PTAs Throughout State Receive Grants to Support Their Programs

by California State PTA Scholarships and Grants Committee

A dozen local PTAs have received the extra resources they need to turn great program ideas into reality in 2022. Thanks to our California State PTA Scholarships and Grants program, these local units will be creating new programs that uniquely serve their communities. The 2021 grant amounts ranged from $800 to $2,000 dollars, based on the application each school submitted last year. 

Your PTA can apply now! We hope the descriptions below give your PTA some great ideas for your own work and that they encourage you to apply for a Program Grant yourselves. You’ll find all the information you need for doing so on and on our website. The application deadline is October 15th. 

Outreach & Translation

RL Stevenson Elementary 

Burbank – 1st District PTA – Received $1,000 Grant 

The PTA’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee plans to translate all email correspondence for non-English speaking families at Stevenson. Currently, translation is needed in Spanish, Armenian, Russian and Vietnamese. Additional languages will be added as needed.

Our goals are to embrace and welcome non-English speaking families and to give them greater access to school programs and events that they may not be aware of due to a language barrier.

Del Paso Manor Elementary 

Sacramento – 3rd District PTA – Received $1,953 Grant 

Our goals with this grant are threefold – to improve student safety during drop-off and pick-up, to create a better sense of community for all, and to educate families and our community on the benefits of having a PTA. 

We wanted something lasting that could be re-used for years. We created signs and notices containing basic phrases and statements in the four primary languages spoken at our school – English, Pashto, Dari/Farsi1 and Spanish.

Our PTA is ever present at school events but unfortunately, it is not readily apparent to a non-English speaker that the PTA is the event host.  We created a “hosted by” sign, in the schools’ four primary languages, to be displayed at every PTA event.  This sign serves as a simple way to educate the community on the benefit PTA provides their family.  

Parent Education 

Dunsmore Elementary 

La Crescenta – 1st District PTA – Received $800 Grant   

At Dunsmore Elementary School, the newly-formed Anti-Racism Committee (ARC) states that its mission is to “engage and educate our school community to recognize racism and discrimination in all forms (including, but not limited to gender, sexuality, culture, class, religion, and ability) and possess the tools and confidence to confront it productively.”

With this mission in mind, the ARC started a Speaker Series over Zoom to help educate our school community on the complex issues of our time including topics of gender diversity, neurodiversity, and racism, and how best to support our children. Understanding that these issues require a multi-pronged approach and that it takes time and persistence to internalize the concepts, this Speaker Series is just one of the many activities and strategies we have planned at Dunsmore Elementary School.  

Healthy Lifestyles

Deerfield Elementary 

Irvine – 4th District PTA – Received $800 Grant

The project that the Deerfield Elementary PTA plans to implement promotes healthy lifestyle choices for Deerfield students and their families. Our program is called “Falcons Move n’ Groove”. We plan to serve all 620 Deerfield students and their families by providing seven months of opportunity for movement and togetherness. The purpose and the goals of this program include encouraging physical and mental fitness for Deerfield students and families, encouraging community engagement, togetherness, and socialization amongst the Deerfield community, and supporting mental health through exercise and socialization. As a PTA we hope that by providing these opportunities to our students and families we will build school spirit, support positivity through fitness, and build a stronger community school-wide by bringing families together.

El Carmelo Elementary 

Palo Alto – 6th District PTA – Received $2,000 Grant 

The aim of ‘Operation Healthy Shift’ is to improve the overall health and safety of students at El Carmelo Elementary by creating and supporting school commuting programs that facilitate a healthy non-sedentary lifestyle. 

We have taken a multi-tiered approach to solving the problem of how to get students moving. Dubbed ‘Operation Healthy Shift’ we look to move the needle within our diverse community – encouraging a safe commute to school through three components:

SAFETY AND INCLUSION:  We will update materials and route maps into Spanish and Mandarin, encouraging all of our families to get moving and safely commute, integrating more kid friendly graphics, and adding a digital component in the form of a QR code that would point to preferred routes that greatly increase safety.

HEALTHY COMPETITION: Classes would collect stickers for the number of commuters in the class for each day they walk/roll or share transport to school. The class earning the most will be rewarded at the end of term.

THOUGHTFUL REMINDERS:  Bike lights that could clip onto backpacks are essential in allowing us to roll out the program safety.  Able to be branded with ‘El Carmelo,’ the aim is to increase school pride and visibility.

Abraham Lincoln High School 

San Jose – 6th District PTA – Received $900 Grant

The proposed healthy lifestyle project is a series of community yoga classes to introduce students to the relaxation and strengthening aspects of yoga, and create community among students, staff and families from Lincoln High School. 

 The program will provide yoga classes for students, staff and family members, with recorded classes continuing to impact Lincoln community members into the future.

