Strategic Impact Grants are larger grants serving the grade, department, school, inter-district, or District level. The grants involve teacher collaboration on a project or coordination with an outside organization. The purpose of Strategic Impact grants are to support educational excellence and equity across the District. Strategic Impact grants for teachers have supported Professional Learning Communities, new approaches to language instruction, literacy initiatives and extended learning programs.
Strategic Impact Grants are reviewed three times a year by the Schools Fund Board of Directors. Applications are due on the following schedule:
- First week of May for review at the June Schools Fund Board meeting
- Last week of June for the August Schools Fund Board meeting
- First week of December for the January Schools Fund Board meeting
Applications must have:
- Description of Project including a) Statement of Need and b) Implementation Plan
- Scope of Impact
- Evaluation Plan/Anticipated Outcomes
- Background on all responsible participants
Strategic Impact Grants are also awarded to organizations who partner with teachers or District staff to offer a grade, department, school, inter-district, or District level program or curricular enhancement. Below are a few examples of Strategic Impact Grants awarded to organizations.
Community Resources for Science (CRS) helps K-5 teachers build confidence in their science teaching by providing information and lessons, volunteer scientists, and support with extracurricular activities. All K-5 educators in Berkeley receive a free CRS membership courtesy of an annual Schools Fund grant.
Music in the Schools serves nearly 4,000 students in all 11 elementary schools with interactive on-campus concerts, classroom visits, and instrumental instruction, as well as an annual “I’m a Performer” concert. Berkeley Symphony’s talented Education Director & Conductor Ming Luke is a sparkling personality who takes out the fear and emphasizes the fun of playing music while passing on skills and performance values to our developing musicians!
Over 250 men and women—from Cal students to retirees—undergo rigorous training to prepare them for the job of coaching middle and high school student writers. We work closely with WriterCoach Connection through our Berkeley Schools Volunteers office, and we also offer a grant for their middle and high school programs.
Elementary “Leveled” Reading Materials
The “leveled reading” approach, developed by the Teachers’ College Reading and Writing Program (TCRWP), uses various assessment tools to determine student reading levels, and then matches them to books that are challenging enough to make progress. Books are categorized into levels of difficulty, which is how a perfect match, based on ability, can be made. Over a period of several years, the Schools Fund provided $150,000 for leveled reading materials in elementary school libraries.
Berkeley Rep’s Story Builders programs use sound, movement, dialogue, and improvisation to turn classrooms into living theatres, allowing students to become characters in a story. This workshop introduces students to theatre and helps develop literacy and communication skills in an artistic environment. The Schools Fund supports Story Builders in elementary classrooms throughout the district.
The Schools Fund awards grants each year to allow every 5th grade student in the district to take a field trip to Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. The trip makes science come alive for students, offering a 3-hour workshop held on-site that provides hands-on activities, a research lab tour, and talks from scientist volunteers.