Category Archives: Schools

Fox’s Pizza Den to Hold Third Fundraiser

Fox’s Pizza Den will hold their third pizza fundraiser of the 2011-2012 school year for Chet F. Harritt School on Thursday, March 29. The restaurant will donate 20% of net sales from all purchases to the school. This applies to both dine-in and take-out orders. If you want to call in your order to 619-749-4165, just be sure to tell them you heard about the fundraiser and want to do your part to help. So far Fox’s Pizza Den has donated about $600 this year alone.

In their first pizza fundraiser Fox’s was able to donate over $200 to help the school with those little extras that always seem to come up. While that may not sound like a lot of money, when you consider the average order you see that quite a few pizzas were sold just on that one day.

More than just helping the school, by taking part in this fundraiser you will be helping a local business stay in business during these tough times. Over the past year Santee has lost several restaurants, and while a few new ones have opened – or will soon – it is important to keep the ones that are already here. Every small business means a few more people employed, a few more dollars moving through the community and one less empty store front along the road.

So once again, “Thank You” to Fox’s Pizza Den for being a great member of the Santee community, and “Thank You” to all who participate in this fundraiser.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Business, Community, Schools

Cajon Park School holds Health and Fitness Fair

Running cones, tossing a medicine ball, shooting baskets and dribbling a soccer ball are not normally part of the middle school curriculum, but for students at Cajon Park School these were just some of the activities during the first Health and Fitness Fair. The event was just part of a month-long focus on health and fitness at the school connected with the NFL Play 60 Program that kicked off throughout the district in January. That program focuses on encouraging children to commit to at least 60 minutes of activity every day as a way to work toward a healthier lifestyle.

The Health and Fitness Fair was designed and organized by Cajon Park Vice Principal Suzanne Martin, with help from the district’s Wellness Committee. Activities included soccer drills with members of the San Diego Sockers indoor soccer team, a mini obstacle course with trainers from Chuze Fitness, basketball skills with representatives from Santee’s Teen Center and presentations on nutrition by a district nurse and a nutritionist.

“This is something we have designed in collaboration with the NFL Play 60 Program activities, in that we want our students to be active 60 minutes a day,” Vice Principal Martin explained. “We’re encouraging our kids in grades 6 through 8 to be involved, so for the past three weeks they have been monitoring their own activity in journals. We want them to get 60 minutes of activity at recess time, PE time or even at home. Today is actually an entire fair that we have dedicated to health and fitness.”

Joe Spencer, a parent and a member of the Santee School District Wellness Committee, helped to organize the NFL Play 60 Program in the district. “We wanted to have events at each school, so Ms. Martin decided she wanted to have a mini-health fair. I had talked with former Charger Vencie Glenn from the beginning. He’s a motivational speaker who goes out and speaks with kids, and he said he wanted to be part. I also reached out to the San Diego Sockers and John Kentera and he wanted to be a part, so he got Aaron Susi and Eduardo Velez to come out here.”

Each of the three physical activity stations ran approximately 15 minutes and included a short talk about health and nutrition from the presenters. At the soccer station Sockers stars Aaron Susi and Eduardo Velez took each group through a series of basic dribbling skills and footwork. After the students had the chance to try their feet at the activity, Susi talked to them about the importance of making good choices in food. After that the two signed autographs on whatever students had handy, including T-shirts, arms and even one cast.

“It’s always good to give back to the kids,” said Susi between groups. “These are the things that made me look up to soccer players and other athletes when I was younger in school, seeing them come and work with us and teach about being healthy. It’s good that I can do the same for these kids. We talked to them a little about eating healthy and living a healthy lifestyle, and we’re teaching them some basic dribbling skills.”

Velez, who tends to let his flashy play on the field speak for him, said, “It’s always great being out with the kids. I love having the opportunity. I love to play around with the kids and have fun with them. We’re talking with them about being healthy and eating healthy food.”

At the basketball station Jeff Eidson and Ryan Bozelle from the Teen Center showed the students basic passing and dribbling skills before letting them try shooting baskets. Between groups the two talked about the role of the Teen Center in the community and what they hoped to bring to the students at the Health and Fitness Fair.

