Educator Initiative Grants
If you’ve never had the opportunity to deliver a GIANT check for grant money to a teacher, we hope one day you’ll get the chance!
The Foundation has become synonymous with “classroom grants,” funding the imagination and innovation of teachers. The Educator Initiative Grant program has been one of our most successful programs, funding programs, ideas, and technology – with quite a few ideas making their way to become part of every school!
In 1997, we funded 56 grants totaling $74,114. Some notable projects that year included math manipulatives for an entire elementary school, a science project to study the Aurora-Jewell wetlands, and a global positioning system to build the link between geography and science in a partnership with NASA to share information via the newly-created Internet.
In 2022, we funded 202 grants totaling $193,000! Some notable projects included cardio drumming, calming corners, a library nook, robotics equipment, and an astronomy experience. When the grant money is awarded, members of the Foundation Board and staff deliver giant checks to the schools.
“Some of my favorite moments have been being able to bring some of the EIG grant checks to the educators in the district and actually SEEING the impact that the foundation makes for our students.,” shared Breze Caldwell, a current Board member and liaison for Parents’ Council.
Claudine McDonald, a former Board member, shared that she loved seeing the grant applications and what interesting ideas CCSD teachers could develop.
“The educator grants always made me excited,” McDonald said. “Not only because staff were able to receive grants, but to see the ingenuity in classroom instruction made me excited for our students. I knew we were putting the best in front of our students and it was exciting to see how the Foundation was able to support the work in interesting financial times.”
“As a board member, I was on the grant committee and found reading the individual grants intriguing, but also became a little disappointed when there weren’t enough funds to support more of the grants we were deciding on,” shared Michele Beserra, CCSF’s Board Chair in 2011. “But being able to go to the schools and present a check for the grants we did approve was one of my favorite moments.”
SIDE NOTE: Given the recent advances in artificial intelligence, we expect to see a rise in technology-based grants in the coming years. We decided to ask everyone’s favorite AI, ChatGPT, what ideas they thought teachers might have for future Educator Initiative Grants!
Its ideas included a STEM lab, reading nook, environmental conservation, coding, and space exploration. But the joke’s on you, ChatGPT – our teachers have all applied for similar grants…but we haven’t gotten a grant for a rocket ship just yet. (Maybe next year!)