Madera Linkage hands out grants

The Madera Linkage Foundation hosted the State of the District Reception at Matilda Torres High School.


The Madera Linkage Foundation is a 503(C) organization that aims to provide supplemental resources to help the students of Madera Unified thrive.


“Oftentimes in education we will get money for partial items but not the resources for the entire project,” Linkage president Tim Riché said. “We get money for pencils but not money for erasers. Rules, many times, dictate how we can spend the resources that we have.


“Other times businesses wish to donate but they need a 503(C) to contribute too. The foundation bridges that gap. For instance, a shoe store sends us monthly donations of shoes and clothing items that we share with our Lions Leo Club that fundraises and works with our staff in distributing them to our students. Our largest donation base is Madera Unified staff that contribute monthly to the Linkage Foundation.”


Ultimately the goal of the Madera Linkage Foundation is that the next generation is provided with the skills to see the world as a place of opportunity, a place where they will be successful. 20,000 students, 18,000 of them come from socio-economically disadvantaged families make up Madera Unified School District. The needs of the students are great as is the opportunity to help them.


This year, Madera Linkage welcomed two sponsors. The Gold sponsor is Educational Employees Credit Union with a $3,000 donation. The Silver sponsor is Mid Valley Disposal with their gift of $1,500. Because of their generosity, Linkage was able to implement programs like the Mini Grant Program.


At the State of the District reception on Oct. 19 at Matilda Torres High School, the Madera Linkage Foundation awarded grants to staff. The Mini Grant Program helps schools provide innovative ideas and ways of teaching to our students. This year is no different. They received 12 applicants this year and all 12 received $500 checks and will implement a variety of programs.


The recipients were:


Lisa Howery — Howard, Art Teacher for 3D printer and supplies.


Jill Standen — Howard, STEM Teacher for a STEM Fair at Howard.


Irma Raygoza — Howard, 2nd Grade for a student garden.


Luz Stegner — Pershing Elementary, for children’s Spanish books for the dual language students.


Yajaira Sanchez and Rosa Benitez — Pershing, for a student garden.


Beth Morris and Nicole Torres — Martin Luther King, for yoga supplies to teach students how to calm themselves, exercise and focus.


Castella Rios — Madera South HS, for a self-contained ecosystem science that students will build and maintain.


Roxanne Schallberger — Madison, 6th grade for positive bathroom quotes — words on the wall that uplift and encourage students.


Charmain George — MSHS Law Enforcement Pathway, for Bumper Balls to have activities.


Marta Escarcega — Furman, for a book a month club.


Andy Underwood — MHS Baseball PE, for a class set of leadership books for team to work through during Baseball PE.