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News from the Foundation

Posted: April 8, 2022

The APS Education Foundation Announces 2022 Spring Grant Award Winners

In the second semester of the year, The APS Education Foundation received 48 grant applications from educators across the district, with the total request adding up to over half a million dollars.  On the afternoon of March 29th, following the review process, the Foundation disbursed $209,615 to 27 programs and projects.  This brings the total amount of projects and programs the Foundation has funded this school year to 65, totaling over $408,000. 

The mission of the APS Education Foundation is to partner with the community to invest in innovative and enhanced learning opportunities to help APS students reach their full potential.  Because of the generosity of donors, grantors and event sponsors, the Foundation was able to celebrate the start of new programs and projects with a group of dedicated educators. 

“It is an honor to meet the people who are designing innovative and creative programs for our students. Their passion and energy are contagious, and they are bright lights during these difficult times,” writes Superintendent Scott Elder who was in attendance on March