“The Teen Center is located at Lake 5 at Santee Lakes and has been around for eleven years now,” Eidson explained. “It’s an after-school program that caters to sixth through twelfth grade students. We take the kids fishing or out on the paddle boats. They can play pool or just hang out with their friends. It’s a safe place for them and their parents know where they are.”

“About once a week we’re at a different school talking about the Teen Center and what we do,” Eidson continued. “We have a dance called the Friday Night Hot Spot at City Hall once each month, usually on the last Friday. It’s just another thing we do to help keep the kids out of trouble and keep them active and having fun.”

One of the more interesting stations was the Chuze Fitness obstacle course. Students took turns in groups tossing heavy medicine balls, doing shuttle-steps between cones, jumping rope for several minutes, or making their way through hoop runs. A great deal of laughter accompanied the activities, led by trainers Brandon Decker and Kim Assino.

“We’re out her trying to show these kids better ways to work out and to give them different ideas and exercises,” said Decker. “We just want to show them good ways to keep their heart rate going and keep in shape. Different things they can do when they are outside, having fun with a partner or by themselves. The kids seem to be having a lot of fun, and they are getting a pretty good workout at the same time.”

Cajon Park middle school teachers had an easy time of it, shepherding their groups from station to station and then watching the fun. Allsyn Gazi, a math and science teacher, was with her group at the Chuze Fitness station. “This all has to do with heart health awareness and physical fitness,” she explained. “It’s a change from the normal day in and day out PE. With the program they kids are keeping track of their movement each day and they are finding out just how much exercise they actually do in a day. Sometimes it’s more than they realize, other times they see how much more they should be doing.”

John Beacom, a middle school history teacher, pointed out the importance of having the professional athletes and trainers involved. “It means a lot to these kids to see the real professionals who make a living by leading healthy lifestyles, eating right and doing the right things to keep themselves in shape,” he said. “Many of these kids dream about being professionals, either basketball, soccer, football, even cheerleading. These professionals are reinforcing ideas that, hopefully, will help these kids reach their goals.”

For the Cajon Park students who took part in the Health and Fitness Fair, it was all about the fun. Seventh-grade student Janae, who hopes to play softball in high school, enjoyed the soccer station, but admitted, “It was kind of hard. You definitely have to have the right shoes to do it and I didn’t. I don’t usually play soccer, but it was fun. It was cool seeing the two Sockers players; they were really good and definitely professional.”

“It’s been an amazing experience,” said seventh grader Justin. “I had no clue that San Diego had an indoor soccer team. I used to play goalie with AYSO Lakeside’s Gravediggers.”

Asked about how the Play 60 Program has affected him over the past month, Justin confirmed he had seen some definite improvement in the amount of activity he was involved in. Janae agreed that the month-long focus had made a difference, although she admitted, “It’s hard to eat good things every day with all the tempting fast food.”

While the Play 60 Program is a good start, it will be up to the students and their parents and teachers to continue the good habits that have been started. Health is not a one-day or even a one-month activity, but a conscious choice each and every day for a lifetime.

Leave a comment

Filed under Community, Health, Schools

Fox’s Pizza Den Fundraiser Results

The numbers are in on Fox’s Pizza Den’s fundraiser for Chet F. Harritt School on Wednesday, February 9. Thanks to all of the families, couples, and individuals who came in for lunch and dinner, Fox’s was able to donate $213 to the school to use as they need. Now $213 may not sound like a lot, but if you figure an average order of say $20-$25, that turns out to be quite a few pizzas.

I stopped by Fox’s around dinner time and they were quite busy. The dining area was nearly full and there were families waiting for take-out orders. It’s always good to see a local business so busy, especially when they are helping local schools. But more than this, with the economy still moving slowly it’s important to support those businesses so that they will be around for the long haul.

So a big “Thank You” to Fox’s Pizza Den for supporting Santee Schools. And another “Thank You” to everyone who came out to help by ordering.

Leave a comment

Filed under Business, Community, Schools

Pizza a “Foxy” Way to Help Chet F. Harritt School

If you like pizza and you support Santee Schools, then Wednesday is your day. Fox’s Pizza Den at 8011 Mission Gorge Rd. is having a fundraiser for their partner Chet F. Harritt School from noon until they close. Fox’s will donate 20% of all proceeds from both dine-in and take-out orders to support the school. If you want to call in your order to 619-749-4165, just be sure to tell them you heard about the fundraiser and want to do your part to help.

