Projects We’ve Funded

Transformational Teacher Mentoring

The team of five high school teachers and one middle school teacher at four schools across the Bay Area are part of the Trellis Mentor Fellowship, through which they have all made a five-year commitment to mentoring new teachers.

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Project Based Learning with a Maker Mindset

Grass Valley Elementary School, Oakland: The team of four elementary school teachers will pilot a Project Based Learning (PBL)/Maker-Centered program. To start, they will attend a PBL conference and workshop to learn the basics of creating excellent maker-based projects. Then, they will embark on courses of training to create integrated cross-curricular lessons that involve protocols, […]

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Algeomulus Prep Academy

Merrill F. West High School, Tracy: The team of five high school math teachers will design and develop a home grown project called “Algeomulus Prep Academy”, in which students work in collaborative groups to create math tutorial videos. Students will learn 21st century skills, academic language, and critical thinking through explaining math problems from the […]

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Interdisciplinary Real World Challenges

Longfellow Middle School, Berkeley: The team of four middle school teachers will work collaboratively on Project-Based Learning (PBL) techniques to address two pressing student needs: increase student readiness for Algebra 1 and improve English/Language Arts writing skills across subject areas. The team will attend MathAction’s Summer Institute, participate in workshops, and engage expert coaching and […]

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Teaching Garden

Vargas School, Sunnyvale: With professional development and technical assistance provided by Life Lab at University of California, Santa Cruz, the team of six elementary teachers will transform its school’s garden space into an inquiry-based teaching garden. Life Lab will provide an on-site garden design consultation, as well as two workshops at the Life Lab garden: […]

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Improving Mathematical Literacy: School Wide, TK – 12

Madison Park Academy Business & Art Academy, Oakland: The team of six teachers, spanning elementary through high school, will engage in a two-year study around best practices to improve mathematical literacy. By working regularly with a SCALE consultant (the Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning, and Equity), attending the California Mathematics Council conference, and engaging in cycles […]

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Building NGSS Knowledge and STEM Education

As their school district moves towards adopting the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), the six member, K-5th grade teacher team will pursue professional development to transform their science and math instruction to help students develop a design thinking mindset.

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Reader’s Workshop

Ellis Elementary School, Sunnyvale: Six teachers in grades three and four will deepen the implementation of the Reader’s Workshop (RW) model at their school. They will be trained at the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project at Columbia University. Third grade team members will collaborate during the school year to strengthen the existing third grade […]

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Culture of Mindfulness

June Jordan School for Equity, San Francisco: The team of five high school teachers, representing a variety of subject areas and grade levels, will participate in a two-year long training and certification cycle with Mindful Schools. They will introduce a mindfulness curriculum and practice throughout the school to help foster a culture of emotional and […]

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Personalized Learning for English Language Development

Alpha José Hernández Middle School, San Jose: The team of three middle school teachers works with many students who have recently arrived in the United States or have grown up in the U.S. speaking Spanish or Vietnamese as their primary language. To hone their approach to working with this population of students, the team will […]

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“¡Adelante Juntos!” Developing a Dual Immersion Model in a Blended Program

Buena Vista Horace Mann, San Francisco: The team of six, including elementary and middle school teachers and reading intervention specialists, will spearhead the re-envisioning of their school’s K-8 Spanish/English dual immersion program. They aim to build capacity to close the achievement and experience gap of students, particularly long-term English Learners. Additionally, the team sees the […]

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Taking Flight

The team of five elementary school teachers will develop vertically-aligned STEM Project Based Learning (PBL) units on a central theme: Flight.

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A Summer Prep Course for AP Students

Five teachers representing a wide range of subject areas at William C. Overfelt High School (San Jose, CA) are teaming to create an intensive summer “AP Bootcamp” to help prepare their students for success in their Advanced Placement (AP) courses.

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Reading Lab Sites

The team of three elementary school teachers at Think College Now Elementary (Oakland, CA) will conduct “job-embedded” professional development in the form of lab-sites (action research in the classroom during the course of an entire lesson) to help increase the effectiveness of classroom Reading Workshops….

