Grant Recipients 2016-2017

The San Francisco Education Fund awards grants to teachers who have great ideas about how to increase student achievement.

Educators, school site staff and volunteers are invited to apply (individually or collaboratively) for grant awards to bring new and innovative ideas to life. Are you an educator who would like to apply for a grant? Visit our grants application page.

In 2016-17, The San Francisco Education Fund had a grant pool of $100,000 for teachers and school staff across San Francisco Unified School District. Meet some of our grantees and read about the powerful programs they put into place.

  • Elementary School Grants

    Bessie Carmichael Elementary Campus

    A grant awarded to educators at Bessie Carmichael’s elementary campus aimed to help teachers grow their professional skills, primarily in teaching reading and writing. The K-8 school, located the city’s South of Market, has a large population of low-income students (77%), and 39% of the school’s students are English Language Learners.

    Literacy Enrichment and Strengthening Project

    Recipients: Grecia Haigwood, Jane Chai, Irene Aragon, Ashley Duncan, Page Whipple, Valerie Fernandez, Joseph Halili , pre-k through fifth-grade teachers
    Award: $20,000

    This grant was awarded to send a team of six teachers to a week-long Teachers College Summer Institute covering the readers and writers workshop model. This professional development supports teachers as they implement the readers and writers workshop model in their classrooms. The group also shared what they’ve learned with their colleagues after they returned.

    Dr. George Washington Carver Elementary School

    A grant awarded at Dr. George Washington Carver Elementary School provided teachers with resources to help them learn a new literacy curriculum. The school, located in the city’s Bayview neighborhood, has a large population of low-income students (74%).

    The Art of Teaching Reading

    Recipients: Kristen Caputo, Assistant Principal, and Jennifer Comeans, Literacy Coach
    Award: $9,283

    This grant was awarded to help educators teach the four Units of Study, a curriculum developed by professionals from The Teaching and Writing Project. The school’s literacy coach wanted to provide necessary support so every teacher and student would be successful during the transition to the new curriculum. This grant provided a stipend for teachers during their extended hours to learn and plan the new material as well as books and other materials.

    El Dorado Elementary School

    Grants awarded at El Dorado Elementary School, located in the city’s Visitacion Valley neighborhood, focused on professional development for literacy specialists as well as providing new resources to enhance students’ literacy development and creative expression. This school has a large population of low-income students (71%) and English Language Learners (33%).

    Studying Our Favorite Characters to Bring Books to Life

    Recipients: Anna Pepito and Ariana Contreras, first-grade teachers
    Award: $4,616

    First-grade teachers at El Dorado Elementary School helped bring books to life through a Readers Theater project in two classrooms. For the second year of this exciting project, teachers brought in a professional theater group to demonstrate how to perform Readers Theaters. Students learned how to control their voices onstage and become the characters from their books. By preparing to perform theater, students also learned how characters develop throughout a series.  Both classes attended a professional production, and then students put on their own productions of Readers Theater for their school community. This project made reading more social, engaging and active for students while helping students learn fluency.

    Small Group & One-on-One Instruction Brings Big Impacts

    Recipients: Antoinette Thornton Street, Anna Pepito, Tiffany Okimura, Ariana Contreras, Kelsey Alaka, kindergarten through second-grade teachers
    Award: $9,135

    Research shows students benefit most from small-group instruction or one-on-one meetings (also known as conferring). This grant sent the school’s team of kindergarten through second-grade teachers to the Teachers College Conferring and Small Group Institute in New York, where educators learned strategies for using small-group instruction to teach reading and writing. Once they returned from the institute, the team offered professional development opportunities to other staff at the school and created a handbook to share their learnings with their broader school community.

    Developing Kindergarten Literacy Centers

    Recipients: Tiffany Okimura, kindergarten teacher
    Award: $553

    First-year kindergarten teacher Tiffany Okimura knows that students learn the best when they are highly interested and engaged. She bought alphabet and phonemic awareness games to build literacy centers at the school and ensure students receive absorbing materials that help them learn to read.

    Leveled Reading with Raz-Plus and Science A-Z

    Recipients: Danielle Casimiro and Antoinette Thornton, second-grade teachers
    Award: $910

    This project funded software licenses for Raz-Plus and Science A-Z, programs that provide students with a large and diverse collection of printable and online texts at their reading level to support their growth in reading during class and at home. Teachers can check student progress and activity, while parents can also access books they can read with their children at home.

    Tackling Summer Learning Loss through Project W.O.R.D.S. (Working on Reading During the Summer)

    Recipient: Antoinette Thornton-Street, second-grade teacher
    Award: $5,000

    The success of Project W.O.R.D.S., which addressed summer learning loss through literacy instruction, prompted renewed support. In its first year, 94% of students participating in Project W.O.R.D.S. maintained or advance beyond their end-of-year reading scores. This is powerful since research shows that, on average, students lose more than two months of reading skills over the summer. This is particularly an issue for low-income students, who often don’t have access to books in their homes. This summer, small groups of students who are reading at or slightly below grade level will participate in lessons and read aloud time.

    Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy

    A grant awarded to Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy focused on providing new resources for students to develop their literacy skills. Forty-three percent of students from this Castro-neighborhood school are from low-income households.

    Literacy + Technology = Fun Learning

    Recipient: Ron Machado, Principal
    Award: $5,000

    Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy’s principal wanted to provide his students with access to a wide range of engaging reading material at their own reading level. This grant helped the school implement “Learning A-Z”, an award-winning software program that allows for individualized student learning in Language Arts, access to over 1,500 online books, and custom writing and vocabulary lessons.  The grant provided software licenses for five third-grade classrooms as well as extended teaching hours so each educator could receive technology training from an instructor with expertise in Learning A-Z Language Arts.

