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Programs Funded by CEF

For the 2023/2024 school year, the positions and programs funded by CEF will include: 
  • Music Instructor (TK-3)
  • Art Instructional Assistant (TK-5)
  • Reading Specialist (TK-5)
  • 2 Math Instructional Assistants (TK-5)
  • Literacy Instructional Assistant (TK-5)
  • Library Media Coordinator (TK-5)
  • CEF Operating Expenses (Accounting, Insurance, Non-Profit Dues)

In order to continue these valued programs, we need everyone to contribute. Each student benefits every day from your tax-deductible CEF donation. 

Click here to learn more about CEF's Fundraising events and programs
Rachel McCutchen, Reading Specialist,
Grades Supported: K-5
Rachel is a credentialed teacher that oversees our literacy intervention program. There are many facets to her position, including data analysis of all students, assisting in administering diagnostic assessments for students performing below standard, delivery of intervention in small groups and 1-1 (including Structured Literacy Intervention, Leveled Literacy Instruction, Reading Recovery, and other research based models), staff training, attendance at Student Success Team meetings, coordination of the intervention schedule/master schedule, parent communications, and progress monitoring to staff
Kassie Esquivez, Instructional Assistant, Literacy,
Grades Supported: K-5
Joni Steffensen, Instructional Assistant, Literacy,
Grades Supported: K-5
Kassie and Joanie are instructional assistants that deliver a variety of interventions to our students. Similar to Rachel, their positions have a lot of responsibilities, including: working with Rachel to analyze student data, assisting with assessments, coordinating a schedule to deliver small group and, on occasion, 1-1 intervention, supporting phonemic awareness, letter sounds & phonics, concepts of print, reading fluency and expression, and reading comprehension, reporting progress to parents and teachers, and participating in ongoing training.
Hillary Sterne, Instructional Assistant, Math,
Grades Supported: 1-5
Norma manages our Tier 2 and Tier 3 math intervention program. She supports students in acquiring essential grade level standards, as well as students that may be lacking prerequisite skills needed to access grade level content. Norma uses a variety of strategies to build understanding on foundation of numbers, base 10 place value, composing and decomposing numbers, multiplication and division, and decimals and fractions. Norma works with grade level teachers to build our math intervention schedule and provides detailed updates on student progress.
Lubna Jawaid, Library Media Coordinator,
Grades Supported: TK-5 (6 hours a week)
Lubna oversees all media at John Baldwin. Lubna catalogs and distributes instructional materials for students and staff, manages online subscriptions, and oversees distribution of library materials. During this past school year, Lubna has further assisted with supplies/materials distribution for remote instruction, hybrid student supervision, online read alouds, online checkout of library materials for remote instruction, and hybrid delivery of library materials to classrooms. Our Cougar Ed Fund supplements her district allocated hours, bringing her on campus for a total 18 hours per week.
Nivedita Krishnaswami, Senior Primary Para "Rainbow Room" 
Grades Supported: TK-5 (4.5 hours)
Nivedita facilitates the Rainbow Room program at John Baldwin. Rainbow Program is a research based early intervention program that helps our students in a variety of areas, including developing social skills, fostering healthy self-concept, developing leadership skills, and assisting with life transitions. These interventions are provided via various models, such as Primary Intervention Program (PIP) where students participate in non-directive play; Small Group Supports such as Second Step, Steps to Respect, PALS, and Get Ready for Middle School. All of these programs have continued to be offered, virtually, during this past school year. In addition to these supports, Nivedita has assisted with supervision and staff training. Our Cougar Ed Fund supplements her district allocated hours, allowing her to support our students for 19.5 hours a week. 
Joseph Livoti, Music Instructor (TK-3)
Rayne Devlin, Art Instructor (TK-5)
Hillary Sterne, Math Instructional Assistant
Archana Radhakrishnan, Math Instructional Assistant
The John Baldwin Cougar Education Fund is an affiliate of the San Ramon Valley Education Foundation. For more information, visit


The following subscriptions are paid for by Cougar Education Foundation:

IXL- is a personalized learning platform to improve learning outcomes for all students. IXL’s comprehensive K-12 curriculum, Real-Time Diagnostic, personalized guidance, and actionable Analytics work together seamlessly to give teachers everything they need to differentiate instruction and help students grow.

Raz Kids 
Raz-Kids provides comprehensive leveled reading resources for students. With hundreds of eBooks offered at 29 different levels of reading difficulty, it's easy to put the right content in every student's hands.

Kids access their leveled text through an interactive learning portal designed to keep them motivated and engaged. Every eBook is available in online and mobile formats, and allows students to listen to, read at their own pace, and record themselves reading. Students then take a corresponding eQuiz complete with an extended answer response to test comprehension and determine future instruction needs. 
Newsela (4th and 5th grade) 
Newsela is an instructional content tool that allows teachers to find articles with appropriate reading levels for their students. Newsela articles also feature questions and writing prompts that align with common core standards. The news articles span a wide array of content, including science, money, law, health, arts, sports, and opinion. The site provides high-quality nonfiction texts from well-regarded media sources, such as the Washington Post, the Scientific American, the Los Angeles Times, and the Associated Press. In using the site, students not only practice reading nonfiction but also stay current with what is happening locally and globally.
Read Naturally (for students enrolled in reading intervention)
​Read Naturally is an online reading program that accelerates reading achievement by combining the research-proven strategies of teacher modeling, repeated reading, and progress monitoring. A student works at his or her own pace in an appropriate level of material.