Success Stories

Osmo Genius Kits for Science, Math and Art Granted to Ms. Harris

“Thank you so much for the exciting news that my grant request has been accepted. I am so excited to provide these innovative, brain growing activities to the kids in my class. Having only one Osmo Genius Kit right now is frustrating for the kids and me. Thanks so much for all the time you donate to this wonderful foundation. I can’t imagine the amount of work it takes to administrate it all. Know that you’re making a huge difference in the lives of Curie children. From beautiful Mozart costumes that I’ve used so many times over the years when I put on my class musicals, to the iPads that have inspired so many students to learn creatively. Again 1 million thanks for supporting the UC community. We probably don’t say it enough but everyone feels truly grateful.” – Jill Harris, Curie Elementary

Classroom Rug Granted to Ms. Wagner

Wagner Rug“A big THANK YOU for donating our beautiful new rug to room 515 4th and 5th grade students at Doyle Elementary. Before the rug, students wanted to sit at their desks and the front of our room looked like a boring waste of space. Now, the kids enjoy coming up to the rug, working with partners and collaborating together. It’s even helping the 5th graders learn the 50 state names and locations! Thank you again for this wonderful treat. We will take good care of our new carpet so it can last for years and years!” – Doreen Wagner, Doyle Teacher

Reading Books Granted to Ms. McCabe

McCabe books“I received $1000 to purchase guided reading books from the Rigby PM collection. The books are being used by all my students throughout literacy time and then are being used during ELD which includes students from the other first grade classrooms. I am so excited to see how much the children are enjoying the new books and how much it is improving their progress towards reaching their end of the year reading goals. Educate inspires us to continuously look for new ways to help children and makes wishes and dreams come true for the teachers of the UC community. Thank you for EVERYTHING you do for all of us!” – Renee McCabe, Spreckels Teacher

Portable Sign for Standley ASB

Monte ASB Sign“Thank you, Educate! The new portable sign your grant allowed us to purchase has been getting lots of attention. Students who never seem to look at the marquee or chalkboards can’t help but see our great new sign – especially since we can move the sign to places they can’t miss. Thanks for helping us get the word out.” – Monte Carroll, Standley Teacher & ASB Advisor


Channel One News Resources Granted to Ms. Thurston

Thurston“My colleagues and I would like to thank you for funding Channel One News for our 3rd grade students at Doyle. This daily news show has supported critical thinking and strengthened listening and speaking skills. Our students look forward to this portion of their day as they learn about what is happening in our world. The collaborative conversations we have in the classroom, as well as those that they have at home, are meaningful and relevant. Thank you for supporting us with a tool aimed at fostering digital-savvy global citizens. In this exercise (shown) we ask students how Misty Copeland’s story inspirational to anyone pursuing an improbable goal” – Amiee Thurston, Doyle Teacher

New Rug for Ms. Sharman’s Class

Sharman Rug“The new classroom rug that I received made such a big impact in our classroom! The other rug I had in there for about 12 years. For being 12 years old it was in pretty good shape but it looked very worn. The children’s eyes lit up when they saw the new rug the EdUCate! Grant bought us! That rug is our home for most of the day and now it feels clean and beautiful!” – Kimberly Sharman, Spreckels Teachers

2015-2016 Fall Teacher Grants Awarded

Congratulations to our fall teacher grant recipients! Teachers from all five University City schools applied for and benefited from EdUCate’s Teacher Grant program this school year! More than $28,000 was granted in December directly to teachers’ classrooms for the Fall 2015 cycle. For a list of recipients see Grant Recipients.

Spreckels 5th Graders Attend BizTown

20151102_112526_resizedSpreckels 5th grade class attended BizTown in November 2015. Through donations we are able to make this an annual program for all 5th grade students in the U.C. cluster.

