Charity

Engage With KidWorks: Attend an Event

Editor’s note:  Our latest blog series is called “Engage With KidWorks.”  We’re excited to share the variety of meaningful—and fun—ways you can become part of the KidWorks experience.  In our second installment, we invite you to attend one of our exciting and uplifting KidWorks events.

KidWorks isn't only about homework.  We also like to have fun!

That’s why we’re delighted to invite you to one of the many events we hold each year to raise funds, engage with the central Santa Ana Community and enjoy our students’ many talents.


Check out some of the fun stuff we have planned for 2017:
 

Community Events
The community fairs are much-anticipated events where families from the surrounding neighborhoods come together to share friendship, play games, relax, enjoy snacks and just have fun.  These are the fairs planned for this year:

March 18:  Bishop Manor Intergenerational Health Fair

April 22:  Dia del Niño Myrtle St. Resource Fair

August 19: Townsend-Raitt St. Resource Fair

 

KidWorks Classic Golf Tournament
Whether you’re a scratch golfer or simply appreciate the chance to play a premier course, KidWorks invites you to make your reservation now for our fifth annual KidWorks Classic Golf Tournament, to be held Thursday, May 18 at the beautiful Pelican Hill Golf Course in Newport Beach.

For more information, please contact Lisa Gels, Manager of Partnerships & Donor Relations: phone: (714) 619-7560 or email: lisa.gels@kidworksoc.org

 

Foundation for Success Luncheon
We invite you to attend our annual luncheon, that for the past three years, the Orange County Business Journal has listed as one of the top five fundraising luncheons.

For each of its 10 years, the event has featured an extraordinary keynote speaker.  It’s also instrumental in helping us raise a substantial portion of the funds for our after-school programs.

This year’s event details are coming soon!

For more information, please contact Lisa Gels, Manager of Partnerships & Donor Relations: phone: (714) 619-7560 or email: lisa.gels@kidworksoc.org
 

Music Concerts Featuring KidWorks Students
Many of KidWorks students have exceptional musical talent.  To experience their gifts firsthand, please consider attending these upcoming events:

Wednesday, March 22, 7:00 p.m.: Concert event at Super Antojitos restaurant in Tustin. The event will feature a short five-song set with students in KidWorks Avanti musical program.  There will also be a set with Avanti founder and professional musician, Joe Cristina and guitarist/vocalist Tiago Costa.  There is no cover charge.

S
unday, April 30, 3 p.m. St. Andrews Presbyterian Church in Newport Beach: “Imago Dei” concert hosted by Jenny Park. This event will feature students from Jenny’s music academy, other local musical groups and selected Avanti students.  The concert is free.

 

By Glenn Leibowitz, Volunteer Content Writer

Engage With KidWorks: The Joy of Giving

Editor’s note:  Our latest blog series is called “Engage With KidWorks.”  We’re excited to share the variety of meaningful—and fun—ways you can become part of the KidWorks experience.  In our first installment, we share research that shows how monetary donations to non-profits like KidWorks not only make a sustained meaningful impact—they also make us feel better as people!

A widely acclaimed Harvard Business School research paper published in 2009 (“Feeling Good About Giving”) concluded that those who give a monetary donation to those in need “reported higher levels of happiness.”

In the words of those researcher:  "Happier people give more and giving makes people happier, such that happiness and giving may operate in a positive feedback loop."

And there’s the Gallup World Poll conducted between 2006 and 2008 that found people who donated to charity “reported a greater satisfaction with life.”

Finally, consider these statistics from the Do Good Live Well survey of 4,500 U.S. adults who supported a charity:  68 percent reported that it made them feel physically healthier, 89 percent that it “has improved my sense of well-bring” (e.g., happiness) and 73 percent that it “lowered my stress levels.”

Our KidWorks supporters are among the most generous people we know.  So, if giving equates to happiness, maybe that’s why our volunteers and contributors have such positive outlooks on life.

Need a lift today?  Consider making a donation to your friends at KidWorks!

 

By Glenn Leibowitz, Volunteer Content Writer

KidWorks Teacher Spotlight: Brizzy Cruz

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      Photo :  Brizzy (center) with third-graders, Rosisela (left) and Monserat

Photo:  Brizzy (center) with third-graders, Rosisela (left) and Monserat

Sometimes, a fresh apple and half a ham sandwich are exactly the enticements a first grader needs to warm up to our after school programs.

Not too long ago, that simple act of hospitality was how Brizzy Cruz, Site Director at our Bishop Manor Center, convinced little Amariis and her mom, Jenny Heng, to give KidWorks after school programs a try.

“They were a little hesitant at first, but now Amariis is one of our most enthusiastic students and her mom and I have developed a wonderful bond,” Brizzy says.  “She and her daughter know this is always a safe place, even if the neighborhood isn’t.”

Like all of our centers, Bishop Manor is intentionally located in an underserved central Santa Ana neighborhood.  This schoolroom opened five years ago, and Brizzy has been the center’s leader for two years.

