$130,000 in education grants donated to Tahoe-Truckee schools | SierraSun.com

$130,000 in education grants donated to Tahoe-Truckee schools

Special to the Sun

TAHOE-TRUCKEE, Calif. — Teachers and school administrators from throughout the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District submitted a record 115 grant applications to the Excellence in Education Foundation this fall. Out of those applications submitted, 69 were either fully or partially funded for a total of $130,241.

The grant application process is open to teachers or administrator from any school in the district. The goal of the grants is to give teachers the opportunity to think outside the box and come up with new ideas or ways of engaging their students. Often these supplemental materials or enhancements don't come with district-provided funding, so teachers have the opportunity to apply for funding through the Excellence in Education Foundation.

Since 1990, Excellence in Education has been providing grant funding to TTUSD. This year, more than $250,000 worth of grant funding was requested. The Foundation, which is supported by fundraising programs like Dining for Schools, Skiing for Schools, Golfing for Schools and direct membership, had $130,000 in funding available for the this grant cycle.

"At the end of the grant process, our allocations committee meets and reviews every application. We discuss how a particular grant might impact students and whether the grant meets the criteria set forth in our guidelines," says Laura Abbey Brown, the Foundation's executive director. "Then we look at our total available funding and decide if a grant will receive funding. It's a very long and careful process, and we work hard to base our decisions on the best interests of the students."

Out of the 69 grants funded this year, some of the money is going toward the purchase of new band uniforms at Truckee High School. The uniforms the band currently uses are several decades old hand-me-downs that are literally falling apart at the seams.

Another grant will purchase science engineering kits for students at Sierra Expeditionary Learning School. The kits cover a variety of engineering concepts like bridge building, energy transfer, Newton's Law, electromagnetism, chemical reactions and more. The kits serve as a bridge between learning concepts from a textbook and learning by doing.

Recommended Stories For You

Grants were awarded to every school in the district, plus SELS. The funding will pay for noise-canceling earmuffs at Truckee, Glenshire and Kings Beach elementary schools. It will pay for hundreds of books — non-fiction books, books in Spanish, reading sets for book clubs and leveled books that align with the new California Common Core learning standards.

Several new computer programs were also funded. A program called "Career Cruising" at Sierra High School and North Tahoe School will help students understand what it will take to reach their collegiate and future career goals.

Another program called "Flocabulary" at Alder Creek Middle School will give students access to videos and interactive online activities that teach math, vocabulary, language arts and social studies through rhythm and hip-hop music.

Funding was provided to purchase digital cameras for North Tahoe High School's photography class, new microscopes at Sierra High School, and graphing calculators at Truckee High School.

"Every year, we have a wide variety of grant requests from teachers, and this year was no different. We were thrilled to see so many applications and so many great ideas," says Brown. "We are incredibly grateful to everyone who supports the Excellence in Education Foundation through our fundraising programs because the money we raise goes directly back into our schools."

This article was submitted by the Excellence in Education Foundation. Visit ExinEd.org to learn more.