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2013 IFT Grant Recipients


Robotics – Alvord EA Chapter

Grant- $17,500

This grant would prepare students for programming robots and to enter a yearly robotics competition. We are looking to begin a robotics team/club after school at Hillcrest High School. Robotics involves a particular group of students that are overlooked more and more often because of the absence of industrial tech classes. For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) hosts robotics competitions around the country. Students get to work on something that is interesting to them and that has a purpose. Students work on a team that assembles, programs, experiments, and decorates a robot. 3 teachers from the backgrounds of math, science, and computer technology coach the students as they learn to build. 4 additional community experts in design and robotics will assist students.


Building the Dream – Anaheim Elementary EA Chapter

Grant- $20,000

This grant will enable the staff at Gauer Elementary School to continue our efforts to develop a strength-based model for our district. Working with IFT, we are building our Dream School by applying the Seven Success Factors to our entire school community. This teacher-driven change has created a culture of success. We accomplished this through a Stakeholders' Summit, Dream Mission, Dream Committees, staff/leadership team meetings, and teacher release time while our scholars experienced a whole child rotation wheel of classes.


Shark Pride – Bakersfield Elementary TA Educator

Grant- $5,000

The goal of our project is to provide an opportunity for our students and their families to participate in three family-oriented events during the next school year. Walter Stiern Middle School is located in an economically challenged area, and as a result, many parents do not have the means to attend school events. Parent involvement is crucial to the success of student development. The grant money will go towards funding transportation and other amenities for our students and their parents. Such events will help strengthen our Professional Learning Communities by building positive parent, teacher, and student relationships.


World of Teaching (WOT) – California Faculty Association Chapter

Grant- $20,000

The World of Teaching at CSU Northridge will develop a replicable model to orient and engage diverse low-income high school and university students into the world of social science teaching. There will be direct engagement in curriculum development and teaching and tutoring of diverse urban 6th-8th grade students in school community settings. High school and university faculty will work collaboratively to refine and develop curriculum and courses that support engaged learning and that focus on students’ unique and individual strengths. High school students and their parents will participate in college experiences that will promote students’ academic success and advancement to higher education.


Teacher Driven Community-based Conservation
Science Education Partnership – CA Faculty Association

Chapter Grant- $20,000

Building on the work we’ve done this year with local teachers,students, parents, docents, and CSU San Marcos teacher candidates, we plan to develop our Science Education program and expand it. The initial vision of the program’s structure has evolved, through experimentation and implementation, and we are pleased with what we are accomplishing and with the foundation we’ve established. Our participating students are gaining valuable experience and knowledge from our programming, and we appear to be having a positive impact on their attitudes towards science and nature.


Parents as Partners – Corona-Norco TA

Chapter Grant- $20,000

This Parkridge Elementary School project is an outgrowth of the previous IFT project to engage parents to become partners in their child's education and academic success. This project will not only raise awareness in that regard, but encourage, nurture, develop, and maintain ongoing relationships. The core of this project is providing workshops to increase awareness in phonics, reading, writing, storytelling, as well as field trips to engage in one on one time with parents and children. Last year, the involvement of parents was ongoing and proved to be a prolific factor in the academic and social success that my students have continuously had throughout the academic year. For 2013-14, my grade level has committed to partnering on this amazing endeavor and we are launching the "Kindergarten Parents as Partners Project.”


Sustain West Garden – Downey EA

Educator Grant- $5,000

At West Middle School we are very interested in maintaining and enlarging an ecologically and economically sustainable garden that would complement our foods and life skills programs. The garden would also provide many educational opportunities for other subjects such as math, science, English and history. We currently have a few small raised planters and have grown a small amount of herbs this year. Grant funds would be used to better equip and sustain the project. We will tackle issues such as soil quality, irrigation, pest control and provide tools to enhance the educational experience. The goal is to teach the students the value of respecting the earth and having a thorough understanding of our earth’s resources.


San Jose Walks and Talks – East Side TA

Educator Grant- $5,000

Our project is called San Jose Walks & Talks and it provides Santa Teresa High School students an opportunity to develop real job skills while running their own walking tour company. Students looking for part-time work usually end up in the fast food industry or retail shops. San Jose Walks & Talks aims to give students the opportunity to earn much more than minimum wage both figuratively and literally. We also serve the community by highlighting the unique aspects of downtown San Jose as we introduce history, local culture, public art and business stories.


The A.B. Miller HS Riverside Trolley Dance Project – Fontana TA

Educator Grant- $5,000

The Riverside Trolley Dance Project is designed to provide students the opportunity to work on a community based dance event as dancers, choreographers and production managers in the development of advertising, production management, community outreach, choreography and performance. The project supports collaboration between the A. B. Miller High School Conservatory of Dance, Riverside Community College, the City of Riverside and the Riverside Transit Authority to produce the community-based Riverside Trolley Dances. The student company will help plan, create and facilitate the event as part of a thematic approach of creating original, site-specific work along a local trolley or bus line.


