EdUCate! and the best Oktoberfest in the world in University City
by SANDY LIPPE
Published - 09/26/16 - 12:36 PM | 3699 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Dawn Yandel, long time member of EdUCate!
Dawn Yandel, long time member of EdUCate!
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If Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel were smart, she'd hop a red eye out of Munich the last day in September, skipping  the biggest German party for Oktoberfest, and touch down at Miramar Marine Corps Air Station. From there she could uber over to Standley Park on Governor Drive in University City for the 8th annual EdUCate! Oktoberfest,  a fun fundraiser for all five schools in U.C: Curie, Doyle, and Spreckels, Standley Middle School, and University City High School. Merkel would be welcomed and feel greatly appreciated by this crowd.  One of the most popular events is the Principal's Challenge, where the five principals compete with each other in interesting games.

Nobody should miss this party on October 1st from 2 to 6 p.m. with brats and a beer garden, music and  a home brew contest, a rock climbing wall and a beer stein contest. A trolley will run up and down Governor as well as Genesee to Nobel, so leave the car at home. Thanks to Coldwell Banker U.C. agents for underwriting the trolley.  

Dawn Yandel, longtime member of EdUCate! is Oktoberfest chair again this year, so you know it's going to be a blast.  EdUCate! is defined as the U.C. Foundation for Public Schools and provides "out of pocket" expenses for extras that the  school district cannot provide.   EdUCate! was founded in 1992  by several brainy, dedicated and tireless volunteers.  These founding mothers and fathers knew that good schools are the key to good neighborhoods.  Among the initial leaders were Deb Horwitz, Mary Kay Hewitt, Drs. Bruce Robbins and Elaine Hanson.   Many others joined in as this 501-C3 grew like a 12-year-old kid over summer.  

In 1995 the Taste of the Triangle, their biggest fundraiser, attracted Mayor Susan Golding, Padres pitcher Randy Jones and Qualcomm founder Irwin Jacobs.  In 2001, Cheryl Creagh created Honor A Teacher,  a program where parents and community members  can donate a sum of money in honor of their child's teacher and include a note of praise for that teacher.  Priceless.  Founding member Dr. Elaine Hanson  came up with the idea of A Dollar A Day, where people donated $180 for each 180 school days or even more generous spirits could make it $365 for the year.  

EdUCate!  isn't just about the money; it is about making sure the money gets to the classroom  Teachers can apply for a grant, as can principals.   One of the teacher grants went to purchase 36 compound microscopes for experimental and investigative learning in the science department of Standley Middle School.  UCHS music director Cameron Brown asked for and received drum stands.  The English department purchased a software tool as an effective deterrent to combat plagiarism.  The Junior Achievement Biz Town, a four-week economy curriculum for 5th graders, was made available to Doyle students.

Besides, the grant program,  under the EdUCate! um-brella, three food trucks appear on Wednesdays in front of Spreckels School between 5 and 7 p.m. Families dine outside or take their dinners home.  Ten percent of the profits go to EdUCate!  Barnes and Noble in Costa Verde has a joint venture with EdUCate! so that customers can buy books over December holidays for all the schools in U.C. 

In the academic arena, a math academy was started in 2012 with a six-week program at Standley Middle School and UCHS with 50 students per 15-week session, (two per school year). Khan Academy is an online instruction with homework help and drop-in tutoring.  UCHS for three days each week has a dynamic drop-in format aided by teachers, peer tutors, and community volunteers after school.

Through EdUCate! applications scholarships go to worthy UCHS students at graduation. 

The Thalia Murray scholarship honors a former U.C. elementary school teacher whose family wanted her legacy to include students who aspired to go to college.  The Ray Perkins scholarship honors the memory of a UCHS science teacher who died in 2012.  Pat Preston scholarship, in memory of a dedicated community volunteer,  is given by her son in honor of his wonderful mom

At the 20th anniversary of the big fundraiser, the Taste of the Triangle in 2014, the theme was honor the past,  celebrate the present, and build the future. Those aspirations continue to influence EdUCate! Bonnie MacRitchie, the president of EdUCate leads with this theme in mind.  The vice president, Kelley Klassen, grew up in University City and chose to raise her family here and give back to the schools she attended,  Secretary Katie Dunahoo proudly showed off stacks and stacks of books she has collected for a book sale at the library.  Treasurer Peter Newman keeps EdUCate! in good fiscal health.  

Our mailboxes overflow with opportunities to share our time, talent, and treasure.  EdUCate! is the real deal evolving each year with new leadership and seasoned leadership.

Mark that date, October 1st, from 2 p.m. until 6 p.m. and celebrate Oktoberfest just for the fun of it but also because all proceeds go to the 5 U.C. schools.  Bring your checkbook for those extra "out of pocket" items students deserve. Kudos to realtor Nancy Beck, UCCA, and the County of San Diego Baord of Supervisors for major sponsorship. Let's keep building that future.  Check out EdUCate! website:  www.uc-educate.org

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