By SUNNY LOCKWOOD
When students return to Avery Middle School next month, their in-house TV system won't produce the wiggly picture they're used to.
A new camera with a much sharper image will soon replace the one that sometimes stopped broadcasting images altogether.
"Sometimes it would just turn off," said Avery seventh-grade teacher Patti Johnson. "We always had the 'due to technical problems' sign ready."
The student council has received a $500 grant from the Calaveras Community Foundation for a video camera with both a dependable zoom and wide-angle lens.
The council was one of eight county recipients of foundation grants totaling $8,397 that were awarded this week.
Calaveras County Arts Council received a $3,000 grant to support its Arts in Education Program.
"This will allow the arts to continue in our schools, even during this time of state funding cuts," said Arts Council Executive Director Penny West.
West said the grant will help bring story tellers, dance instructors, musicians, puppeteers and various other artists to classrooms throughout the county.
Another grant recipient is Ebbetts Pass Forest Watch, which received $1,000 for its Chickaree Project, a forest health education program that includes classroom discussions and materials.
Friends of the Logging Museum received $700 for drywall materials to complete the interior of the Logging Museum in White Pines.
Murphys Creek Theatre received $1,200 to cover the salary of a professional actor to coordinate an advanced children's acting conservatory called the Mirror Project.
The University of California Master Gardeners program received $497 to develop a one-acre demonstration garden near the Calaveras County Library in San Andreas.
Glencoe-Railroad Flat Recreation Association received a $500 sponsorship matching fund grant for last month's Meadow Creek Park Bluegrass Festival.