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2019-2020 classroom projects

Here is a summary of the projects that are being funded for the 2019-2020 school year. Project summaries and outcomes will be available after June 2020. Click here for a downloadable list of the funded grants.

Let's get Cooking in Special Ed Functional Life Skills: Healthy Body/Healthy Mind

Maria Aguilus, Tennyson High School

Amount Funded: $1,000.00
Number of Students Served by Project: 12

I have a full-size kitchen in my classroom that has a refrigerator where we keep produce from our garden at Tennyson.  We also have an old range that stopped working for couple of years.  Our curriculum that includes Cooking on Fridays was discontinued because we don't have a working range.  My students are excited and enthusiastic to have our cooking class back.  We usually harvest some produce from our school’s garden or purchase ingredients from the store during our Community Based Instruction, and then on Fridays, we make a Healthy recipe that we already discussed on our Basic Health.  My students will do the preparation such as washing and cutting the vegetables, fruits, meat and fish.  They follow the instruction from the recipe with staff supervision and we all cook.  After cooking, my students then prepare the table, everybody will eat together and follow table manners and etiquette.  I have lesson plans that I implement for Good Nutrition that I want to continue but we need to have a working range and have our Cooking class back.   I also need some pots and pans, silverware and chinaware for the class so my students can properly set the table with a complete arrangement.

My class consists of 9-12 grades Moderate/Severe disabilities.  These students need to learn Life Skills to function in their real world.  They want to learn basic life skills, how to incorporate better nutrition into their diet, to develop a new skills by preparing healthy meal independently, and/or to explore careers in the food industry.  All students are capable of learning and they love to cook delicious foods and they enjoy eating their creations.

I will know that my goals have been met when I see that my students learned to cook and can follow the directions from the recipe.  I will also assess them by observing if they can follow the instructions that I have taught by using the materials that we are asking for.  I will also know when I see my students get healthy and they become alert, smarter, more engaged and more active due to eating healthier meals that we cooked.

This project will be long lasting tools in my classroom.  It will serve my students for more than 10 years and not only for single use.  The students that I have right now will benefit from these cooking materials until they graduate and students that are coming from 9th grade until they reach 12th grades will still benefit.  Generations of students will benefit from this project. 

Strings Will Lead the Way

Earl Cato, Lorin Eden Elementary

Amount Funded: $988.00

Number of Students Served by Project: 60


Lorin Eden Elementary Strings Music classes are a year-long elective offered to students with special abilities and/or interests in playing music. The class provides students with experiences not readily available in the regular classroom. The students will be tested weekly on various musical concepts and pieces. Remember this is a class and thus the student will receive a grade based on their productivity and effort. Students are required to participate in Winter and Spring Concerts as well as expected to participate in other musical events, such as Hayward Arts Council All County Festival and the Mt Eden Area Band Festival.


Lorin Eden Elementary has over 60 students enrolled in the instrumental music program. 4th graders meet weekly on Wednesdays and 5-6th graders meet Wednesday and Thursdays every week.


My students are in need of new violin and viola strings. We need to restring our instrument with new strings each school year. New strings are quite costly and many of my students cannot afford them. This will help them in so many ways. They won't have to worry about how they will get new strings because we'll already have them in stock. Our current strings are very worn out and have started to uncoil. This affects the tone of our sound tremendously for concerts and gigs. A young music student needs to develop a strong sense of the ""good sound"".  It is crucial to have the proper tools to develop a good concept of tone and pitch. In this case we have string instruments but need new strings to achieve the desired ear development. We will have a great tone once we change all of the violin strings. Student will be able to describe execute and demonstrate the correct technique of string playing/bowing by producing the desired sound. 


We will be able to satisfy the California Music State Music Standards. Our students will be able to develop a clear understanding of pitch and tone using the new strings on their string instruments. The correct blend of ensemble playing will be more easily achieved with new strings. Our performances and class rehearsals will serve as our point of assessment. I will incorporate concert and rehearsal recordings and professional clinician comments to help address the student musicians.


Typically, our current strings are used until they begin uncoiling or snap. Due to our current financial situation, we simply cannot afford to change the strings yearly as we would like. This project will surely allow the students to play and learn for the coming school year. I think the new strings will last into the next school year unless there is unnecessary damage.

Penne for Your Thoughts

Desirae Christoffersen, Palma Ceia

Amount Funded: $950.00

Number of Students Served by Project: 90


I would like to get a convection oven for my classroom. With so much focus on digital technologies, we sometimes forget to teach the important and practical skills children need. My goal is to have a monthly cooking class for my students, where they will learn to prepare nutritious and delicious meals for themselves and their families. The students will participate in activities where they learn how to safely use and oven, cut and prepare ingredients, measure, and follow recipes.


My goal for this project is to teach practical cooking skills to my sixth graders in class and after school in a cooking club. The education benefits to teaching cooking in class are:

•          Encouraging healthy eating

•          Developing work ethic

•          Learning about other cultures

•          Problem solving

•          Measuring

•          Develop motor skills


When goals are met, students will be able to follow a recipe, understand the cultural and nutritional value of food, and safely use common kitchen tools.


I will be able to use this convection oven for many years. There are no consumable items on this request (those I will purchase myself). This is an industrial convection oven that will be sustainable for many years.

Literacy for the Little Ones

Kristy Cunha, Park Elementary

Amount Funded: $500.00

Number of Students Served by Project: 19


I'd like to start a family literacy program where the children are given a backpack of books each week to take home and read with their families.


Children will be given a clear backpack and they will select some books each Monday from the take home library return them on Friday.  Upon returning the books, they will give a talk about what they read and who read to them, when they read the book, and their favorite parts of the book.


This grant will allow me to purchase the backpacks or a similar item in which the books are secure to send home.  The grant will also allow me to purchase a selection of books specifically for this purpose. 


