The club is part of a global Soroptimist International (SI) organization that helps women and girls achieve their individual and collective potential, realize their aspirations and have an equal voice in communities worldwide.
Katelyn Wright, a Del Oro High School student active in Future Farmers of America (FFA) won the Loomis Soroptimist Community Service Award of $1000. She developed “Ag in Our Community” curriculum and presented it repeatedly over the past three years. “This helps broaden the horizons on what people believe what agriculture is … and maybe point them down a career path that has agriculture in it,” said Wright. “I think that I was able to give girls a direct line to a very male dominated field, and show them that they were completely capable of doing these things if they really have the motivation to do so.” Wright will be attending Texas Tech University as a pre-veterinary major in fall 2020.
Carol Mason, Vice President, Loomis Library Executive Board, received the Ruby Award for Women Helping Women and a donation for the Loomis Library in her honor. The club recognized her leadership in re-opening the Loomis Library after Placer County closed it and for acting as librarian for 18 months before the town could hire someone to fill the position. “Carol was in charge of getting our library back on its feet,” said Shari Lynn Goodwin, Soroptimist member. “She logged over 3,800 volunteer hours as well as many uncounted hours at home.” Mason implemented new software, trained volunteers, ordered books using donations, established a new library card system and assisted members. “Carol and dedicated volunteers worked tirelessly to build up the children’s library and offer appealing children’s programs,” said Goodwin.
Rachel Mcguigan won $1000 and the SI Live Your Dream Award that celebrates women who have overcome challenges and are pursing education to prepare for a career where they can better support their families. Mcguigan studied Fire Technology in the early 2000’s and recently returned to Sierra College to finish her degree with a focus on Emergency Services so she can continue on to a BA in Emergency Management. “I really wanted to finish what I started and show my kids that I truly believe in the importance of education,” said Mcguigan, a single parent. “I want to go to work every day with the knowledge that what I do can make a difference in someone’s life.”
The Senior L.I.F.E. Center of Loomis provides social and educational activities for seniors. The Loomis Soroptimist club established the center in 1978 and continues to support the program. Activities are now offered on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9 am to 1 pm at the First United Methodist Church. Center directors, Jim and Wanda Gilbert, accepted the Soroptimist grant.
To support education in the region, the club provides Teacher Grants to help instructors fund special projects that will have lasting impact on students.
Anne Marie Allbaugh, Loomis Grammar School kindergarten teacher, will use the grant to buy easy reader books so that students can read books that are at their level so they can build fluency and effortless word recognition, which leads to reading comprehension.
At Ophir Elementary, Katie Bansemer, who teaches American Sign Language, plans on purchasing two videos to increase students’ empathy and cultural understanding of the deaf community.
Jennifer Bramer, fourth grade teacher at H. Clark Powers Elementary School, indicated that students are craving hands-on tangible learning games. She plans to add math board games so student can practice multiplication, fractions and decimals, place value, multi-step word problems and problem solving strategies.
Transitional kindergarten teacher, Hailey Crosta, at H. Clark Powers, will make social studies more engaging with hands-on materials to teach units on transportation and building.
Rebecca Connolly teaches 6-8th grades at Penryn School. She will be purchasing video production equipment for both students and teachers to use to produce videos, vlogs, vodcasts and podcasts.
Melissa Davis who teaches 6th grade at Loomis Basin Charter School plans to use the grant to support the mentoring club. Middle schoolers are paired with struggling elementary school students and attend buddy day events where they play games and build relationships.
Cheri McClaughry, the title 1 teacher for grades K-8 at Loomis Grammar School, plans to use her grant to purchase flex-space floor seats for students. The cushioned seats have adjustable backs and fit a wide range of ages of students. Her goal is to create a welcoming space that enables students to focus, work quietly or take tests comfortably.
Second graders at H. Clark Powers in Gina Green’s class will use magnets, marbles, blocks and other construction materials for hands-on activities that stretch students’ imaginations, teach problem solving and explore Science, Technology Engineering & Math (STEM).
Jennifer Mishler, the Librarian at Loomis Grammar School, wants to update the non-fiction section in the school library. She anticipates expanding the books in the “what was” series to include those that address D-Day, the Great Depression, the San Francisco Earthquake and other historical events.
Leah Roman runs the After School Program at Placer Elementary School for transitional kindergarten through 8th grade. She plans on adding calculators for math homework, board games that teach strategy and problem solving, and building blocks and art supplies to inspire students’ imaginations.
Laurel Sanders, second grade teacher at H. Clark Powers, believes that “we all work differently and have diverse needs for how we work best.” She has requested the funds for flexible seating such as rockers, stools and cuddle chairs so students can “work and learn in a flexible environment.”
At Loomis Grammar School, second grade teacher Gayle Spangler plans to offer more flexible seating to her students. She said that students will benefit from choice, community, collaboration, movement, comfort and sensory input.
Louise Weston, who teaches Spanish at Loomis Grammar School, anticipates purchasing enough books for 34 students in 8th grade classes. Students will learn Spanish language fundamentals through characters talking among themselves about their likes and dislikes.
The Loomis Basin Soroptimist club fundraises throughout the year to support the awards program. The next fundraiser is Tostado Bingo on April 18 at Memorial Hall.
About Soroptimist International Loomis Basin
Soroptimist (soroptimist.org) is an international volunteer service organization for business and professional women who work to improve the lives of women and girls, in local communities and throughout the world. Soroptimist International of Loomis Basin is a 501(c)(3) organization.
To learn more about the club, join SI Loomis Basin for club meetings on the first and third Wednesday of the month at 5:30 at the Train Depot at Taylor Rd. and Horseshoe Bar Rd. in Loomis. Learn more at www.soroptimistloomis.com and find Soroptimist Loomis Basin on Facebook.