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Spanish for Native Speakers Professional Learning Community

Area Spanish language teachers currently teach Spanish heritage speakers without the support of textbooks, networks or pedagogical training aligned with their student populations. There is a need for a Bay Area professional learning community for SNS programs, as well as a shared database for curricula and lessons…

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Peer Coaching: Using Video in Collaborative Inquiry Groups

Six full-time teachers will become facilitators of Collaborative Inquiry Groups (CIGs) aimed at improving literacy in all subject areas at ARISE High School (Oakland, CA). In a teacher-centric collaborative reflection process, teachers will identify their own challenges, test solutions and reflect on their progress as a peer group. The team plans to attend the Summit […]

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Inquiry into ELD

The team of three middle and three high school teachers at Life Academy High School (Oakland, CA) will design and investigate their own inquiry questions on best practices in English language development. They will conduct research on current strategies for supporting English Language Learners and develop teacher-initiated lesson cycles. With the help of coaches who are experts in the fields of both ELD and inquiry, teachers will implement projects in their classrooms and analyze results. Ultimately their findings will be presented at conferences and published in professional journals with support from the Bay Area Writing Project.

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STEM Writing Project

Five K-8 teachers will pursue STEM teacher professional development with a focus on experiential, project-based science education that will strengthen students’ writing proficiency. Over two years, members will attend STEM certificate training at Teachers College of San Joaquin and Project Based Learning seminars at the Buck Institute of Education’s annual conference. The entire faculty at […]

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Blended Practices to Achieve a Project-Based Learning Culture

The six team members will pursue professional development opportunities in Blended Practices, with the objective of ensuring that students gain the technical and communication skills necessary for a rapidly changing workforce. The team will receive initial training in project-based learning through the Buck Institute for Education. They will then engage in trainings with the Alvo […]

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Deepening Student Engagement: School Wide, K-12

The four-member teaching team, spanning first through tenth grade, will engage in a two-year study of best practices in student engagement. They will dive deeply into the Expeditionary Learning and Deeper Learning models, attend several conferences and institutes, receive onsite coaching from an Expeditionary Learning coach, and visit and share with other schools. Institutional capacity […]

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Bringing AVID Back

AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) is a four-year program dedicated to closing the achievement gap by providing underrepresented students with the support and tools needed to navigate through the rigor of A-G requirements and prepare them for college. The program was dropped at East Union High School (Manteca, CA) in 2012 due to a shift […]

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World Language (Japanese)

The team of four Bay Area Japanese teachers in the San Mateo Union High School District seeks to invest in more productive networking circles to overcome the limitations of the typically small, “one-man-program” Japanese language departments in their schools.

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A Common Core Professional Learning Community

The Mountain View High School Team (in Mountain View, CA) consists of three teachers with diverse subject matter and grade level experience. The team is investigating and reviewing best practices for student success with the Common Core Standards by creating a Professional Learning Community. The Light Awards grant is enabling team members and additional teachers […]

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Peer Coaching to Augment Literacy Content Instruction

Teachers from Costaño Elementary School (East Palo Alto, CA) are using the LIGHT Awards grant to learn skills in collaboration and coaching. Three of the six team members attended Columbia University’s Coaching and Leadership Institute in January, 2014; the remaining team members attended Columbia Teachers College’s Advanced Reading Institute in June, 2014. The entire group […]

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A New Computer Science Principles Course

A team of high school Computer Science teachers from multiple school districts is collaborating to create a Professional Learning Community to prepare to teach a new AP Computer Science course beginning in the fall of 2015. The six teachers participating teachers represent Wilcox High School (Santa Clara, CA), Santa Clara High School (Santa Clara, CA), […]

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A School-Wide Approach to Teaching Writing

A group of six teachers from Lakewood Elementary School (Sunnyvale, CA) is working on a site-based shift to the way that writing is taught, with a particular emphasis on Common Core, differentiated opportunities for students, and equal access for English Language Learners.

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In these videos, filmed at our first and second annual LIGHT Awards convenings, grantees talk about their projects:

Important Dates

Spring
2017
2017 Awardees Announced
May 1
2017
Cohorts 1, 2, and 3 Reunion Event
August 3‑4
2017
2017 Awardee Convening
Fall
2017
Application Process opens for
2018 Grant Cycle

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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.