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Issue 3
October 2021
Expanded Learning Gabriela Delgado

The 2021-22 school year is in full swing and shows no signs of slowing down. With unprecedented amounts of funding and grant opportunities made available through the state budget, districts and charter schools have a unique opportunity to support expanded learning time, "a-g" completion, universal transitional kindergarten, teacher preparation and training, and more. Although some of the funding will be allocated to county offices of education, districts, and charter schools, there will be various competitive grants released throughout the year. To be better prepared for these opportunities, I would like to offer a few thoughts for your consideration:

Plan early
  • Identify LEA staff and community partners that can be part of the process.
  • What partnerships exist that can support the cause? What partnerships need to be forged?

Determine how a specific grant opportunity fits into your LEA’s strategic plan and board goals
  • What need will the grant meet?
  • What data exists to demonstrate this need?
  • Is the time right to apply or are there competing projects that are currently being implemented at the district- or school-level?
  • Do we have the bandwidth to take on the various grant management responsibilities?

Stay informed

As part of a team that supports various grant-funded projects, the Expanded Learning and Community Engagement department is here to answer questions, provide resources, and point you in the right direction. We know you are doing great work you are just one grant from making it amazing!

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There are some amazing things happening outside our traditional classrooms. Below is an example that may inspire your work.
The San Diego Quality Preschool Initiative (SDQPI) funded by Quality Counts California (QCC) and First 5 San Diego and operated by SDCOE is focused on continuous quality improvement of early education programs. SDQPI is an effort to strengthen San Diego County’s early learning and care system to support young children and their families. As an SDQPI provider, Logan Heights CDC Future Achievers Preschool works to ensure that two- to five-year-old children have access to quality early learning experiences in their local community. SDQPI participants work with a coach to develop goals and action steps. Working with their SDCOE Early Education SDQPI Coach Marlo Dinkins, Logan Heights CDC Future Achievers Preschool leaders developed a Quality Improvement Plan centered on strengthening connections with their community.

School gardens provide an opportunity to foster community connections, so when the 2021 USDA Farm to School Grant Program application window opened, Logan Heights CDC developed a proposal to establish an edible garden at Future Achievers Preschool. And their efforts paid off! This summer, Logan Heights CDC Future Achievers Preschool was awarded Farm to School Grant funding to achieve this goal. Through this award, experiential learning opportunities will be developed in conjunction with a contracted master gardener, a new source for produce such as vegetables and fruit will increase access to healthy foods, and the edible garden will operate as a focal point for volunteer activities. “I am really impressed with their determination and drive,” Dinkins said.
Kudos to Future Achievers for successfully seeking — and winning — grant funding to meet identified needs. To learn more about SDQPI, please visit
What is your district or school site doing that pushes learning and engagement beyond our traditional norms? We would love to learn from you. Please email to share your innovative ideas at work!
JH Technologies’ iFuSE (Inspiring Future Scientific Exploration) Microscope Donation Program
EXPANDING PERCEPTION: Microscopes for Young Scientists

The SDCOE Cuyamaca Outdoor School (COS), San Diego’s Original 6th Grade Camp, located in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, has served San Diego County students since 1946. During their week at outdoor school, COS students participate in citizen science projects that educate them about the environment and empower them with a new appreciation for their natural surroundings.
When COS Outdoor Education Specialist Emelie Traub began preparing for the new school year, she identified a need to provide students with a broader range of opportunities for scientific exploration. She wanted to create a new science activity around pollination biology and worked hard to secure a needed material Fuchsin jelly with support from UCSD. With the slides and materials set, she tried out the camp’s microscopes. “Of all the microscopes we had, none of them worked,” she discovered. A refresh and enhancement of microscopes was clearly needed. Through research, Emelie discovered an opportunity offered through JH Technologies’ iFuSE (Inspiring Future Scientific Exploration) Microscope Donation Program. The iFuSE team gathers new, used, and/or broken microscopes, repairs them, and distributes them through awards to qualifying K-12 schools and teaching organizations. With encouragement from Sharyl Massey, Outdoor Education Lead Specialist, and approval from COS Principal Kris Pamintuan, Traub drafted and submitted her application.
In August 2021, thanks to Traub’s successful proposal, COS became the recipient of a generous iFuSE microscope donation. “We received two compound scopes and four dissecting scopes. One of the dissecting scopes is so tall that a kid can bring in anything that they want from the trail. They also added a fixture that makes it easier for more kids to see the same thing,” Traub noted. As the new school year begins, this collection of microscopes will be a fantastic addition to the young scientists’ exploration experiences. Nearly 12,000 students each year complete hands-on science curriculum at COS that follows California Next Generation Science Standards, in addition to engaging in outdoor recreation and team building activities. For many students, the weeklong, overnight experience transforms how they feel about science and themselves as learners. And now, thanks to Traub’s efforts, they have even more to explore!
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Learning is Expanding Lab