Center for International Business and Communication Studies (CIBACS) – Huntington Beach UHSD EA

Chapter Grant- $20,000

Innovation, critical thinking, communication skills and confidence will improve for the Edison High School students involved in CIBACS. Our successful business program is attempting to put the right technology tools in the hands of our creative business students. By giving our energetic young entrepreneurs the right technology to use in class every day, they will be able to improve both their written and verbal communication skills. Our focus on developing their communication skills is perfectly timed to match the new emphasis on the Common Core Standards.


Parent University – Inglewood TA

Chapter Grant- $20,000

The Inglewood Teachers' Association leads from the strong belief that student success can be achieved when teachers, students, parents, and the community work as partners. Parent University in Inglewood has taken the first step to create, build, and nurture this very type of partnership, where each individual stakeholder has a voice in the creation of real and positive change. This project will build on our successful work done last year at Bennett-Kew Elementary. In 2013-14 we plan to continue Parent University, as well as expand the program to another site in Inglewood. Our goal is to reach as many parents as possible and continue to build strong relationships along the way.


Community Artists Reaching Education (C.A.R.E) – Knights Ferry TA

Educator Grant- $1,231

C.A.R.E. will be a collaborative effort involving Knights Ferry School teachers, parents, and community members. A C.A.R.E. coordinator will reach out to train and schedule volunteers to present lessons to all students of Knights Ferry School on a monthly basis. The lessons would include exposure to the meaning and practice of artistic perception and creative expression. Students would also understand the historical and cultural contributions of artists and their artwork. We plan to create a mobile "art cart" outfitted with a wide variety of art supplies which would move from class to class.


Integrating Technology, Curriculum, Common Core – Marysville TA

Educator Grant- $5,000

Our grant provides a framework and an opportunity to organize, synthesize, plan, and create a set of educational experiences that integrate our curriculum with the Common Core standards by tapping into the unique strengths of our teachers and students while utilizing the various technology tools that we already have at our fingertips. The one thing missing from the Common Core implementation plan is the opportunity for teachers to take part in planning and creating learning experiences and units of instruction that will bring these potentials to fruition. Walter Kynoch Elementary has been building a strong infrastructure of technology hardware and software, opening a myriad of opportunities for incorporating these powerful and dynamic devices and programs with our curriculum to build learning experiences that will excite and engage our students.


Agriculture Literacy – Marysville Unified TA

Chapter Grant- $13,880

In today's society, many students have lost or have never acquired the knowledge of our country's important agrarian roots. It's essential for students to know where their food and fiber comes from and that the process is more than going to the clothing or grocery store. 280 FFA students from the Marysville High School Agriculture Department would become the educators to 2,800 District K-8 students. This education would integrate agriculture education into the common core standards of K-8 curriculum and covers all disciplines including language arts, social studies, math and science. The project would include student-to-student Agriculture Literacy taught by high school students in the K-8 classroom, with a follow up visit to the living laboratory for educational activities and labs; transportation for all 3rd grade students to attend the annual Yuba-Sutter Farm Day at our local fairground; and transportation for K-8 students to our annual National Ag. Day celebration on the high school campus in March.


Summer History Institute Program – Merced Union HS District TA

Chapter Grant- $19,500

The purpose of the grant is to create and implement an intensive three-week Summer History Institute where students will have the opportunity to study the history of their community (Merced and the Central Valley). After completing pre-program research in the spring, students from Merced High School will attend the summer institute. As part of the program, the students will be visiting several museums and then, working in collaboration with UC Merced, the students will create three one-room museum quality history exhibits, and a virtual online museum which will include multimedia exhibits and documents. All work will be digitized during this program, and posted for future use.


Moreno Valley Math League (MVML) – Moreno Valley EA

Chapter Grant- $17,000

The Math Department at Palm Middle School is pleased to implement a project to establish the Moreno Valley Math League. MVML intends to promote student passion and interest in mathematics with choice and collaboration rather than compulsion and comparison. We will provide enriching experiences to the mathematics students of the Moreno Valley USD both within and beyond classrooms. We envision MVML as a robust, vibrant and holistic mathematical program that will engender excellence in students. It shall also foster a stress free learning environment that will develop competent, confident and enterprising students. Empowering Parents and Students to Support


Academics & College Readiness through Technology – Oakland EA

Educator Grant- $5,000

Our goal is to empower families to navigate the school system and support college readiness through technology. Many of our families are low-income, first-generation immigrants; nearly all our students will be the first in their families to attend college. A core group of families at Bridges Academy at Melrose will learn introductory computer skills to access educational websites that support critical academic skills and to research colleges. This workshop series will culminate with presentations by students and college admissions officers and a field trip to local universities. Families who participate in 80% of the workshops will receive refurbished computers to continue refining their technology skills.


