This Year’s SPARK Story

SPARK is so many things to our community. Here we share a series of perspectives from different community members—an educator, principal, parent, and student—describing SPARK’s impact in their own words.


Published Oct. 9, 2014


By Jennifer Fry, Digital Arts Teacher, Hall Middle School

SPARK supports programs that foster creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, and a focus on process over product.

As an arts educator, I am fortunate to witness the impact of a well-rounded education in the daily lives of young people. The visual and performing arts, music, and computer programming engage students in alternate ways of thinking, learning, and viewing the world around them. Though not traditionally considered ‘academic’ subjects, each discipline has its own rigorous course of study—all of which benefit the learning community as a whole, as well as the individual child.

SPARK represents the voice of that community—a community that recognizes the value of arts education, technology literacy, and so much more. The programs funded by the community through SPARK have become an integral part of the learning environment and are absolutely essential to preparing students for what’s ahead.


Published Oct. 14, 2014


By Haley Johnson, Digital Arts Student, 8th Grade, Hall Middle School

I send my greatest thanks SPARK for funding the arts programs at Hall Middle School. It has impacted my life for the better in multiple ways.

You have allowed me to discover Digital Art once again in my life, it gave me a reason to want to go through the school day. It was the one subject in school I really enjoyed. It was the reason I was waking up in the morning, the reason I loved going to school. I always learned something new in the class, and was even encouraged to buy my own digital tablet to continue practicing over the summer.

The subject was my personal escape from the pressures of tests and projects, and assisted in helping me make new friends and teaching myself new tricks on the computer. I really appreciate you for funding the art programs, and I am positive other students at Hall have their own problems they can escape from with a certain subject in school.


Published Oct. 23, 2014


By Eric Saibel, Assistant Principal, Hall Middle School, and Jaime Garcia, Science teacher, Redwood High School (shown with their two daughters, Maya and Phoebe)

Both of us became educators in large part due to the teachers that inspired us to engage with the world in new ways. SPARK provides our students — including our 2nd grade daughter — the chance to experience the passion of teachers dedicated to igniting their confidence, curiosity and creativity.

A well-rounded education is vital in developing students that are willing to try new things and take meaningful risks. While information is increasingly easier to access, the most critical skills our children must develop are those of collaboration, experimentation, and synthesizing disparate ideas. The experiences that SPARK brings to our kids nurture their inventiveness and help them articulate their unique voice.

What is a key mindset we want to see in all of our students to ensure their happiness and growth from TK to post-secondary?  Confidence — the confidence to discover and express their unique voice, to listen to others’ perspectives, and to try new things.  The programs that SPARK sustains help our students establish this confidence to create and explore when they are their most impressionable.  Even if these experiences don’t lead to a lifelong passion, the experience of attempting them leaves a lasting imprint on their sense of what is possible and what they are capable of doing.


Published Oct. 30, 2014


By Yoon & Richard Jordan, shown here with their daughters Amy, Rachel, and Sara

We are fortunate to have three girls in the Larkspur-Corte Madera School District and for the past 7 years, we have belonged to an amazing community of parents who have generously supported SPARK.  Because of SPARK’s support of the art, music, technology and science programs, our girls have never known what school would be like without these enriching programs.

Without SPARK:

  • We would not hear our twin 6th graders energetically exclaim: “Mom, we had so much fun in Digital Art today – can’t wait to show you what we created”.
  • We wouldn’t hear our second grader singing a song Ms. K has taught her.
  • We wouldn’t hear the sound of band practicing at Hall
  • We wouldn’t have a chance to attend the Christmas chorus concert where we embarrass ourselves by crying like sentimental fools
  • We wouldn’t hear our second grader saying, “Look what I can draw. Ms. P taught us”.
Take a moment to imagine what our schools would look like without SPARK – our schools without music, without art, without science and without technology.  Without SPARK, our kids would receive the barest bones of education that would cover only the basic core subjects; no chance for creativity, self expression or imagination.  Without us there is no SPARK.  Please support SPARK, which enriches all of us.