“I wanted to extend my deepest thanks for your support and funding for BizTown for our 5th graders at Spreckels. Our students had the great fortune of attending today. Not only is BizTown a child’s dream come true of getting to live like an adult for a day, but it is a highly valued educational experience that teaches our students about the joy and promise of the future. I cannot thank you enough for this opportunity. Please know that the impact today on all our 5th graders was lifelong. I feel fortunate to be a part of such an amazing community and to be supported by such a generous organization.” – Michel Cazary, Principal – Spreckels Elementary Read More

36 Compound Microscopes for Middle School Students

Microscope-smallThe microscopes at Standley being used by science department were more than 20 years old, most of them having been broken and repaired from use over time.  They were not reliable, and not enough of them worked to be helpful. So the science department asked EdUCate for 36 new microscopes, a full class set, to be shared by all grades.  Through a Teacher Grant, EdUCate was able to fully fund all 36 microscopes!  Now, all students at Standley will have access to a new high quality device for experimental and investigative learning! “We can always count on EdUCate! to support our science program!  The classroom sets of microscopes allow us to provide our students with authentic and rigorous scientific experiences.  There’s nothing better than seeing students’ faces light up as they explore the world of microorganisms, sometimes for the first time.” – Lori Pina, Standley Middle School

Classroom Rug for Doyle 3rd Graders, Ms. Thurston

Ms. Thurston Classroom Rug 1applied for an EdUCate grant to purchase a large classroom rug for her 3rd grade class. “We want to thank you for your generous donation of a classroom rug to our classroom at Doyle Elementary.  The rug is a welcomed addition to our learning environment. Students enjoy coming together to engage in the sharing of ideas. The rug brings the learning front and center and has made a positive impact on our community of learners!” – Aimee Thurston, Doyle Elementary.

Jr. Achievement BizTown for 5th Graders

IMG_3077In Spring of 2014, Kelly Dudley, 5th grade teacher at Doyle Elementary, requested a Teacher Grant for purchase of a JA BizTown curriculum and hands-on field trip. Due to the success of this program we worked with JA BizTown to include a second UC elementary school in their program for the 2014-2015 school year. This academic year, all 5th graders at Doyle and Spreckels will be attending JA BizTown! We hope to have all three elementary schools participating next school year as the program has a wait-list.

“The students walked away learning some amazing and important life-skills. I’m sure that they will always regard their experience at JA BizTown as their first introduction to the ‘real’ working world!   Thank you VERY much EdUCate! for funding this awesome educational program and trip for our 5th graders again this year!” – Kelly Dudley, Doyle Elementary. Read more.

Spreckels Receives Common Core Non-Fiction Books, Ms. McKay

Success_Stories_Claudia_McKayMs. McKay applied for an EdUCate grant to purchase more Common Core books needed to support the implementation of Common Core at their school. “Thanks to EdUCate! Spreckels has their hands on more Common Core books to enhance learning in all grade levels. We appreciate all your support EdUCate! We love you EdUCate!” – Claudia McKay, Spreckels Elementary.

Hands on Learning Tools for Math and Literacy

Picture for Siegler DoyleTeacher Suwanna Siegler desired hands-on learning tools to enrich her first-grade students’ learning in math and literacy. The grant from EdUCate! paid for different materials for the math center, listening center, computer center, and independent work. “The EdUCate! Grant enhances learning in my classroom so that students in my classroom can now work with hands-on materials in math and literacy. In addition, the privacy partition and multipurpose headphones help students stay focus on their own work. Thank you EdUCate! for making a difference!!!” – Suwanna Siegler, Doyle elementary.

Super Large Carpet for 30 Students

Kindergartners do the majority of their learning as a whole group on the carpet. Due to the increase in class size, teacher Tara Astacio had 26 students and a carpet that fit only 20 students. EdUCate! granted money for a larger carpet to support up to 30 students which facilitates learning in the classroom. “I am beyond thankful to have this new carpet for my students. Everyone has a spot now which helps with classroom management and adds to our classroom environment. My kindergartners love it and I think they were even more excited than I was! Thank you EdUCate!” – Tara Astacio, Doyle elementary.

Portable CD Player for Individual and Group Work

Teacher Sonia Gomez-Neri wanted to enhance her 2nd grade classroom with a portable CD player. Throughout the day the CD player would assist a variety of subject areas and in different group settings. In a group setting, she felt the class could follow along with a book using a document camera or Promethean board. In small groups, a student can use the CD player as a listening center to develop vocabulary, language and literacy. “Thank you EdUCate! we believe the CD player is well worth its value and will not need to be replaced any time soon! Thank you for granting my request” – Sonia Gomez-Neri, Spreckels elementary.

