SANTA YNEZ, CA – To assist Santa Barbara County schools that are struggling to meet the classroom technology needs of their students, the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians Foundation has donated over $70,000 to six area schools that applied for grants through its Technology in Schools Program for the 2023-24 school year.
The program encourages Santa Barbara County school administrators and faculty to apply for technology grant dollars to fund specific projects. These grants let schools purchase hardware, upgrade infrastructure, add high-tech resources and boost their curriculum.
This year’s recipients are Cabrillo High School in Lompoc, Santa Ynez Valley Christian Academy, Carpinteria High School, Lompoc High School, Dunn School in Los Olivos and La Honda STEAM Academy in Lompoc.
“We are proud to help these six schools enhance their students’ educational experience through our Tech in Schools Program,” said Kenneth Kahn, Tribal Chairman for the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians. “It’s great to see the innovative ways teachers and administrators in our community use technology to support their key programs and keep their students engaged.”
Cabrillo High School was awarded $10,000 and will use the funding to purchase and install a Neptune Systems monitoring system for a proposed reef exhibit in the school’s aquarium, part of the program’s Coastal Gallery Project. Through its aquarium, the school aims to promote cross-curricular, hands-on education and strives to emphasize its message of global marine awareness throughout the international community.
“We sincerely appreciate the ongoing generosity of the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians,” said Greg Eisen, Aquarium Director for Cabrillo High School. “The Technology in Schools Program grant will provide our students with cutting-edge life support and monitoring technology that will help ensure the health and well-being of our animals. In addition, such partnerships will provide students with unique opportunities and career-related skills within our newly established Career Technical Education pathway.”
Santa Ynez Valley Christian Academy was awarded $15,000, which will go toward purchasing 50 new Google Chromebooks.
“The Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians and their Technology in Schools Program has been a key foundational provider and supporter for our students at the Santa Ynez Valley Christian Academy since 2017,” said Scott Carleton, Principal for Santa Ynez Valley Christian Academy. “Their benevolence over the years has provided our students with new Chromebooks and equipped us to provide an online remote learning program during the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, their donation of $15,000 will provide Chromebooks for all our students along with classroom charging carts. Thanks to the partnership with the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians and their Technology in Schools Program, our students and faculty will continue to have the technological resources and opportunities available to them to help ensure educational success.”
Carpinteria High School was awarded $14,500 and will use this funding to purchase a projector, laptops, iPads, computers and a PA system to help create a teen center. The goal of the teen center is to foster positive mental health in a safe space, where teens receive academic and emotional support by bridging the gap between education, sports and after-school programs.
“Carpinteria High School wishes to thank the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians’ Technology in Schools Program for their generous support to our college and career center,” said Gerardo Cornejo, Principal for Carpinteria High School. “Their support will allow us to update the center and provide tools for our students to access information that will prepare them for their future. Thank you for your generous support.”
Lompoc High School was awarded $10,848 and will use the funding to help upgrade the lighting system in the Lompoc High Little Theatre. The high school was also awarded a separate $5,330 grant that will help purchase lab equipment for science classes.
Dunn School was awarded $15,000, which will go toward renovating its current library space into a multimedia center, part of their efforts to educate students to their fullest potential in preparation for a life of learning and responsible leadership in society.
La Honda STEAM Academy was awarded $2,000 and will use this funding to purchase hardware for a mini projector and whiteboard project that will eliminate paper use in classrooms. The academy’s mission is to nurture curious, independent learners who demonstrate success through collaborative, challenging project-based learning.
In 2015, the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians donated the proceeds from its annual charity golf tournament to four local schools in the form of technology grants. Inspired by the success of those grants, the tribe’s leadership created the Technology in Schools Program through its foundation to help fulfill the high-tech needs of classrooms in Santa Barbara County. Since its inception, the program has now issued more than $470,000 in grants to area schools.