Anderson Children's Foundation

Desert Mirage High School

Wellness Center Supplies & Supports (2023-2024)

Numerous studies have shown the need for mindfulness and social-emotional wellness for students in the school setting. According to the Youth Risk Behavior Survey conducted by the CDC, "in 2021 42% of high school students felt so sad or hopeless almost every day for at least two weeks in a row that they stop doing their usual activities." This statistic is alarming, however, it is not a surprise based on everything teens have faced in the past few years. The goal of the Wellness Center at Desert Mirage High School is to support students in need of social-emotional support, conflict resolution, coping skills, and self-regulation skills. The Wellness Center at Desert Mirage High School has serviced over 150 students and has been utilized well over 300 times by students.

The Wellness Center supplies and supports project will allow the wellness center to offer comfortable seating, calming lighting, mindfulness activities, nutritious snacks, self-care activities, personal development items (i.e. books, journals, art supplies), and community experiences related to wellness. The room is designed to be a calming space for any student in need. We offer small group activities as well as lunchtime activities such as "a mindful moment" where students can come and spend 10 minutes regulating their emotions and approach the rest of their day with a sense of balance and calmness. We also offer mindfulness through movement activities and music. This project will help the staff to reach more students and provide a wider range of support and activities.

Being awarded this grant will allow us to provide ongoing support to students in need. Provide opportunities to learn mindfulness skills, coping skills, and self-regulation skills. To provide a safe and welcoming environment where students feel comfortable and safe to receive services.

Our goal is for the students who utilize the services in the Wellness Center to better understand how to manage their anxiety, communicate their needs, and learn conflict resolution skills. We hope to provide more tools and activities to help them better self-regulate. The Wellness Center would also like to offer activities outside of the school setting to help students understand what opportunities are available in their community.

Contact: Janelle McDaniel

Band Equipment Trailer, Transportation, Instrument Repair (2023-2024)

Our goal with this year’s funding is to repair or replace as many instruments as possible to give our students an opportunity to perform within and beyond the Valley. Also, to obtain an equipment trailer to transport the students instruments and equipment to events and performances.

This year’s ACF funding will help to improve our music program by providing our students with a functional instrument and to transport their equipment to events and performances . This will give our students the opportunity to share and enjoy performing music for others through the Valley and beyond.

Repairing and replacing instruments, and giving our students an opportunity to share the joy of music thought-out the Valley and beyond is a primary goal of this year’s funding.

Objectives include:

1. To increase the amount of functional musical instruments by repairing and replacing the non-functional ones, so that every student has the opportunity to perform.

2. With a functional instrument; students will be more driven and motivated to work hard, practice, and will have an incentive and since of pride in themselves as they look forward to upcoming events, festivals, and performances.

Activities include:

1. Performing at community events and functions representing our school (DMHS), and its' surrounding communities (Mecca, Thermal, Oasis, North Shore, and the Salton Sea) within the Eastern Coachella Valley.

2. Performing at concerts and competitions within the Valley and beyond.

3. Giving our students an opportunity to "Participate and Perform" in sharing the love and joy of music, and sharing it with others.

4. It is also my goal that as students gain interest in music, they have the basic essentials (a functional instrument, and opportunities to travel and perform) so that they are able to gain the most out of their musical experience. Funding from the ACF Grant has always helped us to make these Goals and Objectives achievable for our DMHS music students.

The reliance of the ACF funding this year is essential and instrumental to the success of our program both musically and academically. There are numerous studies that support a significant correlation between participation in instrumental music and student academic achievement. Studies also show a correlation between participation in music and the benefits in mathematics and spatial-temporal reasoning, language skills, cognitive development, and brain development. Music requires a person to use and excise all parts of the brain, which is a reflection of their academic success .

An accurate measurement of success as it relates to our project goals and objective are knowledge by the audience who will be attending our performances. Our students' hard work and diligence will be reflected in the music they share with others, and is experienced and achieved through something they may have not have had the opportunity to do, if not for the support of the ACF.

I feel our students have a bright future with the help and support of the ACF, and who's support makes a tremendous difference in the future and development of our program. Funding from the ACF grant also gives our students not only the opportunity to improve their performance skills with the repair of better functioning instruments and a band equipment trailer to transport them; but it will also give them a since of pride, achievement, and joy as they share their love of music with others throughout the valley and beyond as the "Musical Ambassadors of the Eastern Coachella Valley."

This year’s plans for the group include performing at: community events, parades, concerts, festivals, and competitions within and beyond the valley. We truly appreciate the help, support, and kind consideration of the ACF. These needed funds truly give our students a since of hope, and will help to improve the quality of life for our DMHS music students in the Eastern Valley.

Contact: Mr. Dwight Asberry - MA Ed.

Music Director of the "Award Winning" Desert Mirage High School

"Mighty Scarlet Regiment" Ram Band and Pageantry

The "Proud Musical Ambassadors” of the Eastern Coachella Valley

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.