Marguerite Montgomery Elementary 

Davis – 3rd District PTA – Received $800 Grant 

We will purchase a “9 square in the air” set for the students to play during recess and physical education. The playground aides and teachers have noticed, that likely as a result of COVID-related school closure, many of the younger students are reluctant to join in and play traditional playground games, such as wall ball, tether ball, and basketball. It seems to be challenging for the kids to initiate a game that requires a specific number of participants. As a result, more students are sitting around during recess, rather than getting much needed exercise. 9 square is an ideal game, as it allows many participants to cycle through the game, with no student being responsible for organizing a game. We anticipate that most, if not all of our 410 enrolled students will be able to enjoy this equipment. 

Phoebe Apperson Hearst Elementary 

Pleasanton – 99th / Peralta District PTA – Received $1,500 Grant 

Hearst Elementary school has an onsite garden with a 13-year history of building, through collaboration, a program whose primary purpose evolved from environmental education to include nutritional literacy. Hearst Elementary’s garden nutritional education program will enable our approximately 600 students, staff and families to experience the steps involved in growing enough food to share and through the process, gain greater understanding of: food systems, connection of food to culture and community, agriculture principles, and the influence of food on health and social justice. The program will also provide opportunities for character building in accordance with the Monarch Way.

Cultural Arts

Cadman Elementary 

San Diego – 9th District PTA – Received $1,500 Grant

As a STAR Arts school Cadman Elementary is committed to providing a diverse arts experience to our entire student body. Cadman Elementary’s P.E./Dance Coach, Coach Waldron, has created an exceptional Cultural Dance program for all of our 163 scholars to learn and perform this school year.

Project #1 – Samba Dance

Country Studied: Brazil

Equipment Needed: Maracas, Tambourines

Project #2 – Tinikling Dance

Country Studied: The Philippines

Equipment Needed: Tinikling Sticks

The purpose of these two dance projects is twofold. First, to expose scholars to new forms of dance and second to enhance appreciation of cultural arts. The overall goal of these projects is to use Samba and Tinikling dances to further broaden the minds of the Cadman student body, while simultaneously creating a welcome and safe environment for all students to learn.

Florence Bixby Elementary 

Long Beach – 33rd District PTA – Received $1,500 Grant 

The purpose of this project is to expand our students’ cultural awareness, creativity, and knowledge of the Khmer Community. Long Beach, CA is home to the largest Cambodian community in the nation. Bixby PTA would like to invite a local nonprofit onto our campus to share the rich culture and traditions in the Cambodian community. Khmer Arts Academy, located in Long Beach, CA will teach a Cambodian Dance Workshop – This is a dance workshop that teaches our elementary students classical Cambodian dance or ballet. This project will reach most of our 460+ elementary school students ranging from TK-5th grade. We hope that by the end of this project the voices and rich culture of the Cambodian community can be elevated and showcased. By doing this, our current Khmer students and their peers have an opportunity to relate, learn and expand their creativity.

Los Feliz Charter School for the Arts (California Creative Learning Academy) 

Los Angeles – 10th District PTA – Received $2,000 Grant

California Indigenous Culture Bearer Residency Program: At California Creative Learning Academy (CalCreative) we strive to interconnect our students with our local ancestry, promoting learning of our indigenous ancestors and respect to our land. This program is designed to instrumentalize the school’s commitments expressed in our school’s land acknowledgement statement, created with Gabrieleno culture bearer Lazaro Arvizu in 2020, and to weave those commitments into our TK-8 (700 students) curriculum and teacher training. 

The program would become a resource for our educators to build their knowledge base with regards to Indigenous peoples’ history, wisdom, knowledge, cultural practice, and contemporary contributions. We will Transform our school garden into a CA native plant garden. Our native plant garden will connect to our work in STEAM, community building and social-emotional learning. The native garden will create stewardship and connections to our science, music, and visual arts programs. We’ll invest in the professional development with teachers and staff and create art assemblies for all grade levels.

Marguerite Montgomery Elementary

Davis – 3rd District PTA – Received $2,000 Grant  

Ballet Folklorico is an enrichment program that reflects our school’s cultural background in a way that conventional programs haven’t.

Marguerite Montgomery Elementary is a Two-Way Bilingual Immersion school which places great value on its heritage as a multicultural school. 37.7% of the student body are English Language Learners, the vast majority (97.6%) of whom come from Spanish-speaking households. Our community’s diversity is one of our greatest assets, and we are always looking for activities that reflect our school’s multicultural identity.

We expect our 120 second and third graders to be served by this program.

We want this program to become a tradition for our students, and to possibly grow to include additional grades in the future.

We hope that by offering this form of cultural art, we can encourage a deeper understanding of our own cultural heritage, as well as an opportunity to share the heritages of others.