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California Missions FoundationApril 2011  
Latest News from California Missions Foundation

Dear Friends,

There's nowhere quite like California in the springtime: warm days, clear skies, and green hillsides abound. It's the perfect time of year to get out of the house and visit one of our state's 21 historic missions! Visit our website to find the mission nearest to you. Why not pack a lunch and make a day of it?


In this newsletter, we have a report on our educational program, "All Aboard the Bus." By helping disadvantaged schools arrange field trips to several California missions, we're providing the sort of cultural enrichment that is often lacking in these days of drastic budget cuts. We're extremely proud of what we've achieved, and we look forward to expanding the program in the future. Read below for more information, along with photos and quotes from teachers and students.


Also below, you'll find a brief report on our spring Board meeting, which was held at Mission San Antonio de Padua.


And finally, we've recently released our Annual Report for 2010. It covers our major activities for last year, as well as information on grants, etc. You can click the image below to view a PDF version of the Annual Report:


[ Click to view the full 2010 Annual Report. ] 

As always, please feel free to . And if you have questions, comments, or ideas for topics you'd like us to address in future newsletters, please don't hesitate to reply to this email. We love hearing from you!

[ Photo of Knox Mellon ]

Dr. Knox Mellon
Executive Director
California Missions Foundation

AATB:"All Aboard the Bus" Program Puts Kids in Touch with History   

[ Photo from Del Rosa Elementary's visit to Mission San Gabriel ]Thanks to a very generous $22,000 grant from the William H. Hannon Foundation, CMF has been able to greatly expand the reach of our "All Aboard the Bus" program for 2011. Now in its fifth year, "All Aboard the Bus" is our primary educational outreach program, making funds available for fourth grade students and their teachers to visit California's historic missions.

This year, "All Aboard the Bus" will allow 4,200 students and 450 adult chaperones from 44 L.A. area schools to visit Missions San Gabriel, San Fernando, San Juan Capistrano, and La Purisima. In addition to giving money for bus transportation, the California Missions Foundation also provides teaching materials to the fourth grade teachers.

We firmly believe that the experience of visiting a mission in person makes a real difference for students, helping them see the missions' critical place in California's history. We are particularly pleased that most of the participating schools are Title 1 schools, whose students generally could not afford to visit a mission.  

[ Photo from Del Rosa Elementary's visit to Mission San Gabriel ]Here are a few quotes from teachers and students who have benefited from CMF's "All Aboard the Bus" program:

"The trip to San Gabriel Mission would not have been possible without your organization's contribution. Our school is located in a lower income part of Los Angeles, and our funds are very limited. This trip was very helpful and meaningful to our students." (Leah Losser, Wisdom Academy for Young Scientists)

"Thank you for your generosity. Our trip to San Gabriel Mission was a success! We were assigned a very informed and prepared docent, who kept the students' attention throughout the tour. Because of budget cuts, your contribution allowed us to take this trip." (Connie Padilla, Capistrano Elementary School)

[ Photo from Del Rosa Elementary's visit to Mission San Gabriel ]"When you gave us the tour, I learned a lot about the kitchen and how to make wines. I learned the names of the bells, which were awesome. I liked the cannons, especially the big one. I am very, very grateful." (Fourth grader whose class visited Mission San Gabriel)

"The materials provided were very helpful. The students enjoyed learning about the California missions and were able to relate their assignments and projects with a real live mission. Thank you so much for such a great and wonderful experience for the students and for myself." (Delia Cuevas, St. Aloysius School)

"The 4th grade staff and students are so thankful for our field trip grant! This is a wonderful opportunity for our students to get a close-up view of our California history, and we could not have done it without you.We love our new posters and learning kits, too!" (Del Rosa Elementary School)


As you see, "All Aboard the Bus" has been a great success. You can help us expand the program to the Central Coast and Bay Area by sponsoring a school's visit to a mission. Contact the CMF office at info@californiamissionsfoundation.org or 831.622.7500 to make a personal connection with a school. Costs range from $400 to $1,400.


Board:CMF Board Visits Mission San Antonio for March Meeting   

The California Missions Foundation held its spring Board meeting at beautiful Mission San Antonio de Padua, where we received a report from Joan Steele, the mission's executive director, on their current projects. The Grants Committee laid out guidelines for the 2011 Missions Grants program, while the Development Committee discussed a variety of ways to raise more funds so that the Foundation can give even more money to missions. The Public Relations Committee discussed a membership program and greater outreach to the public.

[ Photo of CMF Board members at Mission San Antonio de Padua for the March board meeting. ]

Of course, we also took some time to tour the mission and look at the restoration work that is underway. It's always gratifying to see the fruits of our labor, and to hear comments like these from Joan Steele:

"Thank you so much for bringing such wonderful people to Mission San Antonio this weekend. I enjoyed meeting all of them. Once again, thank you for ALL you've done and continue to do for all the Missions of California. May God continue to bless you bountifully for all your hard work and care on behalf of these precious gems from California's past."

[ Photo of Jim Lazarus ]FAMILY LINK 

The March meeting provided a special opportunity for board member Jim Lazarus to visit Mission San Antonio and the town of Jolon, where his family has roots. His great-grandparents, Maria Edurijes Verdugo and Horatio Yates, were married in Jolon on March 18, 1887. His grandmother, Elise Yates, was born in Jolon on April 2, 1892. Interestingly, Maria Edurijes Verdugo was a direct descendant of Manuel Butron, a Spanish soldier who was with Father Serra at the founding of the Carmel Mission in the late 1700s. No wonder Jim has such dedication to preserving these treasures of California's history!

How can you help to preserve California's historic missions?

Learn about ways you can donate!  

[ Learn how you can donate to the California Missions Foundation ]
About California Missions Foundation

Nothing defines California's heritage as significantly or emotionally as do the 21 missions that were founded along the coast from San Diego to Sonoma. Their beauty, stature and character underlie the formation of California. All 21 missions are California Historical Landmarks; many have also been designated National Historic Landmarks. The missions are among the most popular tourist destinations in the state, attracting millions of visitors each year.

Founded in 1998, the California Missions Foundation was established with the objective of preserving and protecting the missions. The Foundation is the only organization dedicated to the long-term preservation and restoration needs of all California missions and their associated historic and cultural resources for public benefit.

Visit us online at www.californiamissionsfoundation.org.
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