Natomas School Competes For $5K Grant

THE NATOMAS BUZZ | @natomasbuzz
A Natomas school currently leads the race for a coveted, $5,000 Raley’s Reach grant.
At press time, about 350 votes kept Heron School ahead of 40 other Sacramento-area schools with only one week of voting left in the online competition. The school’s goal: to fill its science labs with equipment.
“We are working toward a science focus for Heron as a major academic component,” Principal Doug Orr said.
A science laboratory was originally planned for Heron School when it was first built. But when the school opened with 900-plus students in 2006, the lab space was needed for classrooms instead.

Currently, 7th and 8th graders take science theory and science lab – two separate science classes – each day. The school’s 6th grade has constructed a science lab complete with demonstrations and microscopes and plans are to do the same for 5th grade.

Orr said the hope is to expand the program to include all grade levels, even kindergartners.
“Eventually we would like to have a primary science lab for kindergarten through 2nd and an intermediate science lab for 3rd and 4th, with 5th through 8th all having labs,” he said. “When we accomplish this goal, we will be the only K-8 in the area with this ability.”
To date, outfitting the labs has required scavenging, gathering, intense planning and resourceful teachers and parents.
“We are well on our way but could use a boost,” Orr said. “That is where the (Raley’s Reach) grant comes in.”
If Heron School wins the Raley’s Reach grant, the $5,000 will be spent to buy additional supplies needed to help implement science programming campus wide.
Physical Science – Scales, Pulleys, Prisms, Lenses, Magnifiers.
Lab Equipment & Supplies – Clamps, Bunsen Burners, Pipets.
Glassware – Burets, Funnels, Flasks, Beakers, Test Tubes, Cylinders.
Biology Life Science – Agar, Microscopes, Slides, and more.
Raley’s Reach is a partnership between Raley’s Family of Fine Stores and Unilever to provide $25,000 in grants to Northern California and Nevada schools.
“We are thrilled to be able to give back to schools when so many programs face budget cuts and resources are scarce,” said Jennifer Teel-Wolter, Raley’s community relations manager.
Five participating regions representing Northern California and Nevada submitted more than 130 nominations for $25,000 in grants. The top school with the most votes in each of the five specified regions will receive $5,000 to put toward their stated back-to-school need.
Parent Teacher Association groups, booster clubs, parents and community members submitted 54 nominations for schools in the greater Sacramento area – and now it’s in the hands of the online community to log on and cast their votes.
One vote is allowed per person each day during through Sept. 23. Winners will be announced Sept. 30. To vote for Heron School, the only Natomas-area school competing for the regional grant, click here.
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