This will encourage families to read together, have easy access to books and promote literacy.


The goal is to bring books into the home for families to engage in and make a habit of reading together.  Good habits take time to manifest and by introducing it early in a child's life, there is a greater chance that the child will fall in love with a particular story or character or the feeling one gets from reading the letters on the page as it translates to the movie in your head.  Too often youth are not given the opportunity to use their imagination as they prefer to watch someone else's version of a story on a screen. 


 By introducing books into the home, families can make good habits of reading together and finding the time to stop and be together in the moment of the time it takes to experience a story together.  Starting young is crucial to the success of an accomplished reader.


My goals can be measured in the way the children are able to talk about their time spent at home with their family reading as well as retelling the story they read together.  Children always love to tell you their experiences and retelling a story attaches them to school, their family and themselves.  


Responsibility is also part of this as they check out and return the books.  It makes the children feel like they are attached to the classroom while they are at home through the physical attachment of the book and being responsible in its return.


Once the physical items are purchased, they can be used for many years.  I suppose that some books will be lost, but I believe that it could be minimal and replaceable within my own budget after the initial purchase is made of the backpacks and books.

Digital Storytelling

Evangela Dixon, Longwood Elementary

Amount Funded: $900.00

Number of Students Served by Project: 25


The project that I am proposing is a Digital Storytelling project.  This project will have multiple components to encourage students to both publish and record their stories. Students are taught that writers create stories that they want to share with the world.  With that in mind, my project will have students go through the writing process to create and publish a piece of work.  Then, the student will use iPods to record their stories.  A QR code of their recorded voices will be generated and placed in their published book creating their very own audible book. To conclude, the books will be shared in class and with other classes by scanning the QR codes.


  1. Use technology to record stories

  2. Use technology to create and scan QR codes

  3. Learn the writing process and publish a book

  4. Orally tell a story


This will benefit students because they will learn the process of becoming a published author as well as use technology to share their stories.


I will know students have completed their goals by:

  1. Reviewing their published book.  

  2. Looking at previous drafts of writing - I will review their drafts and evaluate if, with prompting support, they used the the stages of writing as a rubric.

  3. I will check their voice recording to see if they their stories are clear and match the pages of the book.


This project can be repeated year after year as long as I have the iPods and blank notebooks.

Ruus Shakespeareans

Paul Garrison, Ruus Elementary

Amount Funded: $1,000.00
Number of Students Served by Project: 32

The Ruus Shakespeareans is an after-school program for 5th and 6th graders who put together an annual unabridged production of one of Shakespeare's plays. Within each play, the students also perform a full set list of contemporary music that helps to tell the story. Each song, typically a rock song, is related to the theme of the play. The band's instruments include guitars, keyboard, drums, and vocals. The Ruus Shakespeareans learn about language and diction, teamwork, focus, discipline, patience, and commitment, among other things. Throughout the year the students attend daily rehearsals, while also getting music lessons to their specific instruments. 
We've gotten a grant from HEF for the Ruus Shakespeareans many years ago which helped to pay for our stage and risers. However, the one thing we haven't had are guard rails. For many years I had to borrow them from a nearby staging company, just to make sure that our guests were seated safely at the performances. We're trying to get our guard rails so that we have them for all future productions.

The Ruus Shakespeareans objectives are designed to teach the students skills which will help them for the rest of their lives. Here are the objectives: 
Ruus Shakespeareans: 
•    Will learn large amounts of new vocabulary; 
•    will increase their ability to focus for long periods of time; 
•    will improve their patience; 
•    will learn to work as a team; 
•    will learn to stand up and speak confidently in front of others; 
•    will learn not to be afraid of making mistakes; 
•    will be supportive of peers who struggle;
•    will practice independently to perfect skills; and 
•    will make a yearlong commitment to a project and finish what they start. 
These skills are worked on every rehearsal, and there is little mention or focus given to performances. Working as a team, they constantly work at speaking Shakespeare's words correctly and telling the story through the text and music. Their development as teammates and problem solvers is emphasized every rehearsal, as many mistakes are presented as a chance to solve a problem and figuring out how they would solve it. The question given every year is ""what will you do when things go wrong?"" They're constantly reminded that staying calm and continuing on is usually the best choice. 
A project like this doesn't work unless students learn the value and importance of practice, patience, and responsibility. This is a difficult lesson to teach. The students learn from the beginning that they’re expected to go home, practice, and come back better the next rehearsal. If a scene or song being reviewed doesn’t improve as planned, the students are reminded of the importance responsibility, as they don't only hurt themselves but also the entire team. But more often than not, they see themselves improve significantly, even though they didn't even believe it was possible at first. With these improvements, the students raise their own expectations of themselves and that is a beautiful moment. 
The musicians specifically are taught to read sheet music so as to be more independent. It would take too much time to teach them all instruments and how to play a song. Instead, by knowing how to read sheet music, they have the skills to independently practice and the opportunity to show their responsibility to come prepared every rehearsal.

