Teacher Classroom Project Grants

The Teacher Classroom Project Grant is a unique teacher/classroom program that awards funds of $500 to $1,500 to teachers for creative and innovative projects for classroom use that directly impacts the quality of education for students.

2016-17 Teacher Classroom Grant Awardees

Eileen Clark-Nagaoka, Carmen Ochoa, Crystal Nichols, Michelle Delfin - H.A. Hyde Elementary School

"The Kinder Garden Classroom" (Kindergarten)

This grant funds improvements to previously grant-supported

garden project as an outdoor classroom area.

​     "The Schools Plus Grant had a huge impact on our kindergarten area

and outdoor science studies this year. We used the grant toward a pergola,

which supplies shade and seating for an entire class in the garden area.

(This) allows us to utilize the garden much more for lessons and to observe

the incidental phenomena and ongoing changes in a natural environment

frequently. Students observed first hand not only the life cycle of plants,

but also that of the Monarch Butterflies when they laid their eggs in our

Milkweed plants. One student, though somewhat distracted and unengaged

in the classroom, was completely absorbed. Another, was extremely timid

and afraid to try almost anything new at school. But ... after a couple of

sessions hunting for bugs with classmates came up to me proudly having

caught a spider and said, "I'm not afraid of spiders anymore."
      All of the teachers in kindergarten team at H.A. Hyde School are deeply grateful to Schools Plus

for funding to make our garden a more viable learning environment."

- Eileen Clark-Nagaoka, Carmen Ochoa, Crystal Nichols, Michelle Delfin

Kathy Mitchell - Bay View Elementary
"Learning through Music and Movement" (1st Grade)

This grant supports classroom music, movement, literacy and math integration by supplying materials for daily use. These materials are "shared across all primary classes so that teachers can maintain and build upon the music program."

Katy Scowcroft, Mayra Alvarez, Alishia Robertson - Gault Elementary

"Family Math Night" (2nd Grade)

This grant provided materials for math instruction and games for classroom use and to be shared at home with the students' families.
"Family Math Night exceeded all of my expectations. I was blown away by the excitement of students to share their math practices with the parents. They loved having their own sets of materials to bring home, and enjoyed the one-on-one time teaching their families how to play all of our math games. Parents were able to spend time supporting their students and gaining valuable skills learning ways to support their child at home. - Katy Scowcroft


Lauren Pomerantz - Del Mar Elementary

"We Can Be Researchers! Inspiring Non-Fiction Writers with Informational Texts" (1st Grade)

This grant provides informational texts for classroom use.

Jane Wong, Jaimie Jordan, Alicia Nelli - Ann Soldo Elementary

"All Star Readers and Writers" (1st Grade)

This grant provides Units of Study for teaching reading and writing.
"At the beginning of first grade only 6% of the students were at grade level. At the

end of the year 88.8% of my reading group met the end-of-year benchmark! The reach

of the grant not only touched 90 first graders, but also 24 below-grade-level participants

in the afterschool program. Our first graders produced many types of informational

writing using our new curriculum and were excited to have it displayed." 

Risa Schwartz - Mar Vista Elementary

"Branching Out with Chapter Books" (2nd Grade)

This grant provides in-classroom sets of chapter book readers.

"I was blown away at how well my highest reading group did with their new books.
I had expected to enrich their vocabularies, but didn't expect to have the opportunity
to teach them dictionary skills, as well." - Risa Schwartz

Janet Stahl, Heather Odegard, Kelly McBride -

San Lorenzo Valley Elementary

"Social Thinking - Learning to be a Learner" (1st Grade)

This grant supports the development of social & communication

skills and awareness.

Aimee Mizuno, Luz Rodriguez, Cristin Romo, Margalete Ezekiel,

Janet Kreitzer - Hall District Elementary

"Folktales from Japan and Mexico"
(Transitional Kindergarten and Kindergarten)

This grant supports instruction of Mexican and Japanese

folktales and cultural studies.

​Jessica Middour - Del Mar Elementary School and Santa Cruz Reading Association

"Student Author's Fair at Capitola Mall" (K-8th)

This grant supports the Student Author's Fair where students read their own

books in front of an audience, and have opportunity to publish their work.

