PRESS RELEASE: SAN FRANCISCO, CA – May 5, 2016    download press release (.pdf)

Grants enable 13 teams of California educators to engage in professional development programs that invigorate personal commitments to teaching

The Intrepid Philanthropy Foundation announced today that 13 teams of California teachers are recipients of the 2016 Leveraging Innovation by Growing and Honoring Teachers (LIGHT) Awards. Launched in 2014, the LIGHT Awards recognize creative, innovative, and passionate teachers looking to pursue high quality professional learning. The awarded teams each receive up to $30,000 over two years for projects which are tailored to the needs of their schools and communities. The grant program is designed to encourage more engaged and rewarding teaching as well as to foster community among its awardees.

Intrepid believes that teachers are in a unique position to know what types of training and projects will be most relevant and will lead to sustainable change within their classrooms, schools, and beyond. With help from Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, Intrepid’s LIGHT Awards Program was designed to encourage teachers to grow as leaders and innovators. Following an open application process which produced more quality applications than could be funded, teams were selected based on a number of factors, including innovative project ideas, dedication to teaching, and a passion for professional growth.

Intrepid Philanthropy Foundation Founder Karen Leshner shared, “I am delighted to welcome the 2016 cohort of LIGHT Awards teams to our community. With the addition of these new recipients, the LIGHT Awards program is impacting a total of 133 teachers working on 27 exciting projects in the greater Bay Area.”

Members of the 2016 LIGHT Awards teams teach at the following 15 schools:

  • Alpha José Hernández Middle School, San Jose, CA
  • Aspire East Palo Alto Phoenix Academy, East Palo Alto, CA
  • Buena Vista Horace Mann K-8, San Francisco, CA
  • Ellis Elementary School, Sunnyvale, CA
  • Grass Valley Elementary School, Oakland, CA
  • Hillsdale High School, San Mateo, CA
  • John McCandless STEM Charter School, Stockton, CA
  • June Jordan School for Equity, San Francisco, CA
  • Lafayette Elementary School, San Francisco, CA
  • Longfellow Middle School, Berkeley, CA
  • Madison Park Business & Art Academy, Oakland, CA
  • Merrill F. West High School, Tracy, CA
  • Mission High School, San Francisco, CA
  • Oakland International High School, Oakland, CA
  • Vargas Elementary School, Sunnyvale, CA

Examples of the awardees’ projects include:

  • Developing a school-wide, vertically integrated curriculum and project based learning units around the concept of flight
  • Developing a teaching garden as an outdoor science classroom
  • Building staff capacity in the dual immersion model of bilingual education
  • Developing skills and a framework for experienced high school math teachers to mentor new teachers
  • Bringing mindfulness based practices into teaching, curriculum and school culture

Read summaries of all 13 awarded projects here.

To accomplish the 13 awarded projects, the teachers will participate in trainings and workshops, attend conferences, work with experts and coaches, codify and share their own experiences, and establish professional learning communities.
Dr. Lucinda Taylor, Principal at Madison Park Business and Art Academy in Oakland shared, “I am confident that our team will learn a great deal over these two years that the members will be able to bring back and share with the rest of our staff in support of improved student outcomes.”

The application for the 2017 grant cycle will be available in the fall of 2016. Teams of teachers looking for support in their growth as professionals, leaders, and innovators are encouraged to apply.

For more information about the LIGHT Awards please visit http://lightawards.org.

About the Intrepid Philanthropy Foundation

Intrepid Philanthropy is a private family foundation which was created in 2008. We seek to improve the U.S. educational system in order to provide opportunities for all students to be productive members of their communities. We aim to impact student achievement by identifying, recruiting, mentoring, and recognizing superior teaching, and helping to create environments in which teachers and students can flourish. Our geographic focus is mainly but not exclusively California.

For more information, please visit intrepid-philanthropy.org.

Contact

Press inquiries: Mariko Tada, 212.812.4255, mtada@rockpa.org
LIGHT Awards Program inquiries: info@lightawards.org

Important Dates

Oct 17th - Nov 17th 2017 LOIs (Letters of Inquiry) Accepted
Application link is on this website: see main navigation, top/right.
Dec 2017 - Jan 2018 Select teams invited to apply
Spring 2018 Grant decisions announced

Keep In Touch

Sign up for occasional email updates from the LIGHT Awards program. We’ll let you know about approaching deadlines, provide application tips, and share what our grantees are doing.

Copyright ©Intrepid Philanthropy Foundation. All rights reserved. LIGHT Awards is a program of Intrepid Philanthropy Foundation, San Francisco, CA. Contact us at info@lightawards.org or use our contact form.
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