EFC Awards $50,000 in Teacher Grants
Education for the Children (EFC) had a successful start to its 20th Anniversary Year, raising funds through two initiatives, the Friends of EFC Challenge and a new direct grant funding program. Through these initiatives and past fundraising events, EFC successfully awarded just over $50,000 in teacher grants throughout the Tesoro Family of schools, including Tesoro High School, Arroyo Vista K-8, Las Flores Middle School, Las Flores Elementary School, Tijeras Creek Elementary School, and Wagon Wheel Elementary School.
The Grant Committee scheduled an earlier than usual deadline for grant submissions this year, which will allow for teachers to receive the granted items for use in their classrooms this academic year. Of the numerous grants submitted from each school, those awarded include, but are not limited to, the following:
Arroyo Vista K-8: outdoor sound system, musical instruments, Chromebooks and desktop computers.
Las Flores Elementary: flexible seating items, Chromebooks, and outdoor equipment.
Las Flores Middle: flexible seating items, headphones, speakers, P.E. equipment, studio technology and a document camera.
Tijeras Creek Elementary: Chromebooks and iPads.
Wagon Wheel Eelementary: Sphero Robots and accessories, flexible seating items, and Chromebooks.
Tesoro High: chemistry lab equipment, items for broadcast journalism, equipment for beginning guitar class, shade structure for long-term native plant restoration project, LCD projector, biology equipment for Special Education, supplies for intertidal research lab and TI 84 Emulator Software.
The board started the school year with the Friends of EFC 20th Anniversary Challenge, setting a goal of finding 350 or more families to donate $20 or more by November 1, 2017. Although this goal was not met, more than 100 new families became a Friend of EFC and approximately 60 percent of the donations were more than the $20 challenge amount. That resulted in an increase of the average donation per family by 25 percent over the previous year. Generous community partners including Cox Communications ($5,000) and Rancho Mission Viejo ($1,000) also contributed, increasing the amount EFC was able to distribute to teacher grants.
EFC also offered community members the opportunity to directly donate to teacher grant requests through online collection website CheddarUp.com. Each school had a list of grant requests on the site and donors were able to fund the grants that they were most passionate about, either partially or in full. This new platform raised $3,364.87 for grants at all EFC-supported school sites.
Looking forward, EFC will celebrate its 20th anniversary silent auction and dinner with a Cinco de Mayo Fiesta at the Rancho Santa Margarita Bell Tower on Saturday May 5, 2018. Visit www.EducationfortheChildren.org to get more information about the grant program and upcoming events.