It's easy and simultaneously difficult to evaluate something involved in the performing arts. Perhaps some examples of what we've done in the past will answer this question. 
We had a scene in our production of Much Ado About Nothing that combined text, music, and dance all into one moment. We took a party scene with many characters speaking, and tied in the song Jump, Jive An' Wail along with an intricate swing dance number. The timing of the lines, music and dance were so intertwined and dependent upon one another, and the students quickly understood that every person in that scene mattered. If any part of the scene was off, everyone involved was set back. When everything finally clicked, they knew it was because of their perseverance and belief that every person in that moment mattered and their success meant the entire team was successful. 
We have another instance of that in last year’s production, where we’ve taken a long speech by a character and blended in music, dance, and sign language.  In Katherine’s important speech at the end of The Taming of the Shrew, we combined it with Paul McCartney’s Maybe I’m Amazed.  The timing of her speech, song, dance, and sign language made a speech that was supposed to be for one person now involve 18 people who are all depending on each other to have their responsibilities down correctly and on time. 
Another moment to highlight would be in this year’s production of The Tempest, where we have Prospero giving his speech to Miranda of how they came to the island, while the band also plays Bob Dylan’s Positively 4th Street to assist in creating the mood of the scene and the tone of the lines. Both the actors and musicians have to listen to each other and be prepared with their parts. It take a scene meant for two people, and allows 10 people on stage to help tell the story. 
By combining Shakespeare, music, and dance, the students have a tremendously fun time learning about being a team, and more students get to be involved in scenes that were originally meant for only one or a few actors. By combining so many elements together, they really must learn to work as a team. By doing so, they see that they can accomplish much more by working together than by working alone. 
Throughout the year, we always emphasize each rehearsal should be better than the one before it. At the beginning of the year, there are always a million things wrong with a scene, song, dance, etc. However, we make sure to emphasize what has gotten better since the last time the scene was reviewed. After doing this for several months, combined with the knowledge that the previous year's students were able to accomplish it as well, it creates that belief in the students that they can keep improving and keep getting better. It comes together beautifully by the end of the year. 
Because we combine so many elements into a production (acting, music, dance, sign language, tech, etc.) there is a part for everyone who is interested, and they can work to their strengths while still being a part of a team. This way, more students get to be involved and contribute.

Since the program is after school, any 5th or 6th grade student is welcome to join. Communication with each teacher is kept open as to how the students are doing in class first and foremost. However, there is a culture of high expectations created amongst the students and it carries over into the classroom. On top of that, it's wonderful to see teachers come to the performances to cheer on their students who decided to join the program, and strongly recommend it to future students as well. 
By making it after school and opening it to all 5th and 6th graders, this isn't just some exclusive club meant for just one classroom of students. It allows students who aren't normally in the same class together to work on a challenging project together that they normally wouldn't have had the opportunity to do during the day. Also, the lessons they learn from the program get carried with them into their regular day classroom. Teachers are often asked about the students in the Shakespeare program to see if their focus and work ethic have improved and show in their academic work. 
We’ve also pieced together little concerts on top of our Shakespeare productions in previous years, and played pieces of it to most classes throughout the school.  We typically get a very excited “Yes” when we ask a class if they would like to come and hear a bit of what the students have worked on.  Also, because we’ve now been doing this for 9 years, we’re now at the point of getting the younger siblings of former students who got to watch what we’ve done for several years, and they’re excited that it will soon be their turn to be in the program. Currently, I’ve got 6 students this year who had an older sibling in the program from before. 
A teacher at our school had her husband come to one of our performances of The Taming of the Shrew last year. He enjoyed it so much that he wanted to do us a favor. He happens to work with HARD, and got us a performance at the Douglas Morrisson Theatre. It’s our first ever performance in a large and professional theater, and it would never have happened without that type of support. 


Celebrating Hispanic Heritage

Sandra Jurado, Tyrrell Elementary School

Amount Funded: $353.00

Number of Students Served by Project: 26


Hayward Education Association Lou Hedgecock Award


I believe that my bilingual students should be proud of their cultural heritage.  My student’s cultures and immigrant experiences need to be reflected in the books that they read.  I have chosen various books that honor and celebrate the cultural traditions of the Hispanic and Latino community. These books, which will help expand our classroom library, are written by inspirational authors.  Many of them are in both English and Spanish.  They range from stories about everyday family life, to biographies, to poetry books to folk tales. Students will be exposed to the rich content of these books through reading aloud, independent reading, and through classroom discussions.  By purchasing these books, it is my hope that my students will be able to see themselves represented in the different voices of the Hispanic and Latino community.


The goal of this project is to expose my third-grade students to a wide variety of multicultural texts that will inspire them to have pride in their heritage.  My students will be able to enjoy reading stories that reflect their own personal lives and rich family traditions. They will also learn about the lives and struggles of important historical figures in the Mexican American and Latin American community like Dolores Huerta, Cesar Chavez, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Gabriela Mistral, Pelé, Frida Kahlo, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Celia Cruz, Yuyi Morales, Amalia Hernández, and Carmen Lomas Garza.


As I look around my classroom library, I realize that I do not have books that reflect my student's lives. Ultimately if I want my students to succeed and to set goals for their own future, I know that they will need guidance along the way. These books will serve as mentor texts for my students so that they can learn from them and enjoy the wonderful real and imaginary stories that lie inside. It is difficult to imagine my life without books. I am inspired every day by the books that I read to my students. I am also inspired by the depth of knowledge that my students possess and by their enduring spirit. The true impact of these books, many of which are award winning, lie in their long lasting and enduring effect on the reader.  While I can give students comprehension activities that will evaluate what they remember about the book, the true testament to how I know my goals have be met lie within the readers themselves. 

I have chosen some beautiful and truly inspiring books and each of them have embedded moral lessons that I am hoping will inspire lifelong learning beyond the classroom and will enable my students to see the relevance of their own life experiences and the value of their cultural traditions.


My classroom library is the cornerstone of my teaching.  I am excited about having the opportunity to use these books year after year with my students.  I will also make them available for other teachers to help their students.

Launch. Land. Expand! - The Tech Challenge 2020

George Kwong, Schafer Park Elementary

Amount Funded: $1,000.00

Number of Students Served by Project: 38


Hayward Education Association Kathy Crummey Award


Schafer Park Elementary has been participating in the Tech Challenge with The Tech Interactive in San Jose for the past 7 years. The engineering challenge is different each year.  This year's challenge is titled - Launch. Land. Expand!


