Science, art, music, and resiliency programs. Funded by BESCA, supported by you.
Science is part of the common core curriculum provided by SJUSD. While this meets the requirements for science education, we believe science is much more valuable when you can be hands-on and experience it in action. BESCA partners with Schmahl Science Workshops to provide science workshops for every grade level. Schmahl believes "children are motivated to learn when their ideas are cultivated through the joy of designing and carrying out an experiment." The number of workshops during the school year vary by grade as follows: TK-1st grades: 4, 2nd grade: 5, 3rd grade: 7, 4th grade: 11, and 5th grade: 16.
Research shows that music education facilitates academic achievement by improving recall and retention of verbal information, advancing math skills, and boosting reading ability. Sadly, funding for music education has virtually been eliminated from public elementary schools in California without the help of organizations like BESCA. BESCA partners with Rhythm & Moves to provide music education based on the California Visual and Performing Arts Standards for music education. All students at Booksin receive 30 minutes of music education per week.
Recess is an integral part of the school day. This unstructured time is vital for optimizing a child's development. Yet it's also a challenging part of the day for the school staff, as a vast majority of conflict and behavior issues arise during recess. BESCA partners with Recess 101 to promote character building, conflict resolution, and social interaction skills for our students to build resiliency. Recess 101 provides a safe, healthy, and fun recess environment for our students.
In addition, each grade receives 1 structured Physical Education session with the Recess 101 staff per month.
Creativity is becoming one of the most essential skills in the workforce, yet funding for art in public education has been decimated. A Booksin parent volunteer created an entire curriculum for art education at Booksin to encourage imagination and expose students to multiple art styles and techniques. The program, called Art@Booksin, is 100% volunteer managed and led, with BESCA funding the cost of art materials. Every student receives eight art lessons per year with at least one lesson dedicated each to clay, collage, fiber art/weaving, drawing and painting. Every spring, the art program hosts an annual Art Show showcasing an art piece for every student at Booksin.
Booksin is proud to have a working community garden, known as The Bulldogs' Backyard Garden. This an outdoor classroom provides students a hands-on learning experience in life science. Every student is involved in the planning, maintenance, and harvesting of the garden. Students learn valuable gardening skills, taste fresh fruits and vegetables that they grow, and get the satisfaction of seeing the results of their hard work. The garden program is 100% volunteer managed and led, with BESCA funding the cost of supplies for the garden. Every student at Booksin receives a garden lesson once per month, and upper grade students can volunteer to be a 'Garden Guardian', where they help shape the direction of the garden.
Resiliency is a critical component to develop early and helps with conflict resolution, bullying, and facing fears. BESCA partners with Project Cornerstone Asset Building Champions, a program designed by the YMCA that teaches students strength, resiliency, and valuable social skills. Parent volunteers read a book to class, lead a group discussion and facility a class activity. Each book addresses a different subject and illustrates how students can develop skills to handle getting picked on at school, how to be a good/loyal friend, and how to face your fears. Each class receives one Project Cornerstone session per month.
There's nothing more fun for our students than field trips! Each grade level receives funds from BESCA to use toward field trip expenses for the year. Past field trips have included visits to Happy Hollow, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, State Parks, and many more! In addition, each year our 5th graders go to a week long science camp as part of their curriculum. BESCA supplements the cost of the camp to make sure it's an affordable trip for every student.
Teachers often spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars of their own money to buy supplies and materials for their classrooms. BESCA provides a fund for each teacher to use in their classroom to ensure they have what they need to successfully teach our students. We want our teachers to be free to give their best to our students without the personal financial burden.
Mileage Club is a fun activity for students during the lunch recess. Kids walk, run, or skip around a track to earn small foot tokens for each mile walked. It offers a safe, organized program where the kids get encouragement from parent volunteers. The kids LOVE this program and can participate for the full recess or just 5-10 minutes. In addition to the health benefits, Mileage Club reinforces resiliency skills such as: connection with a caring adult, positive peer influence, achievement motivation, and personal power. This fantastic program is currently on hiatus and is looking for an interested parent to lead the program. Contact us if you are interested.