Run Now, Healthy Later – Ontario-Montclair TA

Educator Grant- $5,000

This project will continue the highly successful The 100 Mile Club at Ramona Academy. In its first year, the community, staff, and students have embraced the program and made it a part of our school culture. Parents and teachers have not only seen a positive improvement in health, but a great improvement in self-esteem and fewer behavior problems. Teachers and parents have already committed to helping with the program implementation next year and are excited to add educational workshops on sports fitness and healthy lifestyle habits. This program will help ensure that students will learn to be healthy and help fight against childhood obesity.


College Dreams – Palm Springs TA

Educator Grant- $5,000

This project will enhance future success for high-poverty students in Desert Hot Springs. Many of the students do not have the same advantages as other Coachella Valley students. Our goal is to level the playing field for Painted Hills Middle School students. Most of the students stay after school for tutoring. They know that their education will change their future for the better. However, they do not have the necessary resources. We want to provide them with items that will help them not only this year, but for years to come to increase their chances for success.


Physical Fitness Equipment – Palm Springs TA

Chapter Grant- $8,000

The physical fitness of children greatly impacts their academic achievement, as well as their well-being throughout their life. Knowledge and strategies of how to become fit, and how to maintain fitness throughout life, are exactly what students need. It is one of our goals at Desert Springs Middle School, to teach fitness as the importance of maintaining a healthy body and mind. This project will enable us to utilize additional fitness tools during Physical Education classes, as well as our after-school fitness program. Each of the classes will be directed toward teaching students strategies that will improve their physical fitness levels and assist in the development of healthy minds.


Roary’s Laboratory – Pleasant Valley EA

Educator Grant- $4,978

Camarillo Heights Elementary has been chosen to pilot a STEM program with the hope of becoming a STEM magnet school. We plan to build on our current strengths, including a motivated staff with a common goal, a supportive principal, collaboration time and an opportunity to visit schools already implementing this exciting program. The grant will be used to develop a well-equipped lab class. This would be a place where students would be transformed from elementary students to a team of budding scientists and engineers. The current space will be improved and be made more user-friendly and inspirational. In addition, will utilize the outside lab/garden area to learn about science, work through the design process, interact and go on virtual field trips, look up information, problem solve and celebrate by showing off the work they have done and progress and growth they have made.


Creating 21st Century Learners through Teacher-Driven Change – Ramona TA

Chapter Grant- $19,400

Mt. Woodson Elementary School is dedicated to creating a strength-based school culture. The goal of this proposal is to help the Mt. Woodson learning community successfully shift to Common Core Standards and commit to 21st century learning through the use of technology. Our goal is to implement the following action steps: Visit the most successful schools in California to observe the use of technology to improve student achievement; Collaborate with one another and develop curricular units and personalized action plans to create a blended approach for learning to meet the needs of all students; Create a teacher-led book club to reflect on the most recent research and best practices as they relate to the school-wide technology integration; Implement teacher designed and led professional development, based on teacher choice, to improve upon previously established practices and continue moving us forward in our goal of 21st century learning.


Build a Space Exploration Vehicle – Rialto EA

Educator Grant- $3,631

Eisenhower High School will be the development site of a long term, student-centered project-based instructional sequence. This sequence will be used to determine the effectiveness of project based learning on student performance, positive peer interaction and appropriate classroom behavior. Students will have the option of predetermined projects, such as creation of a space satellite or planetary rover, with the goal of a final presentation and exhibition. Using proven methods of heterogeneous grouping, team lab work and peer tutoring assignments, students will acquire the technology skills and space science concepts necessary to complete the final project.


Green Garden – San Miguel TA

Educator Grant- $4,357

The Green Garden Project will enhance and expand our first year school garden project at Cappy Culver Elementary School. Our plans include the purchase a storage building for the existing tools and equipment that have been donated by parents and community members. It will provide the means to purchase necessary tools, equipment and seed supplies in order to improve & increase our current production of vegetables for our school salad bar.


A Technological Approach to the Common Core – San Ramon Valley EA

Educator Grant- $5,000

This project will expand the number of e-readers for use in our collaborative group reading program at Windemere Ranch Middle School. Our reading program has successfully motivated our students to read more, because they discuss their reading within their own digital social community. Our recent pilot program replaces books with e-readers. It has helped us teach the more challenging Common Core Curriculum in a way that motivates our students to read and critically analyze more complex texts. The purchase of more e-readers will allow more students to read high-interest, high quality literature at higher reading levels. Boosting Science Mastery with Braincandy and


Language Development – Sequoia District TA

Chapter Grant- $20,000

Our plan is to develop innovative materials in the form of a workbook and online resources to promote the use of Braincandy and Peer Instruction in life science courses, particularly tailored to English Language Learners. This project builds on over three years’ research and practice in developing the Instructional model which has significantly boosted student content knowledge in physics. The new resources will make Braincandy/Peer Instruction easy to use for more teachers. We will also continue our action research and data collection to measure effectiveness. This project will impact an estimated 800 Carlmont High School students in years 1-2, with the potential to scale significantly.