The challenge requires student teams of 4th - 6th graders to be able to build a launcher that may not exceed 4' x 4' x 4'.  The device launched may not exceed 10"x 10"x 10".  The device must travel 7 feet from launch and pass through a 40-inch hoop that is hanging 10 feet from the ground.  Upon landing, one device must deploy more than 10 inches.  The second device must deploy more than 10 inches in height.  There is a 1-pound limitation in weight for each device.


The goal of this project request is to secure funding to support the student teams with the materials to build their launcher and devices.  Teams are being formed in early November and we plan to attend the next information session at the Tech Interactive in November.


This is an engineering challenge that requires research, designing, building, testing, and competing on the day of competition in April, 2020.  Besides the math and science involved, students must provide a written journal of their design process and journey along the engineering process.  The teams are interviewed by judges during the day of competition.


Teams learn to work collaboratively, create, and build.  It is a great opportunity for hands-on learning that is not textbook created. The completion and attendance at the final competition in April 2020, is the goal of each Tech Challenge team.  Whereas it would be wonderful to win one of the awards at the challenge, it is the long-term process of creating, designing, and building their device to tackle an engineering challenge that is the most beneficial.  There is so much learning involved in the entire process. 


This entire process begins in November and lasts until April.  Teams will be designing and deciding what materials are needed to build their launching device and landing devices.  Those materials will then be obtained as their needs are determined.

Empowering Students Through S.T.E.M.

Sherlita Montgomery, Palma Ceia

Amount Funded: $998.00

Number of Students Served by Project: 15


My Special Day Class will be using these STEM kits to help them in various ways. Since they are underdeveloped in social and academic skills, they require multi-modal ways of learning. These items will be used for STEM projects in the classroom. Using these building kits will help the students in several ways. They will work in fine motor skills, planning, working with a peer, creative design, following directions, and spark creativity


These STEM kits will foster social interaction and help my students develop many social and personal skills that they are lacking.


Goal 1: Increase social interaction with peers and learn how to work with a partner and develop communication skills.


Goal 2: To incorporate cross curricular curriculum in science, technology, engineering, and math.


Goal 3: To provide engaging hands on activities to increase and enrich their learning experiences.


The students will be able to create their own design of a structure as well as be able to duplicate models or other examples that have been created. They will also be able to explain the planning process and the materials used in their structure.


The material will be able to be reused over and over in the future years. Students will be able to make multiple designs and structures.

Integrating Technology Across the Curriculum

Gloria Sifuentes-Gutierrez, Cherryland Elementary

Amount Funded: $725.00

Number of Students Served by Project: 21


I would like to acquire a technology center for my classroom.  It would consist of 8 tablets with protective covers and 8 pairs of earphones.  I envision this center being used by two small groups at a time (four and four) for accessing online programs such as RAZ-Kids, Brain Pop, Splash Math, Moby Kids and Prodigy.  In addition to these, kids would be able to access educational games that would not only aid in their progress in grade level skills, but also help them work independently  so that I could spend targeted and uninterrupted time with other small groups, helping them become successful readers and writers.


The goal is for kids to have 21st century resources that mirror the world they have been born into but also that spike their interests and keeps them engaged.  The educational benefit is having access to a whole other realm of resources in form of apps, programs, music and videos.  All these engage the senses in ways that paper and pencil can't always do thus increasing students' chances of success in learning a new or challenging skill.  Auditory, visual and kinesthetic learners alike would benefit from working with these.


It will be apparent if the kids comprehension skills, addition and subtraction skills and reading skills (amongst other things) have improved in their performance on their benchmark exams, as well as other activities that will be done in conjunction with the technology centers.  For example, listening to a book on audio from RAZ Kids, could be followed by a book report where the child uses a book report template to write the name of author, illustrator and map out with drawings what happened in the beginning, middle and end of the story from RAZ Kids.  Similarly, using a Math app to practice addition facts up to 10 could be followed by a worksheet where the student must solve a series of addition problems.


The project will continue to be in place for years to come.  Use of technology will continue to spread to  all settings of daily life and new apps and programs will be created to replace the more outdated ones, thus making this project fruitful for years to come.  The more we make use of technology the more ideas will flourish for its use and the more its use could be perfected and explicitly planned.

The rise of CO2 - Water Contamination

Cindy Wells, Martin Luther King Middle School

Amount Funded: $707.00

Number of Students Served by Project: 150


Students will be given a scenario in which a lake is being polluted and the wildlife is dying and will engage in research to determine possible causes of the pollution.  Students will need to take soil and water samples from various locations on a given map to determine the cause of the pollution.  Soil and water samples will be available in the classroom by the teacher through the purchase of lab kits. 


  • Water samples will be tested for Oxygen using the "Dissolved Oxygen Test Kit."


  • Water samples will be tested for Nitrate and Phosphate pollution caused by fertilizers using “Why Is the Water Green?” kit along with a purchase of Green Algae.


  • Soil samples will be tested with Rapitest Soil Kits to determine Nitrogen levels.


Taking various readings, students will be able to determine the major source of contamination from locations such as factories, cemeteries, and farms as is indicated on the scenario map.


This project will require that students use the Scientific Method and the engineering design process to identify a problem, test their hypothesis (possibly redesign their hypothesis several times), gather data and draw conclusions.   Students will research solutions to their problem and will test their solutions.  Using the data that they collect they will make suggestions of how to correct the problem or at least minimize the impact of the problem on the environment.


I will be able to know when my students have met these goals when they have designed and carried out their experiments and have correctly identified the source of pollution.  They will have provided me with their lab report that includes all steps they performed and all the data they collected throughout their experiments.  I will create a grading rubric to evaluate their performance.  The grading rubric would include, correctly identifying the source of the pollution, testing possible solutions, employing all the steps of the Scientific Method, partner participation, etc.


This project is very sustainable. The scenarios can be altered to be used multiple times throughout the years.  The maps are reusable and the kits will require replacement chemicals.

