The Schools Fund classroom grants fund hundreds of teacher-inspired projects every year, enriching our schools and offering extraordinary opportunities to learn ‘outside the box.’ Every grant we make is made possible by donations from individual, business and organizational donors–we rely 100% on contributed income to do this vital work!
Visiting artists, actors, poets and writers share their vision and expertise with students. Field trips to cultural, historical, and majestic recreational sites are first-time experiences for many students, and for others are further exposure to our abundant Bay Area resources. Literally hundreds of grant-purchased books expand classroom libraries, zero in on specific reading levels where books are needed, and augment non-fiction collections in science and social studies topics. Technology tools transform teaching and learning by making curriculum more accessible and personalized. Special events that bring families to school–math and science nights, stargazing, drama productions–build and reinforce community.
The Foundation’s Grants Committee reads and reviews over 250 applications submitted by teachers every fall. Each application is discussed and rated, resulting in a final list numbering over 230. These grants — totaling over $185,000 in 2010-11 — are awarded to teachers at every school in every subject, bringing ideas and programs to life.
To learn more about our grant process, and see a list of the Foundation’s most recent grants, click here.
Supported Programs and Restricted Funds
Extraordinary commitment to students and teachers is evident in many non-profit programs that operate in or around our schools. Three programs in particular have been funded by the Schools Fund with over $50,000 in the past few years.
Berkeley Symphony Orchestra’s Music in the Schools is bringing professional musicians into the classrooms and onto the stages of our K-5 schools to perform with budding student musicians. BSO coordinates hundreds of professionals who pack up their instruments and come to school to shartheir talent and knowledge.
Community Resources for Science is helping K-5 teachers build confidence in their science teaching by providing easily-accessible lessons, resources, field trip coordination, and classroom volunteer scientists.
Writer Coach Connection pairs well-trained volunteers with middle and high school students to develop and refine their English writing assignments. Over 200 volunteers, many of them professional writers, are spread throughout our schools nearly every day of the week.
Click here for more information on our supported programs.
Over the years, the Foundation has further strengthened our schools by providing a wide range of leadership and support services. Donors and grant funders seeking to designate giving for specific purposes ask the Schools Fund to manage and account for those funds. Currently these resources are supporting activities at nearly every school, including music training and scholarships, peer health education, gardening programs, green job skills development, early literacy, and after-school tutoring.
In its singular role serving all the public schools, the Schools Fund assumes a a leadership role in major fundraising campaigns. In this role the Schools Fund has coordinated major gift solicitations on the one hand, and disbursement of funds on the other to support several largescale projects since the early 1990s.
To see a more complete list of our current restricted programs, click here.