CV Foundation Plans Derby Party

Main Photo
Main Photo

Brownstown Elementary School students Emily Ermolovic (left) and Brooke Fry enjoy using the stability balls the class received from the Conestoga Valley Education Foundation thanks to a grant, written by their teacher, Barb Hornberger.
See below for another photo.
By Ann Mead Ash

The Conestoga Valley (CV) Education Foundation has funded a number of grants since the organization was founded in 1991. Probably the largest was a $40,000 grant that was disbursed over four years to create a state-of-the-art television station at Conestoga Valley High School (CVHS). Among the smaller grants is a $400 award that will bring a composer to the high school to help write an original song to be performed in the spring by the women's chorus and concert choir.
One way that the organization funds the grants is through its annual September golf tournament, but this year the board has decided to try something different, in addition. "We have a board member (who is) really excited about a party … for the Kentucky Derby," said Beverly Breniser, executive director of the foundation. The party is scheduled for 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 4, at Media Heights Golf Club, 402 Golf Road, Lancaster. A Philadelphia-area band will play, and there will be prizes and giveaways.
According to Breniser, the party will celebrate "all things related to the derby." "We're having both men's and women's hat contests, so wear your finest," she urged. The derby will be simulcast at the event, and special games are planned for those who attend.
Using a plasma cutter that was provided to the high school with a grant, the tech department will create three large game tables where attendees will play games that simulate the race. "(Technology students) will create replicas of horses using the technology we've given (the school)," explained Breniser. "We have a partnership. We fund something, and they come back and help by (creating these games)."
Presently, the foundation awards both foundation-funded grants and grants that are bestowed through the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) program. EITC grants are awarded specifically to fund innovative technology, while foundation grants may be given based on other guidelines. "Our criteria are very simple - innovative and creative," said Breniser.
With that framework in mind, the foundation has funded a variety of grants throughout the district over the years. One went to a group of Brownstown teachers who wanted to explore the classics. "They took those stories and presented small vignettes to the rest of the school," said Breniser. "There was the creative piece (to the project)."
Grants have purchased Kindles for the high school and middle school libraries and added a subscription program called "Overdrive" that allows the students to make more use of the technology.
At Leola Elementary School, a grant for $600 funded a girls’ leadership camp several years ago. The program, which was overseen by then principal Colleen Pavlovec, also spawned a one-day leadership camp, which will bring together CVHS girls and Leola Elementary students.
EITC grants that bring new technology to the district have included recent funds for a grant written by high school teacher Matt Maisano that purchased a 3-D printer for the technology department. Breniser said that it is important to fund grants that can give students training they will be able to use beyond high school. "We're hoping we can (give students) experience (and) skills so when they go out (into the business world) they can say ‘I've got that skill,’" she explained.
The derby party can accommodate 180 attendees. Tickets will go on sale on Friday, Feb. 15. Readers who would like to learn more about the derby party may email . More information about the foundation may be found at

Conestoga Valley-Pequea Valley Penny Saver - 01/16/2013

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Photo 2