Back to School
By Savannah Lira, Program Officer
PVF is excited to announce that all Teacher Resource Grant Programs are now open!

These small, but critically needed grants for teachers help to address inequalities in public education and build future generations of strong leaders. For 20 years, PVF has supported public school teachers in the Bay Area with grants for the Arts, Environmental Sciences, Mathematics, Life Sciences/Chemistry, and Special Education.

Already this August we have made 66 grants to Bay Area teachers, including:

  • New standardized tests and therapy materials to identify and implement the speech and language needs of K-5th grade special education students
  • 4D anatomy models of various organisms for 4th grade students to study the internal and external structures of plants and animals
  • Play Doh, markers, beads and other art materials for Kindergarteners to build fine motor and language skills through art projects
This school year we are excited to bring back our Excursion Program, which enables teachers to take students on class field trips, subject to COVID safety restrictions.

Learn about each of our available teacher grants below! All programs are restricted to low-income public schools; Specific grade and school district eligibility varies from program to program. Click on each program link or view our website for more information.
Arts Resource Grants of up to $500 are available to enhance your virtual classroom and after-school arts programs.

Examples: art supplies to send home, visiting artist in your classroom, costumes or props to send home, professional development.
Environmental Science Resource Grants of up to $500 are available to enhance environmental science curriculum through projects, supplies, and professional development.  

Examples: gardening supplies, water testing kits, materials for a compost and/or recycling unit.
Excursion Grants of up to $1,000 are available to fund 1-day classroom excursions; funds can cover the cost of transportation, admission fees and food.

Examples: go to a museum, take a bay ferry, go hiking and take a picnic. The purpose of this program is to open new vistas to children.
Mathematics Resource Grants of up to $500 are available to fund books, materials, software, manipulatives and professional development related to mathematics. We encourage requests which show curriculum resources are articulated between grade levels. (ex. Preschool with Kindergarten, 1st with 2nd grade, etc.)
Science Resource Grants of up to $500 will be awarded for hands-on materials to enhance their classroom science instruction, with a focus on life sciences and chemistry.

Examples: chemistry lab sets to send home, water testing materials to send home, classroom microscopes to use in zoom classes.
Special Education Resource Grants of up to $500 are available to teachers and therapists to serve special education students. Requests can be for classroom supplies and resources to send home, educational virtual field trips, or professional development.

Examples: sensory integration resources, developmental toys, speech and language materials, oral motor kits, math manipulatives, resource books.
Visiting Artist Resource Grants of up to $500 are available to bring an artist or art historian to their virtual classroom. These are visual and material artists who would complement the lesson plan.

Examples: painter, sculptor, wood carver, weaver.
We thank our donors for making such a valuable contribution to enhance public education in our communities.

The need for funding in these classrooms is great, and we are constantly seeking out donors who can help us expand these teacher grant programs. If you are interested in contributing to an existing teacher grant program or creating a new program, please get in touch! 
An Opportunity to Learn and Blossom
After 17 years, the Special Education Resource Grant program remains in high demand by the educators working with special education students. The grants fund a variety of fundamental needs, such as sensory regulation tools, iPads, parent education workshops, and professional development, and the reports (like the one below) are heartfelt and inspiring.

"I can‘t thank you enough for giving my students the opportunity to learn and blossom during this difficult time. The pandemic sure does not stop them from learning at home. Lastly, I thank you again for Philanthropic Ventures Foundation‘s commitment in supporting teachers with grants and helping students succeed at school and in life.” – Jenny Kartanegara, Early Childhood Special Education Teacher

Read more excerpts from the 2020-2021 reports we received:
About the Editors
James Higa
James Higa, Executive Director, brings 28 years of executive experience from Silicon Valley, working with Steve Jobs to change the face of technology. He was at the birth of the personal computer revolution as a member of the original Macintosh team and was deeply involved in the creation of many products and services at Apple over 3 decades. He has a long history of public service as a board member of Stanford's Haas Center and in grassroots relief efforts.
Bill Somerville, Founder, has been in non-profit and philanthropic work for over 50 years. He was the director of a community foundation for 17 years, and in 1991, he founded Philanthropic Ventures Foundation. Bill has consulted at over 400 community foundations, on creative grantmaking and foundation operations. Bill is the author of Grassroots Philanthropy: Field Notes of a Maverick Grantmaker. 
About PVF
PVF is a demonstration foundation practicing unique forms of grantmaking
and innovative philanthropy. Our primary interest is in the creative
and significant use of the philanthropic dollar.
Philanthropic Ventures Foundation | 1222 Preservation Park Way, Oakland, CA 94612 | (510) 645-1890