The Learning is Expanding Lab (LEXL) and UCSD Extension are proud to present another episode of Creative Conversations, a series of recorded conversations with wide-ranging topics and guest speakers. The Building Equitable Learning Environments episode features Wendell Bass, a passionate educator with 40 years of experience. During this interview, Bass reflects on what he has learned while emphasizing love, compassion, and connection during all parts of the school day. We hope you are just as inspired by his message as we were. Additional Creative Conversations can be found here. Interested in learning more about the LEXL? Email
What’s New in Expanded Learning?
The Expanded Learning Opportunities Grant (ELO-G), which was signed last March through Assembly Bill 86 as a COVID-19 Relief and School Reopening Grant, was revised to also include federal stimulus funds to extend the expenditures through Sept. 30, 2024. Assurances and reporting requirements are in the process of being developed.
In an effort to create universal access to expanded learning opportunities, the state has allocated $1.75 billion for the new Expanded Learning Opportunity Program (ELO-P). This new funding compliments After School Education and Safety, 21st CCLC Elementary/Middle School, and should be created as one, comprehensive program. The ELO-P is addressed throughout Assembly Bill 130, however, many of the requirements can be found in SEC. 52. Section 46120. The SDCOE System of Support for Expanded Learning department has created a planning guide to support your work.
Please note that the requirements for the ELO-G and ELO-P are different. Access the 2021-22 Expanded Learning Funding Overview created by the SDCOE System of Support for Expanded Learning for more information.
Celebrate the 22nd Annual Lights On Afterschool!

Join more than 8,000 communities and 1 million Americans in celebrating afterschool programs for this year’s Lights On Afterschool! This nationwide event, organized by the Afterschool Alliance, calls attention to the importance of afterschool programs and the resources required to keep the lights on and the doors open. Sign up here for Oct. 28 Lights On Aftershool.
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For Your Inner Advocate

Are you looking for new ways to make a difference in the lives of children and youth, but unsure where to begin? Check out this compendium of Child Advocacy Organizations from the University of San Diego Children’s Advocacy Institute. Each of the 65 organizations listed in this resource has a unique focus/approach, and you may find an opportunity be it volunteering, donating, or just learning more that speaks to your passion. 

As you start the new school year be sure to check out the Tools for Schools searchable resource database from Live Well Schools. More than 300 resources, searchable by topic, will connect you to programs, partnership ideas, policy strategies, and tools to meet short-term needs of students and families and facilitate long-term planning for schools and districts. Tools for Schools provides a wide array of resources based on a broader definition of wellness that includes social and emotional health and a focus on addressing health disparities.
For Your Inner Explorer

Balboa Park What’s open to visit: Check out the programs, activities, and events that are open and available, both online and in person! BONUS: Here is a calendar to help you take advantage of the free general admission days available for San Diego residents and military personnel.
Enjoy apple picking season: Embrace the change-of-seasons by exploring the apple orchards throughout our county. Bring along friends or family members to make memories, and maybe even an apple pie!
Scout out a fresh air farmers’ market: An event such as the Thursday Market in North Park can help you nourish yourself with fresh fruits and vegetables. Farmers markets provide a boost to local farmers, contribute to the local economy, and feature produce at the peak of season. Up for exploring a wider range of food and floral crops? The San Diego Farm Bureau hosts a complete listing of San Diego County Certified Farmers’ Markets.
For Your Inner Learner

This fall, the San Diego Public Library will be reflecting on Japanese American experiences during World War II and after the war by exploring themes of social justice, activism, and the power of the written word. From September through December, the library will be hosting a series of programs and events to raise awareness and encourage discussion of historical and contemporary issues faced by marginalized voices, especially within the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. Click here for more information.

