Join Us : Sip & Support at Clif Family Winery Tasting Room September 20, 2017

Sip & Support! Join us at the Clif Family Winery Tasting Room September 20 from 4 – 7 pm.

Celebrate the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year and help kick-off Give BIG! 2018.

Bring your family, friends, and neighbors to Velo Vino for a fun and delicious evening sipping and supporting St. Helena’s public schools. Come enjoy Clif Family wines and savor delectable offerings available for purchase from the Bruschetteria Food Truck.

20% of all proceeds from the evening will be donated to Give BIG! St. Helena, a partnership of the St. Helena Public Schools Foundation and the Parent Groups of St. Helena’s Public Schools.


Help Our Students Soar!

STEP 1: Donate any amount online, or drop some cash in the Give BIG! jar at each school site office.

STEP 2: Take your photo in front of the mascot wings:

  • St. Helena Primary School: Angels
  • St. Helena Elementary School: Dragons
  • RLS: Devils
  • St. Helena High School: Saints

STEP 3: Post your photo(s) on Instagram, Facebook, or other social media to show that you have given. Use the hashtags #givebigsthelena and #sthelenawings. Ask your friends and family to give a little – or to Give BIG! Every dollar is appreciated and every dollar counts.

STEP 4: Fly over to the other St. Helena public schools to take photos with each unique set of mascot wings! (You must sign in as a guest at the front office during school hours.) Repeat steps 1 – 3.

Where does your money go?

Field trips, library acquisitions, fine art programs, special education, STEM learning, movie nights, visits by authors & academics, drama productions, play structures, and so much more!


A BIG! thank you to:

  • Kerri Beeker, SHPS & SHES parent who came up with wing concept after seeing wings in Mexico & LA – and realizing all four St. Helena Public School mascots have wings.
  • Kendra Kelperis, RLS art teacher who allowed us to use her classroom to make the wings, and who painted the RLS Devil wings
  • Julie Rayner, who painted the wing backdrops and helped with logistics
  • Vanessa von Hessert, who made the wing platforms and painted the SHPS Angel and SHES Dragon wings, and took photos of Primary School students
  • Anna Chouteau – SHPS parent and our make-the-wings-happen person!
  • Silvia Seyve,  SHHS art teacher who worked with high school students to paint the Saints wings
  • Gillian Casey, SHPS parent who helped the day we took all the photos
  • Central Valley for donating the plywood
  • Steve’s Hardware for discounting the paint
  • The SHUSD operations team for mounting the wings

And thank you to our principals for all the support:

  • St. Helena Primary School –  Tamara Sanguinetti
  • St. Helena Elementary School – Tanya Pearson
  • Robert Louis Stevenson Middle School – Karin Cox
  • St. Helena High School – Benjamin Scinto

Look for more photos on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and follow along with hashtags #givebigsthelena and #sthelenawings.

Featured in the St. Helena Star: GIVE BIG helps St. Helena students

Note: The following article was published in the St. Helena Star on March 16, 2017 and can be found online here.


As educators, we believe in enriching the experiences of our students outside of the typical classroom setting. The GIVE BIG campaign, managed by the St. Helena Public Schools Foundation and the St. Helena parent groups each school year, raises funds that allow teachers to do just that. The funding we have received over the years has helped engage students in several ways. For science class, students have had the opportunity to attend the Exploratorium in San Francisco; in history class, students have traveled to the Legion of Honor as well as listened to three in-class presentations by an historian.

One of the highlights in sixth grade is our annual science field trip. For the past two years, our trips to the Exploratorium have been fun, engaging, and educational. Sixth graders have explored, tinkered, asked questions, and discovered scientific concepts from the many hands-on exhibits at the museum. Students have experienced the joy of learning and discovering due to the funding provided by GIVE BIG. Thank you!

Our trips to the Legion of Honor have been truly amazing. All sixth-graders get to become artists, art historians and museum curators. While at the museum, our students work in groups led by incredible docents. Students are able to present to each other actual ancient artifacts they have organized into a mini exhibit. After an art lesson, students use charcoal and other materials to imitate paintings of European masters. Our students also participate in the curricular process called Cycle of Inquiry, created by the art historians at the Legion of Honor. Many parents have commented that the trip to the Legion of Honor is one of the best field trips they have ever attended.

