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.

2019-20 Classroom Grant Awardees

Katryn Bermudez - Amesti Elementary School

"Bringing text to life through visual and performing arts" (5th Grade)
This grant brings "reading curriculum (with) many readers' theatre scripts" to life with "simple props and costumes. When students read with expression for an audience, the text means more to them and they become stronger readers."
 

Lucia Herrera, Cailin Nygren - Amesti Elementary

"My Community, Our Community / Mi Comunidad, nuestra comunidad" (K-3rd grades)

This grant funds "the ceramic materials (clay, underglazes, board for the mural and other utensils) necessary to create a big ceramic mural (24ft x 5 ft). This is a group project, done by the Amesti K-3rd grade students. The project (will) in its different stage of introduction, preparation... will cover different skills and techniques such as drawing, dioramas, animation, modeling, painting, and others. An important focus is what community is and how (students) are part of many communities."

Brooke Parish - Amesti Elementary School

"Collaborative Exploration of Science and Engineering" (5th Grade)
​With “Makey Makey supplies, student work collaboratively with each other and drive their learning through project-based exploration. This is a fantastic tool for problem solving and critical thinking, and will allow students to access the world of coding and engineering in a hands-on way.”


Isai Baltezar, Ben Centanni, Holly Butler – De LaVeaga Elementary School

"Flexible Seating and UDL Framework" (5th Grade)
​Giving “students the choice to sit at or use various seating tools when collaboratively or individually learning,” this grant supplies “flexible seating from Universal Design Learning. Flexible seating arrangements increase productivity.”

Cate Stalock, MaryAnn Hilton – Del Mar Elementary School

"Books, Books, Books!" (5th Grade)
​“In the second year of rolling out the reading workshop in our classroom,” this grant improves the classroom library. “Students read these books independently, with a strategic partner, they take them home in their book bag to practice and read them 1:1 with a teacher or in a strategy group.”

 

Risa Schwartz – Mar Vista Elementary School

"Sit Down, Stand Up, Wobble, Wobble, Wobble" (2nd Grade)
​“I have been using alternative seating in my classroom for over a decade.” This grant provides “wobble stools and standing/sitting lap desks… to allow a student to stand and do their work and to have options at their workstations so they can remain focused and work in an environment that suits them best.”  

 

Jennifer Walker – Mar Vista Elementary School

"Active Learning Optional Seating: Fluid Stance Board for Standing Desk" (3rd Grade)
This grant “enhances(s) my classroom’s Active Learners / 21st Century flexible seating options that … allow active learning to stay focused during school. Fluid stance Boards (are) another alternative as a flexible seating option in the classroom (and) empower students to have a choice to decide where in the classroom they learn best.”

Erica Schroder – Gault Elementary School

"Planet Protector Academy in the Garden" (2nd & 3rd Grades)

“The Planet Protectors Academy in the Life Lab Garden will utilize funds to engage students in an online curriculum full of fun graphics, games, and activities geared toward environmental stewardship. While learning about how to become zero-waste heroes and conserve water, students will … take this information home to form better habits within the family household … by empowering out students with the knowledge and language to make the best decisions for the planet.”

Katy Scowcroft, Dylan Vahradian, Raven Graham, Amariah Hernandez - Gault Elementary School

"Bins, Books, and Bears: Number Sense Kits for 2nd Grade" (2nd Grade)

The Schools Plus grant “supplements a 2019 Network Improvement Community Grant to support our students’ development of number sense and improve mindsets towards math.” By “providing our second grade team teachers with a ‘number sense bin’ that includes a variety of materials and instructional supplies” this grant “allow(s) teachers to best meet student needs (by) focusing on how best incorporate integrated English Language Development strategies and Silicon Valley Math Initiative activities that …. support language acquisition and help students access our district’s rigorous, language-heavy math curriculum.”  
 

Cari Carriere – Green Acres Elementary School

"Alternative Seating for Reading Intervention Students" (K-5th Grades)
“Students that come to the Reading Intervention Program at Green Acres Elementary School very often need specific adaptations to help them focus and learn. The variety of students that we see need a variety of ways that they can be settled into learning in our groups. Some need to move more in their chairs… need a wobbly stool, (etc). Allowing these students a variety of options to see what suits their learning style best … help(s) to increase student focus and therefore student achievement in reading.”

 

Karen Rossi, Michele Gross, Noel Schermann, Annette Kamoss – Green Acres Elementary School

"The Places You'll Go!" (TK-K)
This grant expands the reading workshop selection for purchase of leveled reading books to give students' "opportunities to read throughout the day ... (and) to put a high quantity of quality books in students' hands." 

 

Reba Patterson and Victoria Edgell - Live Oak Elementary School

"Books, Books, Books!" (1st Grade)
This grant expands the reading workshop selection for purchase of leveled reading books to put a high quantity of quality books in students' hands and provide both "opportunities to read throughout the day ... (and) to read these books independently, with a strategic partner, take them home in their book bag to practice and read them 1:1 with a teacher or in a strategy group."