With the still-struggling economy and lower home values, money is tight all around – especially for schools. Chet F. Harritt School does a wonderful job with the resources they get but any extra always helps. Plus you will also be helping one of our local restaurants that has been around for many years. Just since January 1 we have lost at least three area eateries and we don’t want any more to go the way of La Salsa, Cold Stone, and Panda Garden. So come on out on Wednesday, February 9, and help out the community.

 

Thanks to Joe at Fox’s Pizza Den for correcting the originally incorrect phone number.

1 Comment

Filed under Business, Community, Schools

2009, A Santee Review – Part 1

 

Here at the end of the year, with little going on, I thought it would be a good time to look back over the past 12 months and see what has happened in Santee. In spite of the down economy and the poor housing market, there were a lot of positives. So, without further ado, a review of Santee 2009.

The year kicked off with the Santee Library hosting the first of a series of book discussions centered around the themes of “Love and Forgiveness.” The series was developed by the American Library Association and the Fetzer Institute, and the Santee Library was one of 50 around the country chosen to take part. Dr. Martha Stoddard-Holmes, Associate Professor of Literature and Writing Studies at CSU San Marcos, was the host/moderator for the series, which ran through May. Also in January were the Chamber of Commerce’s annual Installation Dinner (which I was unable to attend) and monthly Sunrise Santee and After-5 Mixer. On the down side, I posted a request for help from the Sheriff’s Department after a high school student was attacked by one of a group of 8 young men, suffering severe injuries. I did not hear what followed on the incident.

My final post in January, on the new Edgemoor Hospital facilities, has, interestingly enough, become the top post on my blog. I wrote the post after going to an Open House held at the new location, and after reading a rather scathing opinion piece in the Union-Tribune. In contrast to the impression in the U-T article, I was very impressed with the facilities and the people I met there. The new hospital is now completely up and running and the old facilities are scheduled for the wrecking ball this week.

February started off on a decided down note with the coverage of the search for two suspects in a horrifying child molestation case. Aaron Zendejas had been arrested for providing children he had been hired to babysit to Jared Yaffe, who was wanted in multiple states on child pornography charges. Zendejas later pleaded guilty to charges and faces 15 years to life in prison; Yaffe was arrested in Brazil and will stand trial in April. Also on the crime scene, a postal employee was arrested for stealing gift cards from his route and possibly the post office as well.

On a more positive note, Cajon Park School held a dedication ceremony for its new classroom building and an Open House for the community to see all the work that had been done through the Proposition R programs. This included renovations on the existing buildings and the reconfiguration of their circular classroom building into a Library/Media Center. The new building has classrooms for 5th and 6th grade upstairs and 7th and 8th (junior high) downstairs. The upstairs section is connected to the main school buildings by a bridge.

In February I also wrote a new On Food Patrol about Mimi’s Cafe, a Meet Your Neighbor for the Santee Library’s speaker series, and previews for a Chamber Small Business Seminar, the Miss Santee Pageant, and the Christian Youth Theater production of Honk.

March was a busy month both in Santee and here on the blog. I did one more post on Honk and covered the PLAY (Performing Lakeside Acting Youth) production of Beauty and the Beast at Lakeside Middle School. I missed the Miss Santee Pageant, but I did post a short piece on the winners, Miss Santee, Sierra Billock, and Miss Santee Teen, Nicole Ehlke. These two young women have been very dedicated and involved representatives of the city. I also introduced the Santee Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors, who were kicking off the Shop Santee and Save campaign focusing on Santee’s low sales tax rate. The month ended with a post on the preparation work that the U.S. Census was doing for the upcoming 2010 Census.

Every year March brings Santree Fest, a celebration of Earth Day and recognition of Santee as an official Tree City by the National Arbor Day Foundation. This year the event was held at Mast Park, located between Carlton Hills Blvd. and the Wal-Mart shopping center, along the San Diego River. The day included tree planting, trash and non-native vegetation removal, and information booths. There was also entertainment by the group Virtual Strangers, a tree climbing demonstration by West Coast Arborists, and plenty of food provided by local eateries. One of the sponsors of the event, the San Diego River Park Foundation, would be involved in other activities during the year.

