Eight teachers from the Glendale, Burbank and La Cañada Unified School Districts were awarded $2,000 grants in May for projects that they deemed important for students and their schools.
More than 50 applications were made for these grants that are offered annually by the Glendale-Foothill Division of the California Retired Teachers Association. The competition was so overwhelming with worthy ideas that Division 11 increased the number of grants from five to eight this year.
Winning applications came from elementary, middle and high school teachers across the entire region. Some of the innovative projects that have received funding include puppets for Daniela Pino to use in foreign language development at Franklin Elementary and gardening projects for Cassidy LaFee at R.D. White Elementary and Suzanne Savage at La Crescenta Elementary.
Lara Svab, who wants to create a STEM lab for her kindergartners at White Elementary School in Glendale, said, “I am so appreciative of this grant and can’t wait to create this new area in my classroom. I know my students are going to love it.”
Kathy Koo, who teaches 9th grade English at La Cañada High School, is “grateful to be selected and will put the funds to good use” in replanning how to incorporate Ethnic Studies into the English curriculum.
Another winner, Mozhdeh Jamison of Dolores Huerta Middle School in Burbank, plans to use the grant to purchase science kits that will help her students learn about self-propulsion and energy transformation.
“I’m so excited and can’t wait until next year when my kiddos actually get to build, customize, decorate and race their mousetrap cars,” Jamison said. “They are going to have so much fun putting scientific principles into practice!”
Additional grants included reading supplies for Gina Boulais’ 1st-graders at Stevenson Elementary, as well as special musical instruments for Amy Rangel and the Glendale High School marching band.
“We have been supporting education in the Glendale, Burbank and La Cañada area for years and are delighted to see the creativity and dedication of current teachers as they seek to enrich their students’ classroom experience,” said Sue Wheeler-Ayres, president of CalRTA Division 11.
CalRTA is a statewide organization of more than 40,000 teachers whose local chapter, Division 11, consists of 245 retired teachers who worked in the Glendale, Burbank, La Cañada Flintridge and Los Angeles County school districts.
First published in the May 20 print issues of the Glendale News-Press and Burbank Leader.