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Electricity Through Circuits

Frank Brash, Palma Ceia Elementary

Amount Funded: $1,000.00

Number of Students Served by Project: 15

Kaiser Permanente Science & Tech Award


Electric Snap Circuits are a science tool that teaches students about electricity. Through over 300 experiments it introduces students to electricity concepts such as voltage, electric currents, amps, watts and a variety of circuits.  The easy to handle and use "snap" circuits which attach to a battery powered electrical board allow the students to create circuits and understand key concepts such as series circuit, parallel circuit and how circuits make things work.  Included in the kits are pictorial directions which demonstrate over 300 simple projects.


The class is grades 5 and 6 Special Education. The activities explained within each kit start out simple and build on previous knowledge.  The directions are easy to follow with few words, all color-coded pictures which refer to the actual snap circuits.  The materials are easy to handle, and success is built into the product.


The goals:

  • to follow a set of directions

  • to follow a sequence

  • to learn about electrical circuits and how they make things work:  i.e.. lights go on , fans blow, lights dim, etc.

  • to check work and see if the experiment was done correctly

  • to be introduced to basic science terms about electricity and to be able to use those terms when explaining what the student created.


Extra goals involve practicing working with partners, self-correction, public speaking (when explaining), checking for mistakes.


Goal evaluation will be met directly in doing the activity.  The students follow a guide, initially led by the teacher and later done in pairs and individually.  If the light bulb lights up, or the buzzer buzzes, for example, the student was correct.  If not, the students retrace their steps by following the color-coded instructions.  Students will have to create one of the experiments individually and explain what they did for a final assessment. The teacher will be continuously observing and guiding the students, watching for participation, teamwork, the ability to follow a sequence and problem solving.  Success is built into the program by seeing if the project works.


The project does have sustainability.  The kits' supplies are made of a hard, durable plastic which may be used over and over.  The goal would be to have these kits available for lessons for years to come.

Food Truck Frenzy

Annalisa Chamberlain Engel, Anthony W. Ochoa Middle School

Amount Funded: $1,000.00

Number of Students Served by Project: 54


Our school community lacks knowledge about principals of good nutrition, and our students consume a great deal of junk food every day. This project would educate our low-income students about making tasty, nutritious foods while also teaching them financial literacy and entrepreneurship with a food truck challenge. Students will gain knowledge of cooking, meal and recipe planning, unit costing, entrepreneurship, calculating profits, and much more. This project would not only give students experience with researching and preparing healthy foods and recipes, but it would also give them experience in conducting market research, collaborating with a group on a menu,  communicating with a team of ""coworkers"", calculating unit price, maximizing profits while keeping costs low, interacting with the ""public"" from a service capacity, and more. Nutrition, mathematics, computing, and ""soft"" skills will all be emphasized with this project. They will also use art skills to create a menu board and their writing skills to communicate a rationale for their menu and marketing approach. This project will directly affect my 54 Home Economics students and will also give our entire campus of more than 500 students exposure to healthier food choices after school.


Students will plan a healthy menu after conducting market research at our campus.  They will do recipe testing and development until they come up with a menu they think will appeal to the greatest number of students.  After costing their ingredients and container needs, they will calculate the cost per serving and determine the price points to maximize their profits.  They will then prepare and "sell" their food after school, developing a spreadsheet to track their costs, and gross and net profits. During this challenge, students will develop their 21st-century skills in multiple areas: teamwork and communication, problem-solving, creativity, technology and financial literacy, flexibility, leadership, initiative, and productivity. They will have a glimpse of what it takes to be an entrepreneur by creating a budget and monitoring costs. I believe there are immense rewards in teaching these concepts and skills to these middle school students because many of them are getting ready to enter the workforce in the next two years to help support their socioeconomically challenged families.


I will be scoring the menu, presentation, appearance, taste, creativity, and profit on a four-point rubric. Students will have planning documents including logo design, menus, shopping lists, prep work and serving plans, costing, and a rationale for their food truck.

LEGO Storytellers

Giavanni Coleman, East Avenue Elementary

Amount Funded: $990.00

Number of Students Served by Project: 96


Fifth and Sixth grade students will have the opportunity to create and share their stories through collaborative group animations. With a site Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math focus at East Avenue, students are currently engaged in the integration of STEAM in the school day. I am looking to expand the access to engineering and technology through the use of LEGO We Do kits that would allow students to build and code unique designs to convey a message to an audience. Students would complete task and projects through problem solving and critical thinking about themselves and the world around them.


The goals of LEGO Storytelling are to give students voice and choice as learners. Students will be given the opportunity to share their learning journey in collaborative groups. A second goal is to prepare students to explore possible college and career pathways as they relate to STEAM. The educational benefit to our students is that they would be exposed to opportunities that have previously been restricted to before and after school programs or exclusive programs like GATE. I want to ensure that all students have access in fifth and sixth grade to the LEGO Storytelling as a part of their everyday curriculum.


Students will be able to create a portfolio of work to be displayed and shared with our East Avenue families and community at our STEAM Night in the Spring, 2020. Student work can also be displayed on our site website. Student's pre and post reflections through a survey will also be used to reflect and plan for future groups.


LEGO Storytelling has the opportunity to be sustained for several years to come. The WeDo kits have the ability to be used over and over again. The only requirement needed would be to ensure that site technology is in place and updated to support the programming and coding component of the sets. Replacement parts and pieces could also be purchased to replace motors and gears that are no longer working.

