Every year, the HOPE Awards gives us an opportunity to honor our local heroes of public education. This year we will shine our light on individuals and programs making strides for literacy. The evening will begin with a silent auction and reception featuring fine food and beverages from local restaurants, wineries, and breweries at the beautiful Santa Barbara Historical Museum.
About the Honoree: Kate Parker
In her role as Library Director at Cate School, Kate Parker knows the impact literacy has on students. She first emerged as a leader in education when she served as the PTA president for two years at Adams Elementary School. She was then elected to the Santa Barbara Unified School District Board of Education in 2006. During her 12- year tenure at the School Board, Kate championed equitable student access and developed culturally proficient and integrated schools and classrooms. She continues to serve as an advocate for public education on the Santa Barbara Community College Board of Trustees. When she’s not in the library or at a board meeting, Kate volunteers with the Santa Barbara Women’s Political Committee and chairs the Education Committee of the Santa Barbara Symphony Board.
About the honoree: Paul Orfalea
While the mission of the Santa Barbara Public Library is to provide information services, reading materials, and educational resources, its impact goes well beyond these activities. Our local public libraries serve as community centers, conservators of our rich local history, and in some cases a place of refuge in times of crisis. Currently, SBPL works to improve the educational outcomes of members of the community, from infants to adult learners with Homework Help and storytimes that emphasize early literacy to vibrant relationships with other community organizations such as Dyslexia Santa Barbara. During the Thomas Fire, SBPL focused on creating a sense of normalcy and connectedness by providing additional programming in a safe space. In total, staff conducted 78 different youth programs over a 22-day span.
About the Santa Barbara Education Foundation
Since 1985, the Santa Barbara Education Foundation has worked with community partners to strengthen the educational experience of ALL students in the Santa Barbara Unified School District. SBEF has raised funds to:
- Support at-risk students
- Ensure equal access to quality education
- Support art & music education
- Provide instruments
- Offer summer school
SBEF believes that great schools have long-lasting effects on students and the community. Our goal is to continue to elevate the quality of public schools in our community.