Weekly roundup: A GoatFundMe campaign, celebrating classified employees, Pacifica High’s ROTC program, and more

They called it their “GoatFundMe” campaign.

After considering a number of philanthropic pursuits, a group of students from Niguel Hills Middle School in Laguna Niguel decided to raise money to purchase goats for impoverished and undernourished communities around the world.

goatsThe Orange County Register reports that students involved with their school’s Student PTSA program partnered with WE, a worldwide charity group, and generated $3,077.07 over three weeks through donations and an in-class coin drive. That’s enough for about 61 goats.

“It only costs $50 to buy a goat,” Student PTSA President Max Segal told the newspaper. “That one goat can provide milk, food and income to an impoverished family. As a school, we can make a lasting impact just by collecting pocket change.”

Again, the Register has the full story. And here are some other stories we’ve been following this week.

  • Since 1986, schools and districts across the state have honored their classified employees during the third week of May. In his latest column, Orange County Superintendent Al Mijares sings the praises of these workers who “quietly lay the foundation for teaching and learning.”
  • A dozen mental health videos produced by students from Canyon, Foothill and Katella high schools have earned regional honors in a video contest created to empower young people to start important conversations about suicide prevention and mental health.
  • OCDE’s Orange County Friday Night Live Partnership honored two schools and an advisor for their efforts to develop youth leaders and implement alcohol and drug prevention projects in their schools and communities.
  • As Gov. Jerry Brown closes in on his goal of achieving “full funding” under his overhauled education spending model, some legislators and education advocates want to raise per-pupil spending to levels that would place California among the top 10 states in the U.S.
  • Since its inception in 1954, the Kiwanis Club of Santa Ana Foundation has provided about $1.8 million in scholarship grants to students who might not otherwise be able to afford higher education. At a ceremony on Wednesday, the latest round of funding was presented to 16 grateful college-bound recipients.
  • A recent study published by Pediatric Academic Societies reveals that reading picture books to children stimulates more brain activity than reading non-illustrated books, playing audiobooks or letting kids watch animated shows.
  • And finally, KPCC reports that charter school backers are outspending teachers unions in the races for California governor and state superintendent of public instruction.

This is the part where we encourage you to keep up with local education news stories by bookmarking the OCDE Newsroomsubscribing for emailed updates or following us on FacebookTwitter or Instagram.