East Midvale kindergarten teacher Leslie Rodriguez is fueling her creative ideas with teaching materials paid for by Chevron.

Representatives from the energy company gave Rodriguez STEM-related learning materials during a presentation in her class on Tuesday, Oct. 7.  The event was the Salt Lake Valley kick-off for the Fuel Your School giving program.

The company has pledged to donate up to $500,000 to fund science, technology, engineering and mathematics classroom projects in Salt Lake and Davis County.

Every time motorists fill up their tanks with eight gallons or more at a participating Wasatch Front Chevron or Texaco station, Chevron has agreed to donate $1 to classroom projects.

The money will go toward funding projects that are listed on Teachers can apply for the funds until Oct. 31.

This is the fourth year of the “Fuel Your School” giving initiative. Since the program’s inception, some $1.5 million has been given to fund classroom projects in Salt Lake and Davis counties.

When Barbara Hopkins sets her sights on reaching the Base Camp of Mount Everest, she’ll be taking the hopes and dreams of countless children with her.

Hopkins, a library media coordinator in the Evidence-Based Learning Department, has decided to make her daunting 17-day trek a fund-raising effort for an organization dedicated to increasing literacy rates in third-world countries. 

As she trains for the grueling climb that starts Nov. 4, she’s also pounding the pavement in search of donations to support Room to Read, which works to publish books, train teachers, support girls in their drives to finish secondary school, and establish school and public libraries in all parts of the globe.

Hopkins says this on her blog, which she hopes to update with journal entries and photos during her journey:  “Literacy has always been a passion of mine. Reading came easy to me; I have been in love with books my whole life and I believe my life has been changed by the journey they have engaged me in. I want all children to have the magic and wonder that I have found in books! I also want them to have the numerous opportunities that are made available to them by becoming literate.”

Hopkins’ personal fund-raising goal is $1,000. You can donate on a web page she created with the help of Room to Read. 

“This is about doing something I believe in … It’s also about me giving back,” says Hopkins, who is running in the mornings and hiking every weekend to prepare for her trip.  “Life has taught me that it’s short, and there are some things I want do in life, and that some of those things are hard.  But life has also taught me that I can do hard things.” 

In recognition of the heroes of Sept. 11, 2001 — both those who gave their lives and those who survived — a group of everyday heroes in our own community reached out to help several Canyons District schools as part of the United Way's Day of Caring and September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance.

Employees from Savage, a global company based in Midvale, volunteered their time throughout the school day Thursday at Midvale, Copperview and Sandy elementary schools. They filled deflated sports balls, disinfected door handles, cleaned window sills, read stories to students and played four-square on the playground, among other things. There were no jobs too big or small for the willing volunteers, who accounted for about three-fourths of Savage’s local staff.

At Midvale Elementary alone, 24 volunteers re-stocked 35 outdated emergency kits with flashlights, toilet paper, treats, snacks and medical supplies. Savage provided all of the items for the kits, in addition to the manpower.

“We try to give back to the community at Savage,” said Matt Bollard, a software developer who has volunteered during the United Way’s Day of Caring for eight years.

Savage, a leader in supply-chain management solutions, was announced on Tuesday, Sept. 9, as Canyons’ 2014 Apex Award winner for Business Partner of the Year. Employees of the company have volunteered during the United Way’s Day of Caring at Midvale Elementary for the last three years.

Having volunteers in school has a big impact on students, says Jessica Vidal, assistant principal at Midvale Elementary.

“They love having visitors in the building,” Vidal said. “We thrive on community partnerships. Building and maintaining these partnerships helps not just the children, but the teachers as well. They really feel supported.”

“The apex of my civic pride and personal contentment was reached on the bright September morning when I entered public school.” — Mary Antin, author

The Canyons Board of Education and Administration are pleased to announce the winners of the 2014 Apex Awards, the highest honors given in Canyons District.  This year’s recipients are:

“The people and organizations honored this year know well what it takes to reach the top,” said Board President Sherril H. Taylor.  “Through their words and deeds, they have not just followed the paths in front of them. They have, in the spirit of the poet Emerson, gone where there was no path — and blazed a trail for others to follow. “

The honorees were feted Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014 at a by-invitation-only banquet and ceremony at the Gathering Place at Gardner Village. The awards, started in 2010, serve as tributes to the dedication and professionalism of educators, employees and community partners. 


Stars are born in Canyons District’s Canyons Idol competition — just ask 12-year-old Lexi Walker.

Walker catapulted to America’s computer screens when her Canyons Idol National Anthem performance at the Real Salt Lake game went viral last year. She continues to be a YouTube sensation with her cover of "Let It Go" from Disney's "Frozen." The clip has received more than 30 million views.

This year’s Canyons Idol Auditions are scheduled for Friday, April 25, from 3-5 p.m. at the Canyons Administration Building, 9150 S. 500 West.

The winner will sing the National Anthem at the 7 p.m. Real Salt Lake game on Saturday May 17 — the same night Real Salt Lake honors our Teachers of the Year at halftime.  CSD students, employees and patrons can buy $20  discounted tickets to the game.  How to buy the tickets?  Just follow the easy-to-use tool on our Web site.

It's for a good cause, too. Five dollars of each ticket sold to the game through the Web site will be given to the Canyons Education Foundation.

The Jordan Credit Union also is chipping in scholarship money for the top three audition performances. The credit union will give $500 for first place and $250 for second and third.
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