In line with its February Education Month, the Sharks Foundation kicked off the campaign by providing its largest Community Assist Grant of the 2019-20 season with a $200,000 commitment to the San Jose Public Library Foundation (SJPLF).
Grant funds will be used to reimagine the dedicated Wee Explore PlaySpace for children ages 0 to 5 and their caregivers in the Children's Room of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library in downtown San Jose. The design will include custom, interactive and age-appropriate marine-themed structures to transform the space into a beautiful, functional and education center for library guests. Sharks, hockey sticks and pucks incorporated into the design will add subtle touches and a nod to the library's neighborhood team. On January 31, the Sharks, SJPLF staff and local families gathered to officially announce the project with renderings of the project's plans on display and a welcome address from City Librarian Jill Bourne, Sharks Executive John Tortora and Councilmember Raul Peralez. Following the presentation, a storytime and Q&A session was held with Sharks players Mario Ferraro and Evander Kane with the children in attendance. San Jose Sharks mascot S.J. Sharkie was onsite for photo opportunities and all guests went home with Sharks branded literacy-themed gifts.
On February 8, the Sharks Foundation visited Third Street Community Center to announce a $125,000 donation in partnership with SAP, to Provide funding to support both the Young Engineers and STEM for Latina Girls programs, and to renovate the Third Street Community Center's onsite tech lab.
Then on February 21, 80 Sharks employees, fans and season ticket holders, and Western Digital employees spent the afternoon packing hockey-themed STEAM Activity Kits for Resource Area For Teaching (RAFT) at their San Jose Resource Center which will impact more than 6,000 lives. The volunteer day served as an opportunity to announce the Sharks Foundation and Western Digital's $100,000 commitment via a Community Assist Grant to build the RAFT "Pop-up Model" van. The vehicle, which will be retrofitted and completed by Summer 2020, will increase the non-profit's reach by having the means to deliver their Activity Kits, curriculum and training at no cost to teachers and students at Title 1 schools and extended learning providers throughout Santa Clara, San Mateo, Monterey, and Alameda counties. RAFT anticipates the Pop-up Model will reach 250 teachers and serve 2,500 students within the first year!
The Sharks Community Relations department and SAP joined forces to put on the first0ever STEM Field Trip Day at SAP Center on February 25. The event hosted 150 local 6th-grade students who have participated in the Future Goals Hockey Scholar STEM computer program, and featured science, technology, engineering and math-related activities both on and off the ice. On-ice stations included bank passing off the boards using angles, the science behind the Zamboni and the effects on a puck passing over smooth versus rough ice. Off the ice, students had the opportunity to experiment with two Tech Museum exhibits on the Concourse: Innovation on Ice - Code Teal and the Zamboni Design Challenge. The event also featured a STEM career panel and a tour of the Sharks locker room. At the conclusion of the day, every student was surprised with two tickets to the March 5 Sharks vs. Wild Game!
For the month of February, the Sharks Foundation highlighted Goals for Kids beneficiary Wayfinder Family Services whose mission is to ensure that children, youth and adults facing challenges always have a place to turn. Amongst other services, Wayfinder offers a special education school for children with disabilities and transition services to college or work for young adults with vision loss.