STEAM: Garden to Table

Steven Diamond, Anthony Ochoa Middle School

Amount Funded: $1,000.00

Number of Students Served by Project: 500

Kaiser Permanente Science & Tech Award


Our vision for the “STEAM: Garden to Table” program is a STEAM program, intended to serve several purposes for our school site. The work that needs to be done in the garden would be a community event. In addition to our school garden club, we will host community service days where students, parents and other community members can help to sustain the upkeep of the garden. We envision this being a cross-curricular opportunity, allowing students an opportunity to learn about local plants, vegetables, and herbs as well as the history of those items and their contribution to a healthy lifestyle and wellbeing. Our student demographic is primarily Latino, African American and Asian; these communities are known to suffer from health issues closely related to traditional ways of consuming food. This project has the added benefit of allowing parents to get involved, work with their students, and learn how to prepare traditional foods in a healthier manner. This would give all the students something to work towards, making it an inclusive activity. Our general education, special education students, and socio-economically disadvantaged students will all benefit from this, learning life skills, art, plant science, math, and reading as well as the ability to engage in student to student discourse in each of these areas. It is well known that children with moderate to serve disabilities sometimes have issues involving foods and eating. Some even have sensory issues that make introducing new foods difficult. Through fun and non-threatening activities, we will try to help students to overcome these rigidities. We would partner with our Home Ec teachers by allowing students to select items from the garden and come up with creative ways to produce family recipes. A culminating project would be to have students complete a book of recipes with healthier food selections that affirm their cultural and traditional dishes. As an art project, I envision this program allowing students to learn the art of drawing still life forms, where they would learn techniques from pencil drawing to slightly more advanced techniques like painting using negative space and pastel arts to establishing the quality of light and reflections. Our math department could help students plan the organization of the irrigation system for maximum water without waste. Our current garden is overgrown and not appropriately irrigated. The benches are in disrepair with rotting wood and exposed nails which could pose a safety hazard to any student who enters. The garden takes up a significant amount of our grounds and is a bit of an eyesore right now. Please help us to make this a loving space where friendships, community, and healthy foods can grow.


The primary goal of the project is to create a community based and culturally responsive teaching opportunity that would support the needs of all students on campus, families, and the community. Students would use cross-curricular instruction that includes Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics; Additionally, the students would use the Home Economics program and science again as they will learn to prepare healthy alternatives to traditional meals. Learning how healthier food choices fuel the body. This learning would be passed on to parents and families through a quarterly parent day workshop.

Dia de Los Muertos Community Altar

Jennifer Flamenco, Ochoa Middle School

Amount Funded: $200.00

Number of Students Served by Project: 300


Hayward Education Association Sue Rosso Award


I am an ELL specialist and intervention teacher. Secondary intervention can be difficult; especially with an outdated narrow curriculum of English 3d. Therefore, each year I start with framing our work through reclassification goals and data talks. That is our shared community objective and students buy into the goal as well as working as a community. To follow, I have worked with the ELA teachers to create a comparative genre course that expands the English 3d augment curriculum with complementary genre studies of informative and narrative. However, as long-term ELLS, their needs are layered- most of them read as 3rd graders, they have experienced multiple traumas, they struggle with self-efficacy and scholarly habits, and they need continual motivation and encouragement.


I have created a 6-week curriculum for the first quarter around Día de los Muertos, to make the students feel culturally embraced. We research the holiday through Aztec and Spanish historical perspectives in text, film, and art. We even explore the science of butterfly migration. Over weeks of research in science and history we apply ELA vocabulary analysis and reading strategies. Then we use those texts as mentor texts for writing projects. After students complete the literacy activities, we begin 2 weeks of art. During these weeks, students apprentice in drawing, building, origami, and weaving. They also serve as art ambassadors to host lunch workshops for the school and visit other classes and teach them the crafts.  They also serve as culture ambassadors as they explain the significance to others in the larger schoolwide community (acting as curators for Q&A as classes visit the altar). Through these activities in a common cultural context, students enhance their understanding and observation of the holiday and each other. 


The cross-curricular unit and community collaboration strengthens not only literacy skills and public speaking but strengthens the social-emotional dimension that is a precursor to learning especially with intervention students with almost calcified distrust and apathy towards school. This gives students a huge sense of pride and accomplishment and sets a positive tone for the entire year. When they build and see their altar on display for the school, they are bright and proud.  As we continually revisit the experience and build on the skills necessary to understand the holiday, the students construct a traditional altar in observance.  Students maintain the inspiration throughout the year.  Most transformative, the project inspires an ownership of diverse heritage. Scholarship now can bring hope to advocate for their communities and share their unique contributions in an increasingly globalized world that now they see themselves as an addition to with tools to communicate and learn and inspire rather than feeling lower and less capable as English learners.


Students all create a mini-altar in a shoebox to add to the larger pyramid altar structure. Each mini altar has at least a Zempasuchitl flower, a skull, a picture and other offerings of a students' choice like candles, skeletons, Aztec calendars, food, adornos, etc. All students also write a biography about their chosen ancestor and complete the writing process in steps to produce a 5 paragraph biography. They also write an Ode poem in dedication to their ancestor, and a letter to the ancestor. After students do mini altars, we also learn about historical figures that represent their culture and communities and feature those on the altar . The art installation becomes interactive as we propose a contest for all viewers to name as many historical figures as they can recognize in the altar or some years, we do file cards with facts on the back to inform who is featured on the altar. Comment cards are also provided for feedback to our artists. Students also act as ambassadors to explain the significance of the holiday to visitors and guests. This year we are co-planning with Puente to host an event to showcase the altar and explore our community heritage. We hope for it to become a yearly tradition.

Fueled by Technario

Re'Shawana Graves, Anthony W. Ochoa Middle School

Amount Funded: $916.00

Number of Students Served by Project: 130


Fueled by Technario will be geared towards encouraging students to be independent thinkers, and to develop their critical thinking skills. The students will be using coding to control different LEGO manipulatives. The students will be encouraged and required to develop their own real-world life scenarios where they can incorporate the LEGO’s to be able to either perform certain task(s) for the mission and/or how the LEGO setup would be beneficial to the scenario of their choice. The LEGO manipulatives are coded through a special program that is an extension add-on on the chromebooks.


