, pledged a minimum of $1,000 to the drive, O’Neil said.