Science Equipment

The 5th grade science curriculum at Doyle elementary is educational, fun, and has been designed to be very hands-on. However, since the science kits don’t come with a class-set of safety goggles, Doyle elementary school teacher Kelly Dudley had to limit the amount of interactive experiments performed in the classroom. Now students are benefiting from new science goggles! “Thank you EdUCate! for granting me the money to purchase proper eye-wear for each student in my class. My 5th graders are delighted to know that we will not have to skip any more exciting experiments!” – Kelly Dudley, Doyle 5th Grade Teacher

Baseball and Softball P.E. Equipment

SacchettiThe physical education department at Standley Middle School was in serious need of upgrading their baseball and softball equipment. Now students at Standley are benefiting from brand new equipment which will improve the program’s baseball and softball activities. “Forty new gloves are a welcome addition as the P.E. Department was previously using gloves which have been in use since the school’s inception” said Craig Sacchetti, Standley Middle School PE coach. “Batting tees were also a part of the grant and they are really helping beginners get up to speed with their hitting skills. Thank you EdUCate!”

English Department Software Tool

English Departmetn Software Tool Class PictureThe UCHS English department  was in danger of having their site license expire for, a web-based tool that allows students to submit papers and get feedback from teachers online. Besides providing a valuable communication avenue for teachers and students, it’s also one of the most effective deterrents English teachers have to combat plagiarism, since all submissions are checked against other submitted papers and web resources.

“EdUCate’s generous donation allowed us to maintain the program and increase the quality of writing instruction available to students. On behalf of the entire department, we want to thank you for your ongoing support.”
– Sue Bristol and Brian Compagnone of UCHS

Area Rug Improving Personal Space, Ms. Siegler

Rug PictureThe mission for first graders in Ms. Siegler’s class is to learn and have fun while learning. As a way to achieve this goal, she applied for an EdUCate grant to purchase a uniquely-designed area rug to allow students to work independently.

“The area rug we received through EdUCate helps me better manage the classroom because each child has his/her personal space while sitting on the floor. It also creates a cheerful environment for learning. Thank you for your support!” – Suwanna Siegler, Doyle Elementary

Independent Reading Books, Ms. McKenna

Ms. McKenna pictureAfter having taught kindergarten for fourteen years then “double promoted” to a second grade teacher, Dana McKenna was thrilled for a new opportunity but was challenged with a lack of grade level appropriate books. Additionally, she needed a more efficient way to utilize co-created charts for in class discussions with students.

“The bulk of my independent reading books were leveled for kindergarten, even some for first grade, but I knew I was lacking in appropriate books for my second grade readers. Receiving the EdUCate grant allowed me to purchase two overflowing bags of chapter series books for my classroom and a double-sided white board easel! My students were THRILLED to have new and more books to read!” said Ms. McKenna.  “Having a double-sided easel allows me to utilize multiple charts at the same time during classroom discussions, as well as leaving them accessible to my students…thank you once again to EdUcate for supporting the needs of our students and teachers in the UC area!” – Dana McKenna, Doyle Elementary

Technology Support, Ms. Pope

Ms Pope Alison Pope’s class at Doyle is in the process of receiving a new Promethean board and tablet computer from the district and needed an additional computer in order to support her capabilities as a job share teacher. ”Since there are two teachers, it is critical that we each have our own computer so that we can use it both in the classroom and create lessons at home to use with our students,” stated Ms. Pope. EdUCate funded this grant request so that technology could be integrated efficiently and effectively to enhance instruction.

“I want to thank EdUCate so much for funding a computer.  I do a lot of work from home to prepare and plan lessons and would not have been able to do it without this computer.  Thanks to you, I can be a more effective teacher and make learning more interactive and fun!” – Alison Pope, Doyle Elementary

New Math Materials

Supplementary math materials were needed for several of Judy Walker’s classes at Doyle elementary school, so she applied for an EdUCate grant to purchase the FIRSTINMATH program.  Ms. Walker planned to use this online program for enrichment math as well as test prep and reinforcement.  Students could use the program at home and in the classroom.

“Students who are finished with their assigned math tasks are able to get enrichment using the FIRSTINMATH website.  The program takes little effort on the teacher’s part, and the students are motivated to earn points for activities completed using the program.  Students who need reinforcement can get it in a ‘fun’ way which is motivating for them.  This program is also easy to use for our second language students.” – Judy Walker, Doyle Elementary.