Susie Phanton and Victoria Edgell - Live Oak Elementary School

"Reading Adventures!" (TK)
This grant expands the school's reading workshop selection for purchase of leveled reading books to put a high quantity of quality books in students' hands and provide both "opportunities to read throughout the day ... (and) to read these books independently, with a strategic partner, take them home in their book bag to practice and read them 1:1 with a teacher or in a strategy group."

Carrie Wernick - Live Oak Elementary School

"Promoting "Una Vida Saludable" with 2nd Graders at Live Oak School!" (2nd Grade)
This grant provides funding for supplies and paint for the creation of a mural on the 2nd grade school wall. This project addresses state standard in arts and health, as well as integrates concepts from the District's social-emotional curriculum "Second Step" which promotes kindness and empathy.

Shannon Blake - Monarch Community School

"Improved Flexible Seating for Better Learning" (1st-3rd Grades)
This grant helped support purchase of flexible seating options for the classroom, allowing students a more diverse learning environment.

Heather Martin - Mountain Elementary School

"Bookshelf Boost" (1st Grade)
"Engaging all readers can be challenging as struggling readers often see the "at and above grade level" students reading high interest picture and chapter books. Students with reading challenges often have to read phonics books that have simple plots and are less interesting than higher level picture books. Keeping reading enthusiasm strong in struggling readers can be difficult without high interest, engaging books at the lower levels to buoy their interest and build their stamina. This grant provide(s) and opportunity to purchase many books at the lower levels that ... engage students, build fluency, and help create a lifelong love of reading."

Judith Woods - Lakeview Middle School and Ann Soldo Elementary

"Reading Buddies" (7th & 8th Grades)
"The middle school English Language Learners will walk to Ann Soldo Elementary to read to the first graders as their buddies and mentors. Many long-term English learning lack the confident needed to make mistakes and keep trying." This grant allows "students an opportunity to validate their skillset and strengths in a creative and meaningful way. Supporting our student in developing their self-esteem and love for reading and acknowledging the power of mentorship by being literary leaders."

Sheila Bricken, Laura Denny, Halley Benjamin - San Lorenzo Valley Elementary School

"Kindergarten Outdoor Seating/Classroom" (Kindergarten)

This grant helped "equip our kindergarten playground with seating that will be used as an outdoor classroom area for small group instruction. It will double as a highly needed shaded space and provide additional seating options during eating time."

Heather Odegard - San Lorenzo Elementary School

"Mindfulness Resources and Materials" (K-5)

This grant funds an "expand(ed) mindfulness program to include all grade levels. ... where students talk while eating lunch and play mindful games and learn tools of what mindful awareness is about. (Also) to create a space for them to practice mindful awareness tools and process and identiiy feelings that are coming up throughout their day."
 

Rebecca Voigt - Soquel Elementary School

"Green Screen Movie Making in the Classroom" (5th Grade)

"Students will use this iPad and green screen equipment to create video projects placing them anywhere in the world. (Students) will be connecting beyond the classroom in sharing their videos with our community."
 

Shannon Blake - Monarch Community School

"Improved Flexible Seating for Better Learning" (1st-3rd Grades)
This grant helped support purchase of flexible seating options for the classroom, allowing students a more diverse learning environment.

Peter Boscacci - Branciforte Middle School

"Understanding wood characteristics, shaping techniques, and design." (7th & 8th Grades)
In this first year that wood shop is being taught after a ten-year hiatus, this grant helps funds the necessary hand and power tools to effectively teach students about different wood characteristics (origins, density, uses) and techniques used to shape wood.

Kyle Noone - Branciforte Middle School

"Understanding wood characteristics, shaping techniques, and design." (6th-8th Grades)

"The supplies (purchased) with this grant bring two novel games to my school that put almost all of my students int the novice category when we ... introduce the games. ... A foxtail... is a great way for kids to practice throwing and catching. ... Speedminton is a fast racquet sport that challenge(s) students who feel they are ready to move past badminton."

Christopher Alreck, Tony Navarro, Pamela Schipper - Cesar Chavez Middle School

"Multi-Modal Curriculum Access Language Arts Curriculum" (6th-8th Grades)

This grant supports the special education staff to "assure students with disabilities are receiving a research-based curriculum that supports their areas of need" providing multi-modal instruction a computer program and headsets with microphones. This allows the students to receive instruction from the computer in addition to staff, and read words aloud into the microphone. The grant also allows for staff "to incorporate a kinesthetic piece ... in form of a field trip to the "Dawn Wall" on El Capitan in Yosemite. Giving students first-hand material to use while writing an essay on whether the Dawn Wall is too dangerous for inexperienced climbers. Use of the climbing gym wall will be used also for comparison.

Karen Snedeker, Jessica Curcio, Byron Williams  - San Lorenzo Valley Middle School

"3-D Printer and supplies for MakerSpace." (6th-8th Grades) 
PAUL OWEN GRANT FUNDED

This grant provides funding for purchase of a 3-D Printer, design software, and printing materials as the cornerstone for the school MakerSpace. "This 3D Printer opens up multiple ways to spark research, creativity, presentation, and emotional connection to a created project students develop from ideas to final product."