Green Jobs: Charge Up with EVs – Teachers Assoc. of
Norwalk-La Mirada

Chapter Grant- $20,000

The evolution of the La Mirada High School Green Jobs program will continue with this project. Students will: (1) learn about the history of electric vehicles (EVs) and the career opportunities of the electric transportation industry; (2) promote their environmental and cost effective benefits; (3) experience firsthand electric drive trains by assembling and dis-assembling a fully functioning 3-wheel electric vehicle, produced and manufactured by Electric Auto Shop, that can be fabricated repeatedly on an annual basis; (4) participate in a 16-week EV curriculum. Project students and teachers will participate in both a district-wide competition and a University of Irvine Energy Invitational competition, as well as create and present their design portfolio at the Orange County Expo.


Solar for Success – Temecula Valley EA

Educator Grant- $5,000

This project uses real-world applications in math and science to build a hands-on "school-to-work" program at Rancho Vista Continuation High School. At-risk students get authentic learning and experience that translates into a meaningful and environmentally-friendly career. Through teacher teamwork, math and science instruction is aligned with work applications. This is particularly relevant to our at-risk students, who have not experienced success at a comprehensive high school. Through our program of hands-on, real-world, job-oriented learning experiences, our students gain confidence in their abilities, and this in turn allows them to become positive, functioning members of our local community. In our first year of this program, we have seen an increased graduation rate, an increased attendance rate, and higher grades for participants. We have our first student, about to graduate, who has become a full-time employee at a solar company, where he interned as part of this program.


Digital Makes a Difference in Art – Travis Unified TA

Educator Grant- $5,000

This project will update technology in the classroom at Vanden High School to enhance art projects and bring students into the 21st century. This grant will provide funding for several laptop computers capable of running advanced computer graphic design programs. These programs will give advanced graphic design students the opportunity to experience working with the same advanced technology and materials they will encounter in college and the workplace.


Latino Support Program (LUCE) – Travis Unified TA

Educator Grant- $3,386

Latino Support Program is designed to support the Latino population and close the achievement gap at Vanden High School. It was developed to motivate and support while promoting post-secondary education as a realistic option after completing high school.


Maclay Writing Project – UTLA

Educator Grant- $4,985

The Maclay Writing Project is designed to provide a targeted, twopronged effort to address gaps in academic writing achievement among low socioeconomic students at Maclay Academy of Social Justice, a high-need, under-serviced, high-poverty school in the northeast San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles. The grant will fund:
1) development of the Maclay Writing Center, a student writing laboratory staffed by Maclay’s Instructional Coach and by trained student/peer tutors; and
2) teacher resources for year-long focused professional development and learning on best practices in writing instruction.


Aquaponics – Val Verde TA

Educator Grant- $5,000

This grant will help establish an aquaponics system for the Plant and Soil Science class in the CTE Agscience Pathway at Rancho Verde High School. Grant funds would be used to purchase all consumable materials needed to design, build, and create scientific experiments in regards to using aquaponics as a medium for vegetable and crop production. Many of these materials, although listed as "consumables", can be reused several times before their shelf life expires. Not only does this program target students not going to college, it also fuses the development of scientific thinking with the actual production of goods, making it intrinsically motivational. Students will also develop business and marketing skills for their products.


It’s My Life – Ventura Unified EA

Educator Grant- $17,500

It’s My Life is a life skills/character-building program at Pacific High School, designed to help students navigate their way into and through adulthood. This highly interactive course employs many instructional and curricular strategies and empowers our students through critical-thinking, decision-making, problem-solving, selfreflection, negotiation, listening skills, the pursuit of happiness, confidence, and the discover of many facets of success. It’s My Life endeavors to involve the students in developing habits, creating goals, and becoming accountable to themselves.


Academic Outreach – Washington TA

Chapter Grant- $15,000

The Academic Outreach project at River City High School provides opportunities for success to students who are failing academically or who are in danger of "slipping through the cracks." These students are invited to mandatory tutoring 1-2 days a week. In addition, students work in a safe, after school work environment and are provided tutoring/study hall for 90 minutes to get academic, social, emotional, and physical support. We hold them accountable for their grades, work completion, character/choices, and future plans.

Every child deserves a chance to learn and no child succeeds alone.

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