News from FUTURES Foundation for Volusia County Schools
Celebrating 25 Years of Support for Volusia County's Public Schools
   FUTURES Education Foundation

Established in 1985 to increase business and community involvement in public schools and to provide programs and activities beyond the financial capabilities of the school district, the nonprofit foundation is the only organization that provides assistance to all public schools in Volusia County.

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Look for a new monthly column from FUTURES in each month's issue!
Volusia County Schools
      Volusia County Schools

Upcoming Events
Mar. 22: Tomorrow's Leaders -- Strategic Advocacy and Graduation Preparation

April 12: Turn Around application deadline

April 14: Mini-Grant Evaluation forms distributed

April 15: Take Stock in Children Leadership Council

April 20: Turn Around judging
April 21: FUTURES Board meeting; more Turn Around judging

For details, visit

Spring Forward
and Turn Around

In April, FUTURES has scheduled an application deadline and judging for Turn Around, a program that recognizes students who have turned over a new leaf.

Part of Volusia County School's drop-out prevention program, Turn Around seeks middle and high school students who make marked improvements in school involvement and citizenship.

The principal of each school, with the input of guidance counselors and teachers, will recommend three students per grade level. A FUTURES committee then reviews the written recommendations and selects one student per grade for formal recognition.

All nominees will receive a certificate that will be mailed to his or her school next month, with a request that it be presented to the student during an appropriate school program.
All winners and their parents will be invited to an awards ceremony at Jackie Robinson Stadium, followed by a Daytona Cubs game.
Click the daisy for more details.
Flower and butterfly

Welcome to Island Time on April 30 for FUTURES'
7th Annual Caribbean Party
Soon it will be a dessert -- not a desert -- island!
palm tree


Don't forget to take your appetite along for FUTURES' seventh annual Caribbean Party on April 30. The evening's caterer plans such island-inspired fare as mojo-marinated pork loin with roasted corn and black bean salsa, Caribbean jerk kebabs and sauteed Key lime marinated chicken.      

The Caribbean Party usually features music and games, but a new addition this year will have a seaside twist: hermit crab races (warm up for the evening's racing by clicking here for an interactive online game). Also expect to see and taste sponsored buffet stations at the Caribbean Party -- such as the event's famous chocolate fountain -- and, beforehand, look for new incentives and rewards for all levels of sponsorship, from Teacher ($500) to Superintendent ($2,500) status.

Reservations are now available for the party itself, beginning at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 30, in the Riverfront Center at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, 134 N. Halifax Ave., Daytona Beach.

Make plans to attend and enjoy gourmet island cuisine prepared by Chef Papa's Catering, a longtime local favorite, and complimentary beer, wine and beverages.The cost is $60 each, and all money raised will support FUTURES programs.
For tickets or Caribbean Party sponsorship opportunities, contact Beth Butera, FUTURES Director, at (386) 255-6475, ext. 50730.
Bowl-A-Thon Fundraiser Goes to the Final Pin
Bowl-A-Thon click

With a final Wii Bowl for Volusia Schools session on March 6 and the last Bowl-A-Thon event of 2010 at Ormond Lanes on March 14, FUTURES wrapped up another successful fundraiser.

We'd like to thank Sam's Club for providing the location, the use of Wii equipment and two volunteers to help us staff the Bowl-A-Thon's new virtual component for a day. This year's Wii bowling raised $2,395, including $685 from sales of tickets for a single game that also gave each purchaser a chance at trophies and a raffle ticket for a drawing at Sam's. Our great FUTURES board members sold additional chance tickets to give us the remaining $1,710. 

Also, much appreciation goes to File Tech and Giles Electric for donating the two Wii systems that were awarded after the drawing and to Script Express for donating 18-inch trophies to award to the highest scorers in four age categories.

For fundraising totals from all schools and participating businesses, please, check our April newsletter. Thank you to everyone who participated in Bowl-A-Thon 2010.

Students Maximize their Mini-Grant Experiences This Spring

As the season changes, Mini-Grant achievements are sprouting at schools all over Volusia County.

At Blue Lake Elementary in DeLand, ESE teacher Jean A. MacCoy is tending a garden of lifelong readers. Her "Read To Succeed" project, funded by just $170 from the FUTURES Mini-Grant program, is helping to improve the reading skills of about 150 students, mostly second-graders.     

Read Naturally logoBlue Lake already possessed at least five levels of "Read Naturally," a highly regarded but expensive reading program, Ms. MacCoy says. Before the grant, one teaching assistant was working with four students at a time on the program. A fellow teacher at the school explained how a small investment of money and volunteer time could make "Read Naturally" accessible to many more struggling readers. "She planted the seed," Ms. MacCoy recalls. After writing the grant request and gaining approval, Ms. MacCoy purchased battery-powered CD players -- about $21 each at Walmart -- plus kitchen timers and batteries, in order for children to listen to the program individually through headphones the school already owned. Getting volunteer hours from Daytona State College education majors was part of the grant-writing process.

"The results are wonderful. They always are," Ms. MacCoy says. "A lot of times, students get dropped because they're doing so well, and we pick up others." Students "graduating" from the program are sad to go, but a prize box helps. Some of the most popular items in the box this cool winter were hats and mittens knitted by "Read Naturally" volunteer  Mrs. Linda Duchesneau -- the children call her Mrs. D.

At Deltona's Sunrise Elementary, kindergarten teacher Ms. Amie Metz-Dalton's students have been using Math Learning Bags, created with a $1,200 Mini-Grant, almost since the beginning of the school term. "They are giving our students more of an opportunity to do hands-on activities and increasing memory skills," Ms. Metz-Dalton says. 

"Beverly Habig, as well as Jamie Hinson and Karen Sarokon, are members of my team who helped in getting this Mini-Grant," she adds. The 85 bags include hands-on manipulatives to help with 2D and 3D shapes, sorting materials and sorting trays, felt pieces with numbers on them to help with number recognition and counting, dice games to help with counting, tangible materials for counting, and graphs for graphing skills. "They have been a tremendous resource for our math centers.  We have seen a huge improvement in all of our students' scores because of them."

FUTURES awarded 103 Mini-Grants to Volusia County Schools teachers during a presentation at Mainland High School in Daytona Beach at the end of 2009. A total of $60,385 was awarded to teachers in amounts ranging from $150 to $1,500. Over 25 years of community support, FUTURES has funded more than 2,200 such Mini-Grants, totaling $1,126,681, thanks to generous sponsors.

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