This year, California teachers have received 10 grants from the NEA Foundation, which awards about 200 grants annually to educators nationwide in support of new ideas and practices to strengthen teaching and learning.
DONNA MARKEY and JAMIE HAGEN-HOLT of VISTA MAGNET MIDDLE SCHOOL in Vista received a $5,000 Student Achievement Grant (in partnership with Nickelodeon) for an environmental project. Through this grant students will analyze the construction of one of the largest desalination plants in the world.
ALEX PICAZO and REBECCA SOCO of RANCHO DEL REY MIDDLE SCHOOL in Chula Vista received a $5,000 Student Achievement Grant (in partnership with Nickelodeon) for a service learning project to promote literacy and ecological awareness. Struggling readers will be paired with motivated readers to read a novel about planting organic gardens. After reading the novel, students will plant their own organic school garden and participate in an art project promoting environmental literacy.
GIAN MICHAEL SARABIA and ADRIENNE JERMAN of BORONDA MEADOWS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL in Salinas received a $5,000 Student Achievement Grant (in partnership with Nickelodeon) to teach students about sustainable farming methods by building an organic garden. In addition to taking field trips to places that teach sustainable methods of organic farming, the students will create a webpage containing videos and photos that will explain the dangers of pesticide use and the benefits of sustainable farming.
LINDA PREMINGER and MALIK DOHRN of WASHINGTON MANOR MIDDLE SCHOOL in San Lorenzo
received a $5,000 Student Achievement Grant (in partnership with Nickelodeon) to lead a series of field trips designed to help students experience the relationship between human habitations in the local watershed and changes in the San Francisco Bay. Students will learn the importance of the interaction between water, topography, and human activity.
JESSIKA NEGRETE AGUSTIN and MIKAKO FISHER of ELK GROVE UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT in Sacramento received a $5,000 Learning and Leadership Grant to increase the proficiency of English language learners within the school district. Through this grant, a team of educators will identify schools in Northern California that have been successful in assisting ELL students to read at grade level. The team will target the most effective teaching practices and implement them districtwide.
ANNA MORAGA of WILL ROGERS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL in Ventura received a $2,000 Learning and Leadership Grant to attend the five-day Summer Writing Institute at Columbia University's Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. Upon completion of the institute, Moraga will share the teaching tools that she has learned with her colleagues and provide support for third- through fifth-grade teachers at her school, where writers' workshops will be implemented.
DEANN KARL and BEVERLY RUBY of WESTSIDE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL in Rio Linda received a $5,000 Learning and Leadership Grant to establish a professional learning community to implement strategies to improve the achievement of English language learners and Hispanic students, focusing on the Guided Language Acquisition Development (GLAD) model of
professional development in the area of language acquisition and literacy.
FRANCISCO JIMENEZ of ASCOT AVENUE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL in Los Angeles received a $2,000 Learning and Leadership Grant to attend a weeklong reading conference at Columbia University to learn strategies that enhance student reading skills and the mechanics involved in establishing meaningful independent and partner reading.
KATHERINE WILLIAMS and STEVE HOFFMAN of MIDDLE COLLEGE HIGH SCHOOL in San Pablo received a $5,000 Student Achievement Grant (in partnership with Staples Foundation for Learning) to create a schoolwide water conservation and preservation program. As a member of a national consortium of water conserving high schools across the United States, the school will use funds to share the work that students have done in the community to raise awareness of water
conservation with other schools.
JACKIE FERREIRA and TARA HIGASHINO of UNION HOUSE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL in Sacramento received a $5,000 Learning and Leadership Grant to create a math and science website working with a team of K-6 educators. The interactive website will include online tools, document sharing, Web-based activities, and video streaming. The goal is to help students excel in California math and science content standards.
Since 1999, the NEA Foundation has funded more than 2,000 individual grants. Awardees are selected in three rounds throughout the year. The deadline to apply for the next round of grants is Oct. 15. Educators can now apply for grants on the NEA Foundation website at