Nicole Miller - San Lorenzo Valley Middle School
"Supplies for math MakerSpace" (6th-8th Grade Special Education) 
T
his grant funds supplies for "mathematical reasoning" ia a "mobile math MakerSpace so students can express, communicate, reason, investigate and present real life application of grade level math standards."

Bryce Griffin - San Lorenzo Valley Middle School
"Supplies for math MakerSpace" (6th Grade) 

This grant funds supplies for "mathematical reasoning" ia a "mobile math MakerSpace so students can express, communicate, reason, investigate and present real life application of grade level math standards."

 

Rob Horn - San Lorenzo Valley Middle School

"Supplies for math MakerSpace" (8th Grade) 

This grant funds supplies for "mathematical reasoning" ia a "mobile math MakerSpace so students can express, communicate, reason, investigate and present real life application of grade level math standards."

 

Karen Snedeker - San Lorenzo Valley Middle School

"Supplies for math MakerSpace" (6th Grade) 

This grant funds supplies for "mathematical reasoning" ia a "mobile math MakerSpace so students can express, communicate, reason, investigate and present real life application of grade level math standards."

Michelle Heninger - San Lorenzo Valley Middle School

"Supplies for math MakerSpace" (7th&8th Grades) 

This grant funds supplies for "mathematical reasoning" ia a "mobile math MakerSpace so students can express, communicate, reason, investigate and present real life application of grade level math standards."

 

Nancy Krueger - Shoreline Middle School 

"Leveled Literacy for Language Development" (6th-8th Grades)

This grant funds the creation of "a collection of book sets with common themes at different levels to meet the varying needs of my students. Although all of my students are classified as 'English Learners,' they are in different places on their journey towards English proficiency. ... Students (with) a range of abilities and different grade levels within the same class period ... practice the skills we are learning in class with a text that they can access independently, then meet in small groups to have conversations which deepen their understanding of the text."

Marty Leshin - Scotts Valley Middle School

"Funding the Ats at Scotts Valley Middle School" (6th-8th Grade)

This grant supplies funding for materials to accompany the new art program. With "tempura and water color paint, oil pastels, colored markers, shading pencils, clay, and erasers," students will "engage web-based lessons that can be taught by a classroom teacher without a background in art."

Javier Gonzalez - Freedom Community School

"Building Community and School Culture" (9th-12th Grades)

For this school with "high risk students who are on probation and have comlex behaviors that limit their social and emotional health," this grant funds "art supplies and materials " to "promote art (as) a powerful and therapeutic tool (to) foster engagement in building community and school culture."

 

Nick Bianchini, Shannon Greene, Oscar Rodriguez - Harbor High School

"Representation Matters! Diversifying the Music Classroom" (9th-12th Grades)

This grant supplies funding for the diversification of the Harbor High School Music Program'sBand Room posters from all male musicians (with a couple of outdated 'inspirational' ones) to add fourteen additional posters to achieve "eval visual representation of men, women, and diverse ethniticities in the and Room. In addition, working with the Library Media Teacher to do research, studnets will create nameplates and short biographies for each of the new and existing posters... and translate the biographies into Spanish."
 

"Xavier Rubio - Pajaro Valley High School

Climate Crisis Solutions Garden or Livin' La Vida Verde!" (9th Grade)

"Students across four classes including Humanities and Science will be turning a 'brown lot' at school into a sustainable Zen garden with several projects addressing solutions to the climbate crisis."

James Mattson - Renaissance Continuation High School

"Renaissance High School Pismo Clam Restoration Project" (10th-12th Grades)

This grant provides for puchase of a CO2 generator for the production of algae. With this, the class will attempt to repopulate the Pismo Clam popoulation in the Monterey Bay. A feat never done before! The class has attempted for three consecutive years; and have consulted with Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, to find that Pismo Clam larvae need to fed with fresh algae. The CO2 generator will allow for the growth of the fresh algae for the clams.

Russell Love, Rafael Ramirez, Jodi Richardson, Wendy Sigmund, Jorge Bermudez
New Community Day School

"New School Outdoor Science and Character Development Program" (9th-12th Grades)

"Based on the success of the Schools Plus funded pilot program" and subsequent years’ grant support, this superb program has expanded to include 'incentive' field trips. In coordination with the Growing Up Wild Outdoor Environmental Education Program, the stage is set for student/teacher collaborations and behavioral expectations for the rest of the program's academic and community service field work which provides opportunity for some "of Watsonville's most at-risk students to learn and practice environmental science and prosocial skills by doing." Some of the project objectives are to: "Foster social skills and problem solving skills through collaborative group and team-building activities. Nurture personal growth and self-esteem. Increase student connection and appreciation of the natural world. Contribute to the community through student service projects. Build understanding of environmental science concepts such as water quality, natural resources, and human impact on Earth systems." The program now also includes the California Department of Education’s “Blueprint for Environmental Literacy” and Pajaro Valley USD’s “Environmental Literacy Themes.”