The American GI Forum of Santa Maria has been awarding scholarships since 1979. Until the Education Foundation was established in 1991, all monies awarded were raised by the members themselves, mostly at the food booth at the local county fairgrounds. With the Education Foundation, the organization has been able to acquire donations from other sources, mostly from local businesses. The organization holds an annual Scholarship Awards event, where the recipients and their parents have a chance to meet the donors, who present the awards to them.
Visit the American GI Forum of Santa Maria’s website for more scholarship information.
The Education Foundation has provided classes in the Adult Literacy Acquisition School for illiterate adults to teach them to read in order to accelerate their acquisition of the English language. The program was funded by Verizon and was a collaboration between the local school district’s CBET (Community-Based English Tutoring) Program for adults, the district’s English Learners Intensive Literacy Intervention Program for school-aged children, and the Literacy Council. This project served those adults who traditionally fall through the cracks in English classes because of illiteracy.
Collaboration with SES Provider
The Education Foundation has collaborated with a Supplementary Educational Services (SES) Provider to provide after-school tutoring to students who attend schools in the local school district that fall under Program Improvement Status. The AGIF Education Foundation has provided expertise to locate community buildings, personnel, and materials to help make this program successful for our community’s children, the majority of which are English Learners.
Food Booth Training
The Education Foundation has provided training for many youth at the American GI Forum’s permanent food booth at the Santa Maria Fairgrounds. Approximately 16 youth per year work at the food booth, getting it ready for the county fair; and then trained in all areas of food preparation: purchasing food, preparing and cooking food, taking orders, using a cash register, and interacting with customers and the general public. This has been a very successful youth program for those who would not or could not obtain employment on their own. All youth working in the booth are encouraged to continue their education, and many of them have been AGIF Education Foundation scholarship recipients.