UCHS Band and Orchestra


UCHS Band Color Guard

Cameron Brown joined UCHS in 2011 with lots of enthusiasm for growth. An orchestra was added, enrollment was up and they needed new equipment. “We are aggressively fundraising to support a budget of $28,000 for recurring expenses such as competitions, buses, uniforms, supplies and coaches…these grants will benefit the program for many years to come and allow more students to participate in music who might otherwise not have such opportunity,” stated Mr. Brown in his grant application for drum stands. We were able to fully fund his application through our teacher grant program.

“Thank you so much for this wonderful news!  I will pass this information along to the UCHS Music Boosters who will decide which purchase option will work best.  I will also pass along the good news to the hard-working students in our drumline who are about to get some very useful equipment that will help them at athletic events and similar gigs for years to come!  Teachers in the UC cluster are so lucky to have groups like EdUCate and the Centurion Foundation supporting our efforts and providing opportunities for us to enhance our teaching.” – Cameron Brown, UCHS

UCHS Science Department

APES Student Using PASCO Probeware

APES Student Using PASCO Probeware

Because of recent budget cuts, the UCHS science faculty had not been able to replace some older and broken equipment, keep experiments properly refrigerated, nor do common blood typing with students which had been done in past classes. Through a number of our Teacher Grant applications, the department received almost $2,800 to fulfill many of their immediate needs!

“Thank you so much to EdUCate!  The Science Department truly appreciates the opportunity to make large requests that benefit the UCHS students.  We have been so fortunate to have UC community members dedicated to education and especially to Science needs, understanding how much is required to run effective science classrooms. I know the Wash Bottles and Density Flow Table that were granted through this process are of great value to our labs.” – Tara Howell, AP Environmental Science/Earth Science Teacher and Science Department Chair

Spreckels Second Grade Teacher, Erin Nordlow

Second grade teachers have so far not been included in the district roll out of Promethean technology. In order to tap into the enhanced instruction capabilities of today’s technology, Ms. Nordlow requested an iPad through our Teacher Grant Program. Ms. Nordlow’s request listed very specific ways she planned on using the iPad to enhance instruction in reading with an application that provides “tracking and phonetic awareness and fluency;” in math using “Mad Math,” “Math Bingo” and “Math Board;” in writing using “My Story Kit;” in science using interactive apps and with English learner applications that “increase participation, understanding and motivation through visual support for language learners.” She had so many incredible ideas for an iPad’s enhancement of the classroom!

“THANK YOU!  I am so grateful to EdUCate to have the opportunity to begin using the ipad technology in my classroom!  The kids will benefit greatly. I appreciate all of your time and efforts to support our students!  I’m buying apps and doing additional research in preparation!” – Erin Nordlow, Spreckels 2nd Grade Teacher

Curie All Grade Science, Mary Ricci

Curie Scientist with Chinese Spouting Bowl

Curie Scientist with Chinese Spouting Bowl

“Science education sometimes takes a back seat with the push of reading and math being so strong,” states Mrs. Ricci in her elementary science Teacher Grant application. Mrs. Ricci had a long list of hands-on science equipment and materials that Curie had not had the funds to purchase over the last few years. She is passionate about science education and recently conducted Curie’s Science Night for grades 3-5th. According to Ricci, “science night sparks imagination and discovery, exposing children to science concepts as they experiment at various science tables set up in the cafeteria. My favorite expression is to hear a child say ‘wow’ when doing a science activity. Thanks to EdUCate and its commitment to help our Curie Scientist we were able to feature the Chinese Spouting Bowl where students were able to make water dance.”

We were so happy to be able to help Mrs. Ricci with $950 worth of materials like: Viscosity Oil Tubes, Mysterious Magnet Tubes, Waterless Crystals, a Dinosaur Museum in a Box, a Tabletop Light Panel and other educational materials to enhance the science education of Curie students.

Doyle Elementary, First Grade Safety, Janet Engebretsen

Sometimes the most elementary idea has just never been implemented. Mrs. Engebretsen is a first grade teacher at Doyle who is regularly tasked with, “…the responsibility of keeping 168 first graders safe at recess.” A megaphone was what she and her other grade level counterparts needed! So, through our Teacher Grant Program, we were able to buy her that megaphone and batteries to support it. She and the other first grade teachers plan to take it with them on field trips and any outdoor instructional lessons.