“What makes Bishop Manor so unique is that all of the students literally walk over from the apartments where the center is located,” Brizzy says.  “In addition of the Hispanic students who are enrolled in our programs, we also welcome Cambodian students who live in the complex.  That’s unique to this KidWorks location.”

As soon as she arrives at the center, the warmth between she and her students is evident.  “Ms. Brizzy!  Ms. Brizzy!” they call out enthusiastically, as the schoolroom fills with students plopping down backpacks and pulling out their homework.

Brizzy takes a vibrant, creative approach to teaching.

“I never want the lessons or conversations to be one-way,” she says.  “I always involve the students, letting them be expressive and hands-on.”

For example, instead of just reciting the four seasons of the year, Brizzy encourages them draw pictures of the seasons, describe them and spell them correctly.

“I use the ‘I do, you do’ approach where the kids watch me do something and then they get to try it out,” she says.  “It’s experiential learning, with defined boundaries.”

Brizzy joined KidWorks as a volunteer in 2006 and joined the staff one year later.

For Brizzy, the classroom is just one way to form a strong relationship with her students and their families.

“Since they live in apartments just steps away from our center, I regularly drop by to visit, send notes home and telephone,” she says.  “It’s all about gaining trust, making the kids want to be at the center and for the parents to feel the same.”

Outside of her KidWorks’ duties, Brizzy loves all forms of dance, plays volleyball and is an avid reader.  In October 2015 she married Victor, an electrical technician with the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Brizzy, thank you for the many years you have made every one of your students feel special as you help each live up to his or her full potential!

KidWorks Teacher Spotlight: Dianna Valdez

Editor’s note:  In the fourth story in our “The Teachers” blog series, we celebrate Dianna Valdez, Site Director of our Cedar Evergreen Center.

Dianna Valdez stands in front of her small classroom filled with about a dozen first and second graders.  She has a question for them as they work through snacks consisting of half a sandwich, an apple, baby carrots, yoghurt and milk.

“What is the opposite of ‘first’?” she asks.

“Second?” one student tentatively volunteers.

“Not exactly,” Dianna gently answers.

“Last!” first grader Adrian says confidently.

“That’s correct,” Dianna says, handing him a sticker that he proudly affixes next to the others on his yellow homework folder.

If Dianna seems like a natural-born teacher, it’s probably because she’s been at it awhile—since she was seven years old, in fact!

“I had a four-year-old cousin, and instead of playing house or dress-up, I was the teacher and she was my student,” Dianna says.  “I taught her to read, and to this day my uncle thanks me for doing that.”

Dianna has been a valued member of the KidWorks team for three years, and has led our Cedar Evergreen Center since it opened.  From its humble beginnings where only a handful of students attended after school programs, Cedar Evergreen now serves 55 students in grades kindergarten through 12.

She thanks Art Quiroz, Program Leader at Cedar Evergreen, for helping her make the center such a vital part of the surrounding community.

Dianna grew up in Santa Ana and she has a heart for the underserved.  She knows firsthand what it’s like for a family to struggle.  Dianna, along with her four brothers, was raised by a single mother who worked three jobs to support them.

Dianna also says her personal teaching style evolved from her own experiences as a youngster in elementary school.

“I was a pretty quiet child and probably an average student,” she says.  “I saw how the ones who got the most attention were those who were either always in trouble or those who were superstars.  Students like me kind of faded into the background.”

Her own approach is the opposite; it’s to involve each and every student.

“We’re all multi-layered, and so I try to see all parts of the student, including the spiritual, intellectual, psychological, emotional and physical,” she says. “I see those layers in every student I serve; they are a soul as well.”

A recent example of Dianna’s caring heart was when she noticed a kindergarten boy had not shown up to class for over a week.

“We value each child in our programs, and I eventually found out that this boy had been in the hospital to have his appendix out,” Dianna says.  “I had all his classmates write little ‘get well’ notes, and I brought them to him at his home, along with crayons and a coloring book.”

The little boy fully recovered and happily returned to the Cedar Evergreen Center as soon as he was able.

Outside of her teaching duties, Dianna enjoys hiking and is and perhaps the biggest Disneyland fan you’ll ever meet.

“I go to the park about a dozen times a year,” she confesses.  Thunder Mountain is her favorite attraction.

Dianna is also a person of deep Christian faith, and very active in her church, Templo Calvario in Santa Ana, where she serves as Assistant Director of Youth.

Dianna, thanks for sharing your deep passion for teaching with every student under your care, and for seeing him or her as individuals with limitless potential.

Your January Hope Report is here!

Did you receive the KidWorks January Hope Report in your mailbox this week? If not, check it out HERE.

Want a hard copy? No problem! Copies are available at the KidWorks Dan Donahue Center. Pick up at the front desk Monday - Friday, 9am - 5pm, 1902 W. Chestnut Avenue, Santa Ana, CA. 92703.  