April was as busy as March, if not more so. The big event in April, and very likely the year, was the grand opening of the first Sonic Drive In in San Diego County. Not only did it create huge lines all around the restaurant on Mission Gorge, it gave me my biggest single day of traffic, with nearly 600 hits. Because I write about Santee, and am part of the Chamber of Commerce, I was able to attend the special VIP event prior to the full opening on the Monday, April 6. Later on I posted some tips for cutting the hassle of waiting in line, and even a taste-off between Sonic and In-N-Out.

A second major event in April was the Spring Eggstravaganza at Santee Lakes, presented by the City of Santee and Padre Dam. The day included egg hunts, games, rides, and food. Primo DJ provided music and an army of volunteers kept everything running smoothly for the families that came to enjoy the fun. Another important event at Santee Lakes was the annual Relay for Life of Santee for the American Cancer Society. This would be the tenth year for the Relay, which raises money and awareness for the fight against cancer.

Also this month were a pair of grand openings, Frubble and SewCalCuties, the new Santee Farmers Market, the monthly After-5 Mixer, and several other small events. I covered the Omelette Factory for another Food Patrol, did some updates on Sonic traffic, took part in the RiverBlitz survey along the San Diego River, and previewed two health-related events and a new CYT production.

It’s pretty clear that 2009 was a busy year in Santee. Rather than trying to review it all in one post, I will continue my look back with two follow-up posts. Meanwhile, enjoy the end of the year and remember not to drink and drive on New Year’s Eve.

3 Comments

Filed under Business, Chamber Activities, Community, Crime Watch, Entertainment, On Food Patrol, Schools

2009 Golf Classic Raises Funds for Santee Schools

Carlton Oaks Country Club

On Wednesday, June 24, Carlton Oaks Country Club was the site of the 6th Annual Golf Classic to support the Santee School District Foundation.  Some 100 golfers signed up to play and raise money to help support technology and the arts in Santee Schools.  In addition to the players, some three dozen companies and organizations signed on to sponsor the event.  All money raised from entry fees, sponsorships, raffles, and the silent auction go toward a $40,000 pledge the Foundation has made to help the School District reach its technology goals.

Golf Classic Sponsors

This year’s turnout was slightly lower than last year’s, due in part to a combination of the economy and multiple local tournaments in May.  But the lower numbers didn’t mean any less fun and enthusiasm among players, Foundation members, and other volunteers.  An extra “atta-boy” goes to Thomas Hootman, of Simply Spa, who stepped in to cover for Chamber Executive Director Warren Savage, who had to attend the Las Colinas hearing downtown that same morning.  Simply Spa also provided chair massages for golfers who had perhaps strained an oblique teeing off on the 18th hole.

Simply Spa Chair Massage

Another sponsor, North Island Credit Union, provided carne asada tacos to help keep players going until the big dinner.  They were also popular with the volunteers.

North Island Credit Union Taco Stand

None of this could have happened without the efforts of the Santee School District Foundation.  A hearty congratulations to the Foundation and its volunteers.

Santee School District Foundation Members (L-R) Rachael Folsom, Linda Vail, Betty Vega, Lisa McColl, Laura Spencer, Ted Hooks

Santee School District Foundation Members

A Great Day for Golf

Golf Weather

Fun on the Links

Fun On the Links

Trophies and Awards

Annual Golf Classic Trophies and Awards

1 Comment

Filed under Business, Chamber Activities, Community, Schools

2009 Golf Classic – Last Chance to Sign Up

Golf Classic

2009 Golf Classic

The last opportunity for you to sign up and play at the 6th Annual Golf Classic for the Santee School District Foundation is coming soon.  The big event kicks off (or, rather tees off) at 11:00 am tomorrow and lasts all day.  The Golf Classic is one way the Foundation raises money to help provide technology and money for arts programs at the Santee Schools.

For more details, check out my previous post “Teeing Off for Kids.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Community, Schools