We’re thrilled to announce the grantees for our Spring 2018 A to Z Fund Mini-grants. Each one of these projects will support Oakland students to dream bigger and explore possibilities they might not have imagined otherwise.


If you made a donation to our A to Z Fund this year, thank you! You not only made these mini-grants possible, you helped us expand the program to support professional development for teachers.


Altogether, we granted nearly $60,000 this spring to fund 20 school projects and 18 teacher training opportunities, for a total of $100,000 awarded to educators this school year.


We look forward to sharing stories from each grantee in our emails and on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. New to the A to Z Fund? Learn more here.

General Grantees


Achieve Academy: purchase MindUp curriculum, anti-stress tools, and other social emotional learning resources that can help 225 TK and 1st-grade students build skills to navigate life challenges.


ASCEND: create a social-emotional library with bilingual and age-appropriate options that gives all 450 students tools to process emotions or situations that can interfere with learning.


ASCEND: place balls, jump ropes, and hula hoops in every classroom that all 500 students (many of whom only access safe play at school) can use to improve mental and physical health.


Bella Vista Elementary School: provide physical education equipment all students—including those with special needs—can use for cooperative, inclusive games and activities.


Bret Harte Middle School: build a black box theater that gives 150 students already producing original scripts the chance to learn more, from stage management to sound and lights tech to performance.


Epic Middle School: supply 360 students with ingredients and tools to prepare a lunch that meets nutritional requirements and integrate classroom learning through a real-life situation.


International Community School: transport 50 fourth-graders to week-long MOSAIC camp in the Santa Cruz mountains to build social-emotional skills such as problem-solving, empathy, and collaboration.


Lazear Charter Academy: give 50 first-graders hands-on experience of the outdoors with visits to Oakland parks and supplies for language arts and math projects inspired by what they discover.


Lazear Charter Academy: purchase Lego Mindshift robots that give 100+ 5th- and 6th-grade students an exciting opportunity to practice coding skills and enhance STEM learning.


Life Academy: purchase 3D printers sixth grade students can use to print climate change solutions they engineer in class and present them to local environmental organizations.


Life Academy: support production of Grease the Musical, giving 30 high school students the opportunity to explore the arts in a school where the curriculum focuses heavily on science.


Lighthouse Community Public Schools: fund Youth Speaks Poetry Mentor, cultural site visits, and production of a compilation text as part of project to lift up 72 eleventh-graders’ individual and collective migrant stories.


Lincoln Elementary School: give 26 first-graders the experience of planning, writing, editing, and actually publishing their own non-fiction book.


Lodestar Community Charter School: purchase supplies to expand a popular after-school gardening program where 300+ students build science, health, and cultural knowledge in a fun, safe space.


LPS Oakland R&D: purchase fast plants and equipment kits 140 ninth-graders can use for hands-on study of Mendelian genetics.


Oakland Technical High School: purchase 55 copies of the book “The 57 Bus” for students as part of their capstone project for the school’s first Race, Policy, and Law pathway cohort.


Oakland Unified School District: support Programs for Exceptional Children educators in West Oakland with online resources and subscriptions, including evaluation tools and targeted curricula.


RISE Community School: provide Leap Pads and cartridges to 25 kindergarteners who need extra support with learning and practicing reading and math concepts.


United Nation CDC: purchase sensory materials that meet the tactile, auditory, and other needs of all 250 students in both general and special education.


West Oakland Middle School: purchase puzzles, balls, fidget tools, trampolines, and other equipment students can use to take “brain breaks” and create routines that strengthen their ability to focus.

Past A to Z Fund Grantees (clockwise from top): Bret Harte newcomer students at Angel Island State Park Immigration Station Museum, Sojourner Truth Independent Study students learn about ethnobotany at Leona Canyon, Garfield Elementary students explore sustainable agriculture and cooking at the San Francisco Ferry Building.

Professional Development Grantees


Epic Charter School: send one 8th-grade science teacher to PBL World conference to build capacity for implementation of Project Based Learning, which will support students to practice career-ready collaboration and project management skills while learning required content.


Alliance Academy: fund two-day STEAM professional development retreat for all school staff at the Junior Center of Art and Science, to expand culturally responsive teaching and integrated learning practices, and ensure students get a coherent experience across all classrooms.


ASCEND: send Performing Arts teacher to San Francisco Orff Levels program for next level of music pedagogy training, so instruction in the school’s newly-launched arts program can accommodate growing interest and achievement of students in all grades (TK-8).


Bret Harte Middle School: send teacher coach to Art of Coaching conference where they can learn from leaders in the field, and bring new strategies to support equity, leadership, and resilience among teachers at the school, who can then support students in turn.


Burbank CDC: fund school’s Speech Therapist to attend AG Bell Convention and access specialized training that will improve in-school instruction and home practice for OUSD’s deaf and hard-of-hearing students as they learn to listen and speak.


Edna Brewer Middle School: send one math teacher to Teacher Leadership Program at Park City Mathematics Institute, where they will connect with leading-edge math pedagogy and peers to develop skill at creating more equitable and effective math learning experiences for students.


Greenleaf Elementary School: fund 15 teachers to complete “Cross-Linguistic Transfer: The Spanish-English Literacy Connection” training offered by CABE (California Association for Bilingual Education) for support of ELL students and school’s shift to Dual Language Program.


Hoover Elementary School: send a multidisciplinary teacher team to Edible Academy, where they will expand their ability to use school garden and its bounty for academic learning and improved health and nutrition of both students and families.


Lazear Charter Academy: fund one teacher’s completion of Bay Area Wilderness Leadership Training, which includes wilderness first aid certification and access to extensive gear libraries that will enable students to be properly equipped for multi-day backpacking adventures.


Learning Without Limits: send teacher to a workshop on trauma-informed classroom strategies to build students’ resiliency and teacher self-care, led by a top expert in childhood trauma and education.


Madison Park Academy (Elementary): fund Math Teacher Leader to attend National Conference of Teachers of Mathematics and learn from presenters like Christopher Emdin and other leaders in culturally relevant STEM teaching strategies for students in urban schools.


Madison Park Academy (High School): send three teachers and assistant principal to Solutions for Standards-Based Grading Workshop with goal of implementing a unified and affirming approach for assessing student learning and success campus-wide.


Manzanita Community School: fund all-day, all-staff retreat hosted and facilitated by Destiny Arts Center to create a shared vision for the school year and to build capacity for integration of social emotional learning, restorative practice, and movement arts in the classroom.


McClymonds High School: send College and Career Specialist to the College Board Dream Deferred conference where they will learn best practices and new innovations for creating equity in education and college access, and fostering a college-going culture among students.


Oakland International High School: cover course fees and conference attendance for physics teacher to complete Sonoma State Maker Certificate Program, which will expand options for newcomer students to learn through making, while improving alignment with NGSS.


Oakland Unity High School: send three first-year science teachers and instructional coach to National Science Teachers Association conference with goal of bringing new ideas for improved STEM instruction to school, especially for bilingual students and those with learning differences.


Roosevelt Middle School: fund Newcomer Teacher to access Lindamood-Bell online programs that build literacy teaching skills targeted to develop the sensory-cognitive processes essential for reading, and especially crucial for students navigating learning in a new language.


Urban Montessori Charter School: send one Reading Specialist to Orton Gillingham training (a state-endorsed methodology for working with dyslexia), which will support implementation of proven strategies to work with the school’s struggling readers and coach other teachers.