Anderson Children's Foundation

Desert Mirage High School

Affecting School Culture (2021-2022, 2020-2021)

Desert Mirage High School is working to implement a system that will change the way our school looks a prepares students for their future. In the past the emphases had been on punishing students who are not following school rules. This way if educating students is no longer productive nor is it effective. We are going to change the way we do business by rewarding students who are following school wide expectations.

We will be using a research based program called Positive Behavior Intervention Systems. The idea is to catch students being good and reward them for the behavior. We have already purchased a program that allows staff to award students points when they were following school rules. We also trained staff on how to use the strategies for improving behavior and instruction in the classroom. This is a way of changing school culture for students who are following the rules rather than spending so much time punishing those who are not. This encourages expected behavior in and out of the classroom.

The grant awarded will help us reward students through field trips and other means. Students will be able to purchase the field trips and other awards by using their points earned.

Musical Instruments (2020-2021, 2019-2020, 2017-2018, 2016-2017)

The Desert Mirage HS Band & Pageantry is a performance organization that serves to provide musical entertainment throughout the community and across Southern California. In its role as one of the musical ambassadors of the Coachella Valley, the band strives to create an educational program that highlights and showcases its musicianship to share the gift of musical joy with as many people as possible.

We have very little to no funding at this time. There has been limited funding allocated towards our program due to budget cuts; which has lead to the depreciation of our instruments, uniforms, and the repair or replacement of our instruments and uniforms. At this time, we have received very little funding from our district which has put our program in great need to recover from the years of a lack of funding. We have some of the brightest, thoughtful, and insightful kids in the Coachella Valley in our band program at Desert Mirage HS, but sadly; our students are also some of the poorest kids in the State of California. Thanks to the grant from Anderson Children's Foundation, we will get as many of our broken instruments and uniforms repaired and replaced as possible. This money will be instrumental in the purchasing of the badly need uniforms and equipment. These funds will bring joy to a number of students, allowing them the opportunity to enjoy the art of music.

The Desert Mirage HS Band & Pageantry is planning to participate in competitions, festivals, and a number of special events performances through the Coachella Valley and abroad. The past Fall the group was selected to perform at the LA County Fair (as ambassadors of the city of Thermal and the greater Coachella Valley). We hope to audition to perform on Disneyland's "Main Street USA" in the Spring of 2017. With the help and support of great organizations such as The Anderson Children’s Foundation, our students can achieve their musical goals and the opportunity to share their musical talents through their gift of music and performance.

College Bound (2018-2019)

This year 82% of the incoming freshman at Desert Mirage High School did not score proficient on the State Test in Language Arts. This indicates that they are not at grade level in Reading or Writing. In order to graduate from high school and /or go on to college students need to have high level reading and writing skills.

Our students struggle with poverty and learning a second language. A high percentage of them are Migrant and many came to the United States later in their educational career. They need a boost to ensure that they will succeed. At this time there is no program for students' who struggle to read English and are in high school and that is why we are beginning this program at our school.

We plan on hiring three 9th grade teachers to work with students four nights a week. They will work with them to improve their reading, writing, and vocabulary skills. In addition the goal is for these teachers to become the students' mentors by ensuring that they are turning in all work, improving organizational skills, and building communication with parents.

This Program will not only improve students reading, but the incentive for coming every day will offer the students a chance to see what is in store for them if they do well in High School by taking them to a new college every eight weeks. Without this program these students will remain behind and will not be able to complete the credits that they need to graduate from high school. Thus the cycle of poverty will continue.

This program will change students lives. Research indicates that the amount a person makes in their lifetime directly correlates to their educational level. Students who can't read grade level text are much more likely to drop out and this program could help students be successful in their studies and change their future.

We hope to grow this program to include more children each year. Teachers who are already working could train other staff, and if it is successful it will be much easier to use school and district funding to pay for teachers to work after school.