PR 2015-05-07: TMS Students Benefit from TEF Grant


Seventh Grade Students Study Animal Kingdom, Complete Animal Dissections


May 7, 2015 – TEMECULA, CA – After students in Mrs. Alisha Coop’s 7th Grade science class at Temecula Middle School in Temecula studied the Animal Kingdom unit in their science books, they learned about features unique to birds, including how the bird body is adapted for flight. Then, organized into teams, they used supplies purchased with a grant from the Temecula Education Foundation (TEF) to complete animal dissections.

“The opportunity for students to examine a complete specimen to see and study contour and down feathers, body orientation, overall shape, and aerodynamic design is crucial, but to also have the ability to examine unique internal features, like chest cavity adaptations, really solidifies student understanding of how important body design is to an organism,” Coop said. “This learning experience also gave students the chance to compare early dissected organisms and see how the birds are alike, reinforcing that similar anatomy is carried throughout the animal kingdom. I’ve been fortunate to receive a foundation grant several times over the years. This funding supplements the curriculum with hands-on learning and really engages students. They’re always excited to see what we’re going to study next,” she added.

Temecula Middle was one of 23 school sites in the Temecula Valley Unified School District where teachers received grants to enhance their curriculum. In December 2014, TEF presented educators in the Temecula district with grants up to $500 specifically for the arts and sciences. Total grants awarded were over $26,000. Since 2012, more than $80,000 in funds have been awarded to educators in the Temecula school district. In addition to grants, the Temecula Education Foundation also sponsors summer school acceleration and enrichment classes. Registration for the sixth year of foundation-sponsored classes runs May 1 – June 1. Classes begin June 15 and will be held at Chaparral High School.

“The general public may not realize it, but when they support community programs like our summer acceleration and enrichment classes and the Taste of Temecula Valley (TOTV), they support all students in the Temecula Valley Unified School District,” Mark Katan, TOTV chair, said. “Our goal is to provide funding for curriculum enhancements, especially in the visual and performing arts and sciences, for Grades K-12 in our district, and it takes community support to do it,” he added.

In studying the Animal Kingdom, students in Mrs. Alisha Coop’s seventh-grade science class learned about comparative species anatomy and how birds are adapted for flight. To study internal physical adaptations, they recently completed species dissections using materials purchased with a grant from the Temecula Education Foundation. Pictured are (photo left) Victor Gallegos and Coleton DeFalco, and (photo right) Cambria Schoeneweis.