Don't miss out on all the latest and greatest from KidWorks! 

With a little help, a struggling student becomes a star

Our KidWorks teachers mean the world to us. They work so hard to provide our students with support, encouragement, and the tools they need to succeed. Our teachers are developing community leaders and agents of change in central Santa Ana. Teacher,  Rachel Cervantes, is no exception. Her commitment to her students goes unmatched. 

It’s a fact:  In any school, some students struggle a little bit more than others.

That’s where the compassion of KidWorks teachers and volunteers really kicks into high gear. 

Our mission is for every student to perform at his or her full potential.

Recently, Rachel Cervantes, a Program Leader at our Dan Donahue Center, helped a fourth grade boy overcome some behavioral issues and gain confidence.

“When Eduardo (not his real name) first joined the program this summer, we could see that he was going to be a handful!” Rachel said.  “He was easily distracted and that impacted all the other students.”

Yet, by working with Eduardo and his mom, a corner was soon turned.

Today, the words Rachel uses to describe Eduardo are “lively,” “sensitive” and “helpful.”

She also thanks Jessica Ellis, Site Director, Dan Donahue Center, for her guidance.  Jessica suggested ways to involve Eduardo and his mom in monitoring his behavior both at home and at our center.  It’s helped point Eduardo in the right direction.

“I am thankful for Jessica’s guidance, instruction and for her heart for the kids,” Rachel says.

We are proud of students like Eduardo, and forever grateful to teachers like Rachel and all our volunteers who make a permanent positive difference in the lives of those we serve.

 

By Glenn Leibowitz, Volunteer Content Writer

2016 KidWorks Luncheon Sponsors

We're just a few weeks away from the 10 Year Anniversary of our annual Foundation for Success Luncheon--and it promises to be the best yet.  Thanks so much to all of our generous sponsors and supporters for making this event so great each year.  

There's still time to secure a sponsorship for your company, foundation or organization.  Click Here for more details!

We looking forward to seeing everyone on Thursday, November 17th at 11:30 at the Double Tree Hotel in Santa Ana!

Thank You To Our 2016 Sponsors!

 

PRESENTING SPONSORS

Heidi & Ruben Mendoza

FOUNDATION SPONSOR
Bank of America Merrill Lynch

DIAMOND SPONSOR
Donahue Schriber

PLATINUM SPONSORS
Donahue Family
Opus Community Foundation
U.S. Bank
Greg & Stacey Brown

GOLD SPONSORS
CBRE
C.J. Segerstrome
Cox, Castle & Nicholson LLP
Frome Family Foundation
Homan Family Foundation
Rutan & Tucker, LLP
Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP
Stuart Kane LLP
Waste Management
Wells Fargo/Eastdil Secured

SILVER SPONSORS
Bank of the West
BBVA Compass

BRONZE SPONSORS
Banc of California
City National Bank
Deloitte
D&R Investments
Fidelity National Title
Goodwin Procter, LLP
Jones Day
McKenna BMW Porsche Audi
Milan Capital Management, Inc.
R.D. Olson Development
Schriber Family
Scott S. Pollard Trustee/Winslow Maxwell Charitable Trust
Ware Disposal, Inc./Madison Materials
Waypoint Property Group

PEARL SPONSORS
Bixby Land Company
California Bank and Trust
CDSRVS
Kinecta Federal Credit Union
Raintree Partners
Shea Home/Shea Properties
Steve and Stephanie Rados
Squar Milner
The Camille and Tim Strader Jr. Family
Warren Lortie & Associates

(Sponsors Committed as of 10/27/2016)

Foundation for Success: Helping to fund our programs for 10 years

Editor’s note:  We are pleased to present the fourth story in our latest blog series, “Foundation for Success: 10 Year Anniversary Celebration.”  In this installment, we describe how the dollars raised go such a long way to support the after-school programs at our Dan Donahue Center.

 Each school week, hundreds of students stream into our Dan Donahue Center to grow academically, learn about the arts, develop spiritually and maybe even toss a basketball around for a few minutes.

Each of these experiences—and more—in some measure or another are funded by the Foundation for Success luncheon, our premier event of the year. 

Over 10 years, $4.3 million (net) has been raised at our Foundation for Success luncheons.  Each dollar has had a tremendous impact on the lives of each of our students.

For example, for the past two years 100% of KidWorks students graduated high school on time and continued on to colleges and universities (a much higher percentage than in Santa Ana schools overall).

The majority of the luncheon’s costs are underwritten or covered by sponsors, meaning that almost every dollar raised goes towards helping the over 800 children, youth and families we serve.

As the 2016 luncheon nears, we invite everyone to be part of one of Orange County’s most anticipated non-profit events—one that for the past three years, the Orange County Business Journal has listed as one of the top five fundraising luncheons.

 

Foundation for Success:
For more information about the Foundation for Success event, or to purchase tickets, please visit: http://kidworksoc.org/foundation-for-success

To purchase tickets, please click here