BOOST Collaborative presents: Beyond Parkland: An Equitable Lens to Youth and Gun Violence. This no-cost workshop will be held Friday, Oct. 15, 10 to 11 a.m. Participants can expect to take a dive deep into the types of gun violence related to America’s youth, emphasizing communities most vulnerable, what solutions exist to combat this public health crisis, and how young people can emerge as gun violence prevention leaders. The session will be facilitated by Tremayne Edwards, director of Education and Engagement, Alliance for Gun Responsibility. Be sure to check out BOOST’s future training offerings here.
San Diego College of Continuing Education offers free classes, with rolling start dates, that can enhance your personal and professional development. One example — HMDV 596 School-Age: Guidance & Curricula — is offered for three hours a week, on Zoom, starting Nov. 8. This class is an introduction to positive guidance techniques, conflict management, program planning, curriculum development, enrichment activities, and communication skills for school-agers (ages 6-12). To participate in this class, or any others, you can register here for free.
The Do Your Homework @ the Library program offers free homework assistance for students to support out of school learning and engagement. Services include:
  • Free access to paid coaches and caring volunteers who are available to help K-8 students with their homework assignments
  • Free access to learning materials
  • Free access to computers, online research tools, and other digital resources available at the library
For Your Inner Grant Writer

This Grant Lifecycle graphic provides an overview of phases common to grant activities. Building an understanding of lifecycle components, and using them to inform strategic planning, is a great step toward a successful process.
California Fertilizer Foundation (CFF) School Garden Grant Program: This grant provides $1,200 to public elementary, middle, and high school programs for new or existing in- and after-school garden programs. The purpose of the funding is to increase children’s awareness and understanding of agriculture through school gardens, and, in so doing, enhance existing curriculum and goals in the classroom. At the end of each year, winning schools can re-apply for a progress grant of $1,500 and a free agricultural field trip. The Oct. 31 deadline is subject to change based on COVID-19 restrictions.
Applications are open for Whale Tail® Grants! The California Coastal Commission's WHALE TAIL® Grants fund projects that connect children and adults to the California Coast and its watersheds through experiential education, stewardship, and outdoor experiences. Eligible projects fall into one or more of the following four categories: 1) youth education programs, 2) programs for educating the general public, 3) climate change education and stewardship, 4) shoreline cleanup and enhancement programs. Proposals for projects that engage communities that have historically received fewer opportunities for coastal and marine education and stewardship are strongly encouraged. Grants can take place anywhere in California, coastal or inland. Grants of any amount up to $50,000 may be awarded. Note: these are reimbursement grants. Eligible applicants include schools or districts, government entities, and Federally Recognized Tribes and other California Native American Tribes as defined by Governor’s Executive Order B-10-11. The deadline for applications is Nov. 5.
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Tips and Tricks for Your Toolbox

Whether you are working in person or virtually, here are a few questions that can increase participation and strengthen connections with colleagues, students, and families.
Just for Fun Questions
  1. What song would you sing at karaoke?
  2. What is your favorite emoji?
  3. What is the best/worst part of Zoom meetings?
  4. Which app could you not live without on your phone?
  5. What's the most spontaneous thing you've ever done?

Digging a Lil’ Deeper Questions
  1. How do you want this school year to be different than last year?
  2. What are you most grateful for?
  3. What staff member/student/teacher has left an impression?
  4. What do you need to maintain work/life balance this year?
  5. What would you do if you had an extra hour in the day?

Questions or Journal Prompts to Inspire Reflection
  1. Based on your current daily actions and routines, where would you expect to be in five years?
  2. If you could write a letter to your teenage self, what would it say?
  3. What worries you most about the future?
  4. In the haste of our daily lives, what are we not seeing?
  5. What’s the number one change you need to make in your life in the next 12 months?
Sharing is caring! Feel free to email to share your favorite tip. We just might feature it in our next issue!
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If we can be of service, please reach out so we may connect you with the appropriate resource.
Gabriela B. Delgado, Senior Manager, Student Services and Programs
Lisa Johnson Davis, Coordinator, Expanded Learning and Community Engagement
Liza Flowers, Coordinator, System of Support for Expanded Learning
Michelle Houle, Program Specialist, Grants
If you have any questions or comments about Expanding Possibilities please contact Gabriela B. Delgado.
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