Allison Dunham - Mar Vista Elementary

"New Teacher Library Fund for Combo Class" (1st & 2nd Grade)

This grant provides in classroom library books for a 1st/2nd combo class.

Symona Siqueiros, Paula Atiee-Mason, Alice Miller, Rebekah Freels

- Hall District Elementary

"Pollinator Garden" (1st-5th Grades)

This grant funds improvements to previously supported teaching garden.

Mary Thomas - Green Acres Elementary School

"Motivating Advanced Readers with High Interest Books" (2nd Grade)

This grant provides high interest books for advancing reader skills.

Sylvia Qualls, Chandra Cholakian, Christina Robert - Mintie White Elementary

"Insects, Life Cycles, and Adaptations" (2nd Grade)

This grant supports nonfiction leveled student literature about insects, as well

as materials to teach the interdisciplinary project-based unit.

Mariko McMillin, Tracy Morse, Bob Van Dyk, Nick Elias, Susan Toohey,

Linda Carman, Deirdre Robinson - Shoreline Middle School

"Let's Go Fly a Kite! Using Math and Maker Spaces to Create

Flying Phenomenon" (6th-8th Grades)

This grant supports another year of school-wide participation in the

Math Department's kite-building project. 


Pollinator Garden


Book Club <Slideshow>

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Pollinator Garden

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Pollinator Garden

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"This spring, 550 students researched and designed grade level kite models in order to demonstrate their mathematical understanding. Studne learning was demonstrated throughout the process of researching, drafting, designing, building, testing, and flying (or trying to fly) their kites.

This process was exemplified by one 6th grader named Max who designed his sled kite to look like an eagle. He worked tirelessly on the dimensions and design of his "wings". During his flight trial, he added vent holes to the wings, and tried various launch procedures to make sure his kite took flight. His creativity, excitement and live adjustments highlighted the intent of this grant: to give students the idea, materials, support and space to create, engineer and test an actual product.

As students built and created their kites, mathematics skills they learned through the year came to life in actual application - such as proportional reasoning and scaling, understanding surface area and volume and seeing patterns of numbers... Additionally, students worked in partners to strengthen their 21st century skills of communication, collaboration, creativity and critical thinking."

​​​Sallie Corbin, Charity Maramonte, Katharine Garkey - Mission Hill Middle School

"Engaging Readers in Science Current Events" (6th-8th Grades)

This grant supports a subscription to Science World Magazine to provide access to current events in science.

Hilary Kluger, Erin Ashwell - Watsonville High School

"Helping AVID students develop the skills of highly effective teens" (9th Grade)

This grant provides a classroom set of textbooks and workbooks for the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens.

Maria del Socorro Garcia - Pajaro High School

"Immigration and Building of our Nation" (9th-12th Grades)

This grant funds purchase of a class set of Spanish literature books.


Artemisa Cortez, Russell Bryan Love, Jodi Richardson,

Robert Hoffman, Ismael Cruz - New School Community Day School

"Environmental Science and Character Development Outdoor Education" (8th-12th Grades)

This grant helps launch a collaborative pilot program focusing on

experiential education for at-risk students.

Sylvia Kennedy - Pajaro Valley High School

"Latin American Legends and the Supernatural for Spanish Second Language" (9th-12th Grades)

This grant funds purchase of a class set for each level of Spanish literature.

Gail Alamo- Soquel High School

"Re-Creation of Life-Size Megalodon Jaw" (9th-12th Grades)

This grant supports the continuance of prior year's Megalodon

project, funding study and mathematical analysis of a Megalodon Jaw.

"Our project provided over 165 students with the opportunity to

explore concepts related to the study of natural selection and

extinction through the model organism of Megalodon. ... Students

learned the basics of how to scan a 3D object and print it out...

practiced making precise measurements .... using digital calipers.

(They) manipulated regression equation to estimate total body

length of Megalodon.

We had several instances of individual students who had

traditionally disliked math due to a fear of failure. Through this

project they had the opportunity to use mathematics in a real-world

scientific situation that brought them a sense of accomplishment in

mathematics. This project also helped to motivate students who

struggle with focus in school - using fossils and a large predator

species helped to keep them engaged and motivated throughout

the process. They wanted their tooth in the jaw!"

Thank you from the kids!
<view slideshow for notes and stories and drawings>


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