Anderson Children's Foundation

Palm Desert High School

Sensory Area (2023-2024)

The Palm Desert High School program for moderate to severe special education students strives to provide a comprehensive academic and life skills program. The two classrooms teach functional math, reading, gross and fine motor skills, social emotional, behavioral, vocational, and daily living skills in two self-contained classrooms. Using age-appropriate content, digital job training, and community based instruction, students are able to find their areas of strength. We at Palm Desert teach so that teenagers with disabilities can become productive, successful citizens in their community upon graduation. Our grant funding and next project will be to retrofit the sensory room. For our students with neurodiversity, a sensory room provides a much needed break from the demands of the classroom. It relieves stress, improves behaviors, builds confidence, and fosters emotional regulation and independence. The rooms will also include various activities to develop their auditory, tactile, and visual processing in a safe environment. As a first-year teacher, I am excited by what I have been able to accomplish this coming year and look forward to progressing the program even further in 2024 thanks to the help of the Anderson Children’s Foundation.

Contact:Brooke Shapter Special Education Teacher


LunchPALS (2021-2022)

LunchPALS will provide a positive atmosphere during lunchtime for students who eat by themselves, become anxious when around many students or struggle with a sense of belonging. Our vision is that students will come to LunchPALS and make connections with other new students. This welcoming environment will foster a positive sense of belonging in our campus community and reassurance that they’re not alone, but most importantly that they do matter. Our vision is that during LunchPALS non-threatening and informal play will result in an increase in self-esteem and assist with implementing and practicing appropriate social skills in a safe environment. This sense of belonging in a fun way will cultivate a change in culture where every student feels supported during lunchtime. Students who are struggling with social-emotional behavioral issues will also be able to access LunchPALS and enjoy a therapeutic calming ambiance (classroom) and receive guidance provided by our Marriage and Family Therapist.

The supplies will give our students tangible tools and materials to help manage their emotions and feelings (stress balls, painting, etc.) Students will be able to engage in social conversation with other peers while engaging in supervised play, have a safe place they can go to on campus that has a therapeutic calming ambience and receive guided support by our marriage and family therapist.

Thank you!

Contact: Stephanie Granados Dye

Aztec Choirs (2019-2020)

The Aztec Choirs are thrilled to be the recipients of a grant to purchase classroom and performance choral risers. This equipment is crucial to support the needs of our growing choral program at Palm Desert High School. These choral risers will expand / extend our current sets.

As our program grows and recruiting efforts continue, we also have been making an effort to be heard more often in local communities. We currently receive and honor many requests to perform at various local events, and are always glad to do so! This year performances included a Veteran's Day Concert, a Fred Waring Tribute Concert at The Garden's on El Paseo and a performance at the Virginia Waring Gala, in addition to our regularly scheduled concerts and festivals throughout the year. It is our goal to serve the community as well as the musical needs of our students with more performances such as these. With your assistance, we will be able to continue and expand these efforts of musical growth and community engagement.

The approved grant will expand our current classroom and stage choral risers. Risers for both our stage (performances) and classroom as our numbers increase. The equipment purchased will support and enhance the music education of our entire choral program. We specifically requested items that will be used for many years, so the support of ACF will be appreciated by not just our current students but future choir students as well.