    Junipero Serra Elementary School

    Grants awarded at Junipero Serra Elementary School, located in the city’s Bernal Heights neighborhood, focused on providing new literacy-focused resources and professional development opportunities for teachers. The school has a large population of low-income students (87%) and English Language Learners (55%).

    Teachers College

    Recipient: Christine Chin, second-grade teacher
    Award: $3,000

    This grant funded a first-year bilingual teacher’s professional development at the Teachers College summer institutes on the teaching of reading and writing, with a focus on building a cohesive Spanish-literacy program. Ms. Chin also plans to use the Teachers College’s instructional materials and texts in her classroom and to bring back what she’s learned to other teachers at the school.

    The Student Centric Classroom

    Recipient: Hilary Mason, first-grade teacher
    Award: $259

    This grant funded materials so Ms. Mason could create a new listening center where students listen to audio books and as they read the text. Ms. Mason has found that students’ language acquisition and fluency improves as they hear what fluent reading sounds like and can follow along. This also allows Ms. Mason to provide differentiating instruction to small groups while students are independently engaged at the literacy center.

  • Middle School Grants

    Everett Middle School

    A grant awarded at Everett Middle School, located in the city’s Castro neighborhood, focused on providing teachers with resources to help them serve students who have fallen behind in math. The school has a large population of low-income students (61%), and 35% of students are English Language Learners.

    Increasing Teacher Efficacy and Fidelity in Math Acceleration

    Recipients: Lauren Ponti, Acceleration Coordinator, and Esther Fensel, Instructional Reform Facilitator
    Award: $4,324

    This grant funded materials and professional learning for educators to help them run a math acceleration program for students who have fallen behind. In math acceleration, students receive small-group instruction in rigorous tasks and foundational math concepts from a credentialed math teacher, who meets them at their level. This year the grant especially funded materials, such as books, aimed to help teachers with the instruction of the program and ensure consistency across classes.

    James Lick Middle School

    A grant awarded at James Lick Middle School, located in the city’s Noe Valley neighborhood, focused on providing new resources and professional development opportunities for teachers to enhance students’ math development. The school has a large population of low-income students (67%), and one-third of students are English Language Learners.

    Math Educator Conference for Equitable and Empowering Student Learning

    Recipients: Kimberly Rosario, seventh-grade teacher and Veronica Canilao, sixth-grade teacher
    Award: $4,330

    This grant provided funding to a pair of first-year teachers to attend the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics annual conference, where they had an opportunity to develop their skills, collect materials to use in the classroom and bring back knowledge to the rest of the math department. The teachers attended a variety of workshops, including one that covered how to help students (and especially English language learner students) better access the language of word problems, as well as a session on implementing the eight mathematical practices. Attending the conference provides access to the NCTM website of resources and teacher journals that the department can use throughout the year to implement activities and tools to enhance student learning. The grant also funded digital NCTM memberships for the other teachers in the math department to use.

  • High School Grants

    June Jordan School for Equity

    A grant awarded to the college access director at June Jordan School for Equity helped her continue a college tour project while also starting a pilot summer transition program to continue to support students as they make the transition from high school to college. This school has a large population of low-income students (78%).

    Beyond Graduation: College & Career Exploration and Retention for First-Generation Students

    Recipient: Carolina Guardado, ‎College Access Director
    Award: $5,000

    This project takes students on a variety of college campus tours and gives students, especially first-generation students, a chance to learn more about academic options and majors that fit their interests. This year the grant also helped fund a summer transition program that will support students throughout the three months of summer before they start college to ensure they complete the steps to fully matriculate and start classes in the fall.

    Mission High School

    A grant awarded to the principal of Mission High School helped provide students with opportunities to visit college campuses that they would find difficulty visiting otherwise. The school has a large population of low-income students (69%) and English language learner students (38%).

    On The Road to Life: A Summer Bus Tour for College into Careers in Southern California

    Recipient: Eric Guthertz, Principal
    Award: $6,000

    We awarded funding to the principal, counselors, teachers, Career and Technical Education Academy instructors and support staff to visit college campuses in Southern California with their students. The tours give an opportunity for students to see college sites that they would have difficulty getting to on their own. The project targeted the school’s most underserved populations, including students from its newly created African-American Male Culture and Identity Course as well as its Newcomer Pathway. They also included students from their Career and Technical Education Academies.

    Phillip & Sala Burton Academic High School

    A grant awarded at Phillip & Sala Burton Academic High School, located in the City’s Visitacion Valley neighborhood, focused on increasing engagement for at-risk students. The school has a large population of low-income students (76%).

    Puma Success Team — Targeted Intervention for Freshmen

    Recipient: Emily Cobbey, Prevention Services Coordinator
    Award: $5,943

    Puma Success Team (PST) serves as a targeted intervention for freshmen at Phillip and Sala Burton High School who have been identified by SFUSD’s Early Warning Indicator system (EWI) as being at risk of not graduating from high school. Each year, PST serves approximately 30 EWI-identified freshmen through weekly group sessions in the fall and spring semesters. This grant-funded project uses a three-part curriculum that provides students with structured opportunities for social engagement, identity development, educational goal setting and community-based service. Ultimately, PST aims to increase student feelings of efficacy and confidence; increase their engagement in school and community; and lay a strong foundation as they move forward in their educational careers at Burton and beyond.