Oceans Week grants provide a plethora of study

Back row, Teacher Sophie Korn, Principal Joseph Funk, Teacher Sheila Gamble-Dorn, Chip Rich and Eric Pleschner from Charles A Becker Foundation. Front row, Teacher Jennifer Mitchell, Vice Principal Seva Steel, Students Lauren DeVry, Percie Littlewood, Tyler Rosen, Mikaeli Escobedo, and Lucy Rich.

Photo by Jane Northrop


In a school filled with creative projects all year long, one stands out for its uniqueness and theme-based learning that inspires older students to be leaders – Oceans Week at Ocean Shore School. It’s not just a week. Oceans Week studies last all year in one way or another and span all the academic subjects. During one week at the end of the school year, though, all students devote themselves to a different theme study every year.

Ocean Shore School once again received a grant for the Oceans Week program. The Charles A. Becker Foundation donated a check of $10,000 for the second year in a row.

Eric Pleschner, president Charles A Becker Foundation, said, “This is my favorite school and my favorite program. It really is an exceptional experience. Everything else is on a smaller scale.”

Fourth grader Lucy Rich, said she loves Oceans Week. “I like learning about different parts of the ocean every year and we decorate the whole school.”

Chip Rick from the Charles A. Becker Foundation answered some questions by email about why he chose the Oceans Week program at Ocean Shore School for such a generous grant funding.

Why did the foundation choose Ocean Shore School?

The Charles A. Becker Foundation (CABF) learned about Oceans Week from an Ocean Shore School parent who is also on the Foundation Board of Directors. This didn’t guarantee the Foundation’s support, but it provided a personal connection, which is a primary way the Foundation likes to discover programs, and match their funding to specific need, based on merit.

CABF celebrates 20 years of granting in 2017, having distributed nearly $5 million to youth and education related programs in that time. Since 2010, our initiative became more focused to help fund unique, positive, and confidence building programs for youth in the middle, an area we believed was overlooked in relation to more polarized causes. Our funding seeks public education programs and projects that instill creative thinking for youth by being outside the box of convention. We saw Oceans Week as an exceptional and high impact model of those criteria.

What other projects does the Foundation support?

Over CABF’s 20 year history, a broad spectrum of youth programs in San Francisco have been funded (along with other youth programs in Sacramento and Phoenix). A few locally that have been long and continue to be supported: The Conservatory in the Schools program operated by San Francisco Conservatory of Music and School, and Community Programs at Slide Ranch.

Read the original story: Pacifica Tribune, January 5, 2017

 Jane Northrop can be reached at jnorthrop@pacificatribune.com.