VEP’s LAUNCH celebrates innovation in education

Ventura Education Partnership (VEP) announces details for the third annual LAUNCH event at the beautiful Museum of Ventura County on April 21, at 5:30pm.

Aera Energy returns as the Presenting Sponsor. Amy Fonzo, External Affairs Specialist said, “Aera values the brightest minds and the boldest spirits and the educators we honor every year at LAUNCH have demonstrated there are no boundaries when it comes to creativity and innovation in education. That is why we are proud to support LAUNCH as the presenting sponsor again this year. Aera is committed to partnering with local organizations such as VEP to build strong communities where we operate and to support innovation in education to benefit students in Ventura.”

LAUNCH is the signature annual event created by Ventura Education Partnership to recognize and celebrate Ventura Unified School District educators who bring learning to life for their students in innovative, creative and engaging ways, encouraging students to expand their depth of knowledge. LAUNCH features three local educators who will present their novel and inspiring ideas around education.

“LAUNCH gives the community a look inside VUSD classrooms. It’s an inspiring evening that will make you laugh and even feel a little teary-eyed as educators share their stories of classroom innovation,” said Madhu Bajaj, LAUNCH Committee Chair and VEP’s Vice President of Grants.

LAUNCH will highlight the work of the following three educators:

Joel Levin, Buena High School, is an English teacher, teacher librarian, songwriter and novelist; his primary goal in life is to help others find their voices – literally and figuratively, onstage and offstage, in the classroom and beyond the halls of high school.

Erin Beerer, Balboa Middle School, is a Special Education teacher who supports students with disabilities that are moderately to severely impactful on their lives. She strives to provide them with access to opportunities equal to their typically developing peers.

Eva Cherrie, Elmhurst Elementary School, strives to use STEAM and the outdoor learning experiences to enhance engagement and achievement in core content academics. She has focused on studying birds, insects, and gardening to encourage students to go outdoors and be curious about the world around them.

When you see and hear the stories the three educators share at LAUNCH, you get to witness firsthand the differences that grant funded projects make for VUSD students AND you raise funds for the next school year,” said VEP’s CO-Presidents, Kathy Asher and Debbie Golden.

Additional LAUNCH sponsors include Dr. Andrei Bobrow & Ms. Sabrena Rodriguez, Fastsigns of Ventura, Madhu Bajaj, James Forsythe, Kailash & Rajni Narayan, Very Ventura Gift Shop & Gallery, EJ Harrison, State Farm Agents Irene Henry and Dena Rogers and more. For more information and to sponsor the event visit or contact Madhu Bajaj (805) 754-9861.

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