Teachers Paint the Town 
with PVF Grants
by Savannah Lira, Program and Communications Associate
It's Summer and that means its time once again to wrap up our Teacher Grants Program! Teachers come up with great ideas all the time, but don't have the resources to fund them or the time to pursue arduous funding requirements. That's why we launched Teacher Resource Grants. These small, but critically needed grants for teachers help to address inequalities in public education and build future generations of strong leaders. 

The 2018-2019 school year saw many amazing project proposals in the arts, maths and sciences.   Below are some of our favorites from this past school year:
  • A Visiting Artist Resource Grant to Frick Impact Academy in Oakland to help with the school's Paint the Town project, a program administered by Oakland's Department of Transportation, meant to bring neighborhoods together in creating street murals to strengthen community and potentially even slow traffic. A group of 6th-8th graders participated in pressure washing and priming the surface of a street crossing, and outlining the artwork with chalk to paint the mural. This "BE SAFE. BE RESPONSIBLE. BE RESPECTFUL." mural was inspired by an event from a prior year, when a student was hit by a car and killed, a block east from the intersection where the mural is located.
  • Two teachers at Burbank Elementary School in Hayward, each received an Environmental Science Resource Grant during the 2017-2018 school year, and they used the funds to take their students to Vida Verde in San Gregorio to learn about conservation, recycling, and environmental awareness. (Teachers are always welcome to team up on a project for maximum impact!) What the students learned in class from their textbooks came to life on the trip, as they discussed and found examples of plants and animals in food webs during the redwood forest hike and tide/marsh exploration."Upon returning from Vida Verde, there was instantly a positive culture of a learning community. At the end of the school year, my class celebrated their accomplishments and cried because they would miss each other."
  • A Spanish Immersion Program teacher at Alvin S. Hatch Elementary in Half Moon Bay, received an Arts Resource Grant for costumes and supplies for a third-grade student performance of a traditional dance from Veracruz, Mexico. "We tried to stay as true to the Veracruz style of dress for our dance 'El Tilingo Lingo. Our dresses and hats were even shipped in from Mexico. It took us months of rehearsals, as well as days to prepare the pieces that we needed; and it was all possible because of the help we received from the foundation."
  • At Farallone View Elementary, a teacher used an Art Resource Grant to purchased art supplies for students to develop their problem solving skills and create their own art pieces. They worked on a timeline of North American art through the ages, beginning with cave paintings. "Not only did the students have opportunities to express themselves creatively, they had the emotional experiences that creative expression brings: pride, exploration, relaxation, 'down time,' emotional release, and discovery."
  • With a Math Resource Grant, an elementary teacher in San Jose was able to make math fun and engaging for her students with tangible materials. It provided the concrete examples her Second Language Learners needed to succeed. "Words cannot express how grateful we are of your program. Without your program, there would be no way my school would be able to provide these materials for my students."
A big thank you to our donors to these programs: The Eucalyptus Fund, the Geballe Family, the Lampert-Byrd Foundation, the Westly Foundation, and the Heising-Simons Foundation. The 2019-2020 Teacher Grants Program will re-open in August. We can't wait to see the creative ideas you come up with!
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.
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