Learning Objectives:

  1. Students will integrate coding with LEGO manipulatives to figure out which patterns create specific mobility, and/or other functions 

  2. Students will journal steps and other processes to map out 

  3. Students will vlog about their experiences by discussing trials and errors

  4. Students will collaborate to build upon their own ideas.

  5. Students will assess their progress each session individually, and so how much they contributed.


The benefits of this program will allow students to have an opportunity to learn how to code, and if they want to continue coding while in high school they will be at a well-established level. Also, it will spark an interest in students to think about engineering careers.


By utilizing the specific coding program which is closely related to scratch I will be able to decipher the technology growth of each student. Also, having students journal will allow them to assess themselves, and measure where the mistakes were, and to go back and try to master previous steps before continuing with the next process. In addition, I will evaluate by checking their journals often, and checking if the LEGO manipulatives are corresponding accordingly to the code they constructed.


Fueled by Technario is a project that can be utilized with no limitations. All LEGO manipulatives along with chromebooks can be used in a variety of ways. And as time goes on there are options to purchase additional manipulatives that can further enhance the project- so students can really understand the depth of STEM/STEAM. Providing this type of opportunity for students that have no knowledge of STEM/STEAM can enhance their thinking processes and encourage them to advance in their computer/technological skills.

Lasers and Optics

Nathan Konrad, Mt Eden High School

Amount Funded: $908.00

Number of Students Served by Project: 120


In physics our current Next-Generation Science Standards (NGSS) desire students to plan and create their own experiments. With laser optics as a hands-on inquiry activity, students gain the ability and knowledge to plan scientific explorations into how optics work and inquire into how light can be explored and modified to transmit information. The project is to use lasers to encode information. Students will directly explore how lasers can be used to measure speed and temperature.


Students will be exposed to hands-on strategies for how lasers are used as cutting edge technology in medicine and informatics. Students using lasers can see how lasers are diagnostic and communication tools and how information is transmitted through wave-borne signals. Lasers as a hands-on teaching tool show students the application of modern technology and its' evolution from inception to future benefit. Students will benefit from design and engineering standards as they pertain to modern technologies and societal benefits. In order to prepare our students for future endeavors in college or career, we need to increase student exposure to current technologies.


In addition to formative and summative analysis of a before and after knowledge of the applications for laser optics, students will additionally be surveyed in order to determine from a reflective standpoint the efficacy of the instructional method and the materials use.


Nearly all the resources from this project will be usable in subsequent years. Each laser kit contains the optics and materials necessary to explore various aspects and applications of laser lights. The kits themselves are reusable and can be maintained from year to year with only minimal replacement due to accident etc.

Digital Laser Design

Vanessa MacKenzie, Bret Harte Middle School

Amount Funded: $836.00

Number of Students Served by Project: 170


My digital art class is learning how to apply their art lessons into products they can sell on their own. For graphic design to business development, my students are building a portfolio of every skill they can do and what they can create from it. For projects further in the year I want them to go past just having designs in the computer but also having tangible products that they have experience creating. With the laser cutter and printer, my students can learn how to design table coasters, stamps and ornamental gifts.


The goals of these projects are not only how to use the skills they learn in the class but to show them how to apply them beyond the classroom. Having tangible products that students can sell, or gift they can create, students have the ability to display creative projects in gallery shows. An additional benefit of this project is the pride that students can experience with a piece of art they can show off.


Students will be able to understand how to design and setup art work for production with a laser printer. Students will be able to understand the difference between engraving and cutting and use of materials such as wood and plexi glass. I will encourage students to bring in other materials as well. Successful understanding will be having products that were 100% planned, created as intended, and understanding of how they can repeat the process on their own.

Robotics Primary Posse

Anna Rudolph, Eldridge Elementary

Amount Funded: $968.00

Number of Students Served by Project: 16

Fremont Bank Supports Education Award


I would like to start a robotics club for our primary students.  Often robotics teams are left exclusively for high school and middle school students, yet there are ample resources that support even the youngest students being involved in robotics.  With a major push towards STEM education, and my own participation in the ESP grant through the partnership between HUSD, ACOE, and CSUEB, I have a goal of incorporating more STEM activities at the primary level.  With this grant, I will use an application process and teacher recommendation to hold a robotics club, titled Robotics Primary Posse, which will include eight students from second and third grades.  Students will meet six times and participate in a robotics lesson until the robot is built and fully functioning.  The request is for eight kits from (ROBOTIS DREAM II - Level 1).  The kits are complete after a total of 12 lessons; therefore, we would complete two lessons per robotics club meeting.  Each meeting will last one hour after school.  The hope is to then extend this club through other grant offers and complete kits for level 2 and possibly replicate the same program for subsequent years and/or in other schools.


  • Students will participate in STEM education which there is a national and global shift towards.  


  • Students will engage in working with robotics at a younger age, specifically at the primary level, in order to spark interests and establish a life-long love of working within STEM areas.  


  • Students will develop team building skills through each meeting by working together to achieve an established goal.  


  • Students will become proficient at summarizing their learning experience per meeting session.  


  • Students will become apt at following sequential instructions in order to achieve the functioning end product.  


  • Students enthusiasm will be used to promote extending this model in other local elementary schools with a focus on our primary students.


  • These goals are supporting the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).


  • Students will complete both a pre-assessment and post assessment supplied by  


  • Students will set goals at beginning of the club and will revisit their goals at the end.  


  • Students will write a one sentence summary of what was learned at the end of each meeting.  


  • Parents will also complete a satisfaction survey at the end of the entire club session.


