Dr. Claudia Karkia of Petaluma's North Bridge Orthodontics is supporting local schools by starting the EmBRACE Technology Fund at the Petaluma Educational Foundation.

With a goal of bringing together members of the dental industry working as one to help the local community, Karkia has developed the fund as a way to positively impact kindergarten to 12th-grade students, while creating a sense of community among her peers. Together with other dentists, dental specialists and dental suppliers, the group is making donations to PEF to specifically fund Chromebooks for students to use in their classroom through the annual PEF Impact Grant Program.

The cost of a Chromebook is approximately $300. With every donation, students are one step closer to embracing classroom learning in an entirely new way. From virtual field trips, crafting their own novels; working corroboratively on projects, reinforcing daily lessons through self-paced applications, expanding their knowledge of science, math and language arts and more, the Chromebooks will help students as they learn to use new technology.

"My goal is to bring a group of Petaluma dentists together to make a difference in the community where they work," said Karkia. "I have always held a strong belief in education as being vital to people's success and happiness.

"I was made aware of the need for Chromebooks this year, and purchased three for each of my own kids' classes. After asking a few of my patients, who are teachers in local schools, I realized the imminent need for more. As a regular supporter of the organization, my first call was to PEF because I knew they would be able to help me with my mission.

"Through the kind generosity of many of our local dentists, we managed to raise more than $5,000 last month," Karkia noted. "I am hoping to raise a minimum of $10,000, which will purchase 30 devices.

"My goal is to encourage other industries to get together within their communities and make a difference to what is important to them. As a group, we can make a huge difference in the future of our communities and, ultimately, the world."

For more information on the EmBRACE Technology fund, contact Karkia at North Bridge Orthodontics at 789-9799. For details about PEF and the PEF Impact Grant Program, contact Maureen Highland at 778-6432 or at Maureen@pefinfo.com.

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