The Education Foundation for California Schools supports and recognizes the instrumental role educators play in fostering innovation and creativity in today’s educational curriculum. Through an annual grant program, the nonprofit funds educational programs and initiatives that California teachers are able to develop and bring their students.
The Education Foundation for California Schools was established in 2003 as an extension of SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union’s mission and purpose. SchoolsFirst FCU was founded in 1934 by school employees to help school employees and their families thrive by offering financial products and services to help them with their financial well-being. The foundation’s purpose is to provide grants that support teachers in creating educational programs aimed to inspire students to excel in core curriculum.
“We recognize the important role innovation plays in education. It encourages both teachers and students to explore research and use their tools to uncover something new to help build a brighter future for our communities.” — Josh Smith, Vice President, School and Community Relations, SchoolsFirst FCU
The foundation reaches out to teachers each October, encouraging them to apply for a grant of $1,000 or $5,000. All K-14 public- or private-school teachers or teams of up to three teachers may apply. “Since inception, we’ve provided nearly 600 grants totaling over $1 million that have directly impacted more than 50,000 students,” says Josh Smith, vice president of School and Community Relations at SchoolsFirst FCU.
Thanks to support from individual and corporate donors, the Education Foundation for California Schools awarded 50 grants in 2021. “We see so many creative programs from remarkable educators that will improve our future,” Smith says. “One example is an innovative program that will teach students different types of coding such as computer code, Morse code and Navajo language code, inspiring interest in humanities and communications.”
The Education Foundation for California Schools hopes their grants help the California education community inspire more students in the areas of STEM. “We look forward to receiving grant applications from educators in the Greater Sacramento region and helping them implement programs and initiatives to make a difference in their students’ lives,” Smith says.