The GIVE BIG campaign funds also bring lively experiences directly into the classroom. For the last four years, Mr. Lonny Johnson, owner of Ancient Artifacts, has been captivating all of our students with his incredible storytelling presence and genuine artifacts that are thousands of years old. Students really enjoy holding Egyptian surgical tools as Mr. Johnson regales them with descriptive details of removing the brains of wealthy Egyptians and pharaohs during the embalming process of mummification.

During the presentation on ancient Rome, students are smiling and laughing as they practice Roman Legion battle strategies. During the presentation on ancient Greece, Mr. Johnson retells the famous Battle of Thermopylae so well that students sit at the edge of their seats wondering how 300 Spartans were able to fight off hundreds of thousands of Persian soldiers. Both the Legion of Honor and the Ancient Artifacts program has become a staple of our learning community. It’s been great to see the engagement and excitement in students’ eyes as they enjoy these wonderful moments of learning.

These hands-on educational experiences — the Exploratorium, the Legion of Honor, and Ancient Artifacts — are only possible because of the extra funding provided by the GIVE BIG fundraising drive. Thank you again to all the people who work tirelessly to invest in our students!

Editor’s Note: The Robert Louis Stevenson sixth-grade team is made up of Rob Grace, Erin Kurtz, Margie Scherer and Ngu Pham.


Give BIG! Highlights

Your support brings the curriculum alive for the students of the Saint Helena Unified School District. Below are just a handful of the wonderful ways your donations have enhanced and expanded the education experience for our community’s fortunate public school students.

For the last several years, SHHS science teacher Chris O’Connor has offered 30-35 Anatomy and Physiology students a wonderful extracurricular opportunity to explore comparative marine anatomy on Catalina Island off the coast of Southern California. This three
day crash course focuses on both invertebrate and vertebrate comparative anatomy, and virtually all the work is hands on, ‘in
the field.’ Your support ensures that any student in the class who wants to go is able to, regardless of ability to pay.


SHPS creates a community of lifelong learners, and its lucky K-2nd graders form lasting connections with their fellow students, teachers, parents and the community at large. The SHPSF and Parent Groups facilitate this mission, funding field trips, art exploration, and the much beloved ‘birthday books,’ presented personally to each child in their classroom on their birthday. Your support enables the foundation for a lifelong love of reading.


The SHHS Literary Art Journal is a student-driven annual publication that showcases student artwork, poetry, and creative writing. Student editors select the poetry and art, and then compile the journal with the support and guidance of long-time librarian (and SHPSF Board Member) Susan Swan. Each student at SHHS receives a treasured copy at no charge, thanks to your support.


Creative and dedicated teachers bring wonderful innovative technology-based opportunities to their students, and it’s our good fortune to be
able to offer them ongoing support, with your help. These SHES students are working with a Makey Makey kit, a small circuit board that turns physical objects into buttons for a computer by creating electrical circuits. These girls have created a closed circuit using tinfoil, Play-Doh, and their hands. They were then able to use it as a video game controller to play a game created by a fellow classmate.


The 8th grade students at RLS form lifetime memories and a lasting connection to our natural world with an end of year trip to the majestic Yosemite National Park. The excellent team of 8th grade teachers and their local park naturalists incorporate lessons on wildlife, geology, and natural systems. Students receive an indelible lesson on the power of observation and the diversity and wonder of life and their environment. Students are asked to contribute to the cost of this trip, but all are able to attend regardless of ability to pay, thanks to your support.


Download this printable Highlights PDF.

How Give BIG! Donations Support Our Students


The $247,000 we raised in 2015 is making an impact in St. Helena’s four public schools today! You’ll be amazed at what our kids can accomplish next year with your generosity—








More highlights of the 150+ enrichment activities and trips for 1,200 kids include:

St. Helena Primary School

  • Lightwire Theater’s performance of A Very Electric Christmas at Wells Fargo Center
  • Birthday Books – every K-2 student receives a book on their birthday
  • Lawrence Hall of Science hands-on experience on how plants and creatures on planet Earth change, reproduce, and share habitat

St. Helena Elementary School

  • Age of Sail – a day of sailing and history on San Francisco Bay
  • Web of Life Science Program – 4 days/3 nights of science, ecology, and marine biology
  • California Pioneer Living History at Bale Mill and Sharpsteen Museum

Robert Louis Stevenson Middle School

  • Yosemite 8th Grade Experience with NatureBridge Institute
  • Three Soccer Goals for the Lunch Intramural Program
  • Motivation in Film – a new video camera to film the Manifest Destiny performance, and future performances

St. Helena High School

  • Safe & Responsible Senior Grad Night
  • Junior/Senior Prom
  • Drama Department Theater Performances