Ventura Education Partnership Announces $42,500 in Funding to VUSD Teachers

Ventura Education Partnership (VEP) is excited to announce $42,500 in funding to Ventura Unified School District teachers to enhance existing visual and performing arts programs. These grants are funded through the Big Bad Voodoo Daddy benefit concert in April 2016 celebrating the City of Ventura’s 150th anniversary.

Members of the band will be on-hand at Plaza Park in downtown Ventura to personally present the checks to grant recipients on Monday, August 22nd at 4pm.

“We were honored to work with Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and the City of Ventura to support art and music programs in our schools, and we are grateful for the participation of our community. These partnerships directly benefit students and enrich our City in both the short and long term.”  Sabrena Rodriguez, President, Ventura Education Partnership

City of Ventura Mayor Erik Nasarenko said, “The arts are an integral part of living in Ventura and the City is proud to support VEP so our student’s creativity is nourished and their love for the arts continues to grow.”

Funded Projects:

$10,000 total in sheet music purchases for music programs at Ventura and Buena High Schools, and Anacapa, Balboa, Cabrillo and DATA Middle Schools.

Paul Hunt, teacher at Ventura High School, was awarded $5000 for String Instrument Purchases. This grant will allow for the purchase of five large string instruments to support growth in their award-winning music program.

Linda Ulfers, teacher at Ventura High was awarded $2080 for Art All Over. The grant builds the visual arts program by promoting student art across the campus.

Joel Levin, teacher/librarian at Buena High received $4890 for From Stage to Computer Screen to Streaming. This grant will provide music students with the opportunity to capture their live performances for self-study, sharing, and promotion.


Mario Boccali, teacher at Cabrillo Middle School received $5000 for Musical Instrument Purchase. The new musical instruments support growth in the music program, enable students to participate in music, and improve musical achievement.

Lena Layman, teacher at Balboa Middle School received $1700 for Let the Show Go On. This grant allows the Drama Club to put on another spectacular theatrical performance.

Marianne Elcar, teacher at Balboa Middle School received $5000 for a New Kiln. A new kiln allows for continuation of the clay sculpture design program and supports 6th grade social studies classes in study of Meso America and Greek Culture

Clinton Cody, teacher at Balboa Middle School received $5000 for Sound Equipment. Having this equipment will allow both the Percussion Ensemble and the Jazz Band to accurately perform in their various live performance venues.

Paul Browne, Music Specialist received $3830 for Creative Drum Circles. This grant purchases hand drums and other multicultural percussion equipment to be used by 3rd-5th graders in VUSD to create and perform sophisticated rhythms.

ABOUT VEPGRANTS: VEPGrants provide educational grants to VUSD teachers and staff to develop creative, educational projects that will benefit and stimulate student learning.

VEPGrants are awarded through two main grant cycles in the Spring and Fall. Additionally, special grant cycles are established as special funding opportunities arise such as this one. Materials, hardware, software, etc. purchased with VEPGrant funds become VUSD property. In 2015, VEP awarded $96,510 through 98 individual grants.

ABOUT VENTURA EDUCATION PARTNERSHIP: Ventura Education Partnership (VEP) is a community based, non-profit, all volunteer organization. VEP is an education foundation dedicated to the VUSD learning community. Our mission is to support and enrich education in the Ventura Unified School District through community partnerships. The VEPGrant Program, Festival of Talent, SummerFest and StoryFest are four core annual programs. For more information


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