2018-19 Innovation Grant Recipients2019-03-14T19:02:15+00:00

2018-19 Innovation Grant Recipients

Congratulations to our 2018/2019 Teacher Innovation Grant Recipients. CEF believes in supporting CUSD’s top-notch educational staff and nurturing a space where innovative ideas can develop and flourish.  In this spirit, CEF is excited to fund small grants (up to $2000 each) for creative projects that engage students in high-impact learning opportunities.  Teachers and principals in CUSD are eligible to apply. The focus of these grants is enhancing access to creative, project-based learning for CUSD students. Projects may align with CEF’s traditional areas of focus (art, music and technology) or explore other subject areas (humanities, sciences, etc).  Teachers may apply individually; groups of teachers may submit a proposal together for a collaborative school-site or grade-level project; or principals may submit a proposal for a school-wide project.  Partnerships with community groups on projects that hold promise for enhancing learning in CUSD are welcome. The Request for Proposals will be posted in spring 2019 for projects intended to start in fall 2019.

We are proud to have funded $140,000 in block grants to schools and for the following teacher innovation projects for the 2018/2019 School Year.

$11,500  GRANTED TO CHAPARRAL ELEMENTARY

$10,000 for art/music instruction and $1,500 Teacher Innovation Grant awarded for:
A Special Education Sensory Area
Special education teachers Katie Long, Gina Unkovich and Laura Olsen at Chaparral created a calming sensory area in their new modular space to support pedagogical innovations and behavioral intervention for a growing population of students with Autism Spectrum Disorder.


$9,300 GRANTED TO SAN ANTONIO HIGH SCHOOL

$8,000 for technology and $1,300* Teacher Innovation Grant awarded for:
Math Matters: A Multi-Age Math Mission
This collaborative project with Leslie Wallace (SYC), Cynthia Wiedefeld (OAK), and Carla Campbell (SAHS) involves ninth grade students to interview business owners and create videos that define real-world math problems to teach key concepts to students in grades 3-6. Students will interact with one another and the business owners near the end of the project on a proposed field trip. *Total awarded for all three schools.


$12,325 GRANTED TO CONDIT ELEMENTARY

$10,000 for art/music instruction and $1,465 Teacher Innovation Grant awarded for:
Igniting the STEAM Mindset 
Building on a prior grant to Condit for Makerspace carts, Jennifer Jensen, Tania Morgan, Yvonne Murphy, Kim Evans, and the third grade team will cultivate students’ critical thinking skills through engagement with news articles about current events written for and by children (News-O-Matic). The articles will be discussed daily and students will research and debate issues using skills related to science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics.

Creating Amazing Paper Circuit Conducting Cards
Ellen Crawford, Renee Duniven, Jenny Genovese, Jennifer Luebbers with students will explore concepts related to circuitry and electricity as they build paper circuit cards. They will utilize observation, project design, and problem-solving as they employ scientific inquiry in a 2-hour circuitry workshop.


$16,960 GRANTED TO EL ROBLE INTERMEDIATE

$16,000 for technology and $960 Teacher Innovation Grant awarded for:
Bringing Writing to Life in English and History
Led by teachers Lindsay Lazenby and Jenny McGourty-Riggs, students will choose an historic topic and write scripts to bring the topic to life in video. The student will be challenged to question the credibility of sources and to achieve a purpose (inform, persuade, entertain) through creative media.


$12,800 GRANTED TO MOUNTAIN VIEW ELEMENTARY

$10,000 for art/music instruction and $2000 Teacher Innovation Grants awarded for:
REACH through Animation
Led by Sabrina Ho, students will write, draw, and edit animated films based on their stories/visions and interpretations of MTVÕs REACH standards. (Respect, Effort, Attitude, Cooperation, Honesty.)

Changing Conversations through Social Justice
Led by Jacqueline McElvy, students will learn about the topics of suicide prevention and mental health in an innovative way: a film contest. Each group will create a 6-second PSA to prevent suicide or help change minds about mental illness from a set of predetermined themes.


$12,470 GRANTED TO OAKMONT ELEMENTARY

$10,000 for art/music instruction and $1,300* Teacher Innovation Grants awarded for:
Math Matters: A Multi-Age Math Mission
This collaborative project with Leslie Wallace (SYC), Cynthia Wiedefeld (OAK), and Carla Campbell (SAHS) involves ninth grade students to interview business owners and create videos that define real-world math problems to teach key concepts to students in grades 3-6. Students will interact with one another and the business owners near the end of the project on a proposed field trip. *Total awarded for all three schools.

Using Theatre Arts to Enhance Literacy in Reading and Writing for Grades 3-6
Led by Aimee Gibb, this project is an after-school program that will strengthen literacy skills by using readers’ theatre and other forms of drama to strengthen comprehension and writing skills.


$11,008 GRANTED TO SUMNER DANBURY ELEMENTARY

$10,000 for art/music instruction and $1,008 Teacher Innovation Grant awarded for:
Lights, Camera, Action News!
Students will produce a daily school-wide video newscast. Using an iPad or webcam, students will create and record a news-style broadcast to deliver the morning message and various school announcements. Students will work in collaborative teams to plan, write, perform, record, and edit each newscast, which will be shown in all classrooms on campus.


$12,564 GRANTED TO SYCAMORE ELEMENTARY

$10,000 for art/music instruction and $1,300* Teacher Innovation Grants awarded for:
Math Matters: A Multi-Age Math Mission
This collaborative project with Leslie Wallace (SYC), Cynthia Wiedefeld (OAK), and Carla Campbell (SAHS) involves ninth grade students to interview business owners and create videos that define real-world math problems to teach key concepts to students in grades 3-6. Students will interact with one another and the business owners near the end of the project on a proposed field trip. *Total awarded for all three schools.

STEM: It’s As Easy As Pi!
Led by Katherine Gregory and Jessica Marchant, students will learn about computer science and coding using small, single-board computers called Raspberry Pi. Projects include: robot programming, pixel pets, stop motion cameras, and time-lapse films.

Audio Recording for Elementary Students
Led by Anamaria De La Cruz and Amy Stanger. In this project, students grades 4-6 will prepare music and learn how to use current audio technology to record the music they have learned and performed.


$11,673 GRANTED TO VISTA ELEMENTARY

$10,000 for art/music instruction and $1,673 Teacher Innovation Grant awarded for:
Spheros for STEAM and Synergy in Kindergarten
Using Sphero robots, Dinh Tran and Maria Tucker and the Kindergarten team will sharpen students’ knowledge of STEAM and develop the synergy that exists between reading, writing, and speaking.

CEF Innovation Grants in Action

Oakmont Elementary Theater Project

Vista Elementary Sphero Project

Chaparral’s Sensory Area

Sycamore Elementary Audio Project

2017-18 Innovation Grants