Students will record their successes via video and through writing with parent permission.  The recordings will be shared with other primary teachers and other schools in order to promote schools starting a primary robotics team.   HUSD high school students who are on the robotics teams at their respective high school will be invited to work with the primary robotics team at Eldridge during different club meeting dates in order to assist primary learners and to provide volunteer service experience to younger learners.

Visual Narrative

Jennifer Smith, Bret Harte Middle School

Amount Funded: $200.00

Number of Students Served by Project: 105


My project is to help make writing narratives for Language Arts more engaging and accessible to my 7th grade students. The computer program that I would like to use is called "".  It is used for digital storytelling. Students will be creating their own visual narratives, that follows a plot diagram, while using a guided rubric on computer chromebooks. Additionally, throughout the year, students will use the program for all types of creative writing.


The educational benefit to my students is that this project will help promote their personal creativity, innovation and strengthens their skills in literary comprehension. The program "storyboard that" engages students of multiple abilities and is compatible with many other programs like "Google Classroom" and "Class Dojo" allowing them to ultimately share their creations and experience with family and peers.


A guided rubric, plot diagram, completed illustrated narrative and presentation will all be used to asses learning goals for visual narratives.  A guided rubric and completed illustrated narrative will be used to asses any additional assignments.


The project absolutely has sustainability as it can be used yearly in class.  It, however, has a cost which makes it only a one-year use project unless purchased every year or in increments of three years.

Elementary Students Learning About Harmonic and Melodic Principles in Music Class

Kathleen Taylor, Tyrrell Elementary School

Amount Funded: $969.00

Number of Students Served by Project: 450


My project is to teach first through fourth grade students the principles of melody and harmony through using this alto xylophone. I will teach how when you play to or more melodic tones at the same time, that this results in harmony. I will allow pairs of students to play two or more melodic tones on the xylophone simultaneously to understand that they are performing harmony. With first grade students, I will play the xylophone myself to show the difference between playing one note at a time verses playing more than one note at a time. With second grade students, I will ask them to play the notes with me to guide them in understanding the difference between playing one note and more than one tone at a time. With third and fourth grade students I will ask these older students to sit in pairs and play individual melodic patterns and to play notes simultaneously so that they are performing harmonic patterns on the xylophone.


The goal of my project is to allow students to understand the difference between playing individual notes on an instrument which is called melody and playing more than one melodic tone simultaneously on an instrument which is called harmony. The activities I will engage the students in will allow them to achieve the goal of understanding the difference between melody and harmony because they will be tangibly playing the instrument to feel and hear the difference between playing a melodic pattern and playing a harmonic pattern.


This instrument is large enough to use as a whole class teaching tool while also small enough to allow pairs of students play tones simultaneously on the xylophone. I will know that the goal of understanding harmony verses melody has been met through asking students to play a melodic pattern and asking students to play a harmonic pattern. If the students play musical patterns that match my evaluative question, then I will know that they have understood the difference and thus the goal of learning the difference will have been met. Additional evaluation methods employed will be to have students compose and create their own harmonic patterns and melodic patterns and to have other students identify which is the melodic pattern and which is the harmonic pattern being performed on the xylophone.


This project has sustainability in my music classroom. I will begin teaching about harmony and melody with first grade students and continue the instructional conversation through second, third, and fourth grade students. This instrument will remain in the music classroom for continued use for future years. Additionally, I plan to obtain additional large soprano and alto xylophones for the purpose of continuing this conversation about principles of melody and harmony in music. I hope to engage students in small groups so that each group can sit around a larger size xylophone such as the one I am asking for through this HEF grant.

Ukelele Opportunity: Instrumental Music for Middle Schoolers

David Wolf, Saint Bede School

Amount Funded: $902.00

Number of Students Served by Project: 30


I would like to purchase a class set of ukuleles to use for an elective instrumental music class at our school.  We currently do not offer instrumental music but the 6-8 grade students have the opportunity to sign up for an elective ""wheel"" type class.  I would like to use this class to offer a beginning ukulele class for our students. The class would last for one trimester, and the students would be able to take the instrument home during that time.   Classes would involve about 20 students with breakout time for small groups and some individual instruction.  As director of our annual talent show, I've seen the deep interest our students have in performing arts and I believe this would give them an opportunity to pursue it further.


The goal of this project is to develop the musical aptitude and interest of our students by teaching them foundational skills of playing the ukulele.  Students will learn basic chord and strum patterns and apply them in playing a variety of multi-cultural songs.  This project will help our school meet the fine arts requirement of the curriculum and provide a relevant and engaging outlet for the students' creativity.


Students would keep a practice log during the class. The students would be required to demonstrate mastery of the basic chords and songs taught and demonstrate proficiency by playing a song they have learned in front of the class during the last class of the trimester.  Opportunities for performance would also exist at our talent show and holiday concert.


While there would be some attrition of the instruments, the replacement cost per instrument is cheap enough that the program could be sustained.  Our elective program is an established part of the 6-8th grade curriculum, so I believe this class will continue to be a popular option in years to come.

Fairview Curriculum LLC- I TOOL

Courtney Stewart, Fairview Elementary

Amount Funded: $990.00

Number of Students Served by Project: 35


The Fairview reading program is designed specifically for students who are deaf or hard of hearing, the program provides literacy tools to guide students in making connections between ASL (American Sign Language) and English. 


The I-Tool will allow all students to access interactive games, individualized assessments, literature-based instruction, reading comprehension and ASL and spontaneous English.


The goal of our project is to increase fluency in English and ASL.  This program is specifically designed for DHH students which there are VERY limited options for.  Having this I-TOOL will allow teachers to individualize assessments and for students to track their own progress of fluency throughout the reading program. The I-Tool has a specific component to track each  students progress  of their English and ASL fluency. The I-Tool gives students and teachers access for 12 months that they can renew each year.

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