The challenges of distance learning leaves teachers with an ever-growing list of needs to help their students.
Aware of this hardship, the Santa Barbara Education Foundation awarded 55 grants to Santa Barbara Unified teachers, totaling $110,000 in added resources for students.
It’s the third year the foundation has distributed grants, varying from $250 to $5,000. This year, teachers sought the funds for a plethora of uses such as outdoor seating and shades for on-campus learning, digital cameras, laser cutters for STEAM labs, compost bins and books about social justice and politics.
“The grant committee is proud to support Santa Barbara teachers’ remote-learning innovations in the midst of these unprecedented challenges. Their perseverance, dedication, and hard work inspire us all,” said Education Foundation grant committee chair Victoria Juarez.
Eliane Borba, a special education teacher at Cleveland Elementary School, received $1,500 to build an equity library.
“Receiving this grant from Santa Barbara Education Foundation made me feel like we can still build great things even in these challenging times of Covid-19,” she said. “More than ever, students and families need the support of their community, and it was great to feel we are in this together.”
Santa Barbara High School librarian Sherri Bryan wanted an online research database to serve students remotely.
“Thanks to this funding, approximately 2,200 Santa Barbara High School students now have access to a carefully curated, reliable selection of informational reference materials from any device,” she said. “We were able to replace many of our outdated collections of print reference books with newer resources that can be used by many students simultaneously and by any of our students at any time.”
On Jan. 7, the Education Foundation presented the awards virtually with SB Unified Superintendent Hilda Maldonado to recognize the teachers.
“We all recognize this has been a difficult year in education and the Ed Foundation is privileged to be able to support our teachers,”said programs manager Katie Szopa.
A total of 170 teachers have received funding totaling $275,000 over the past three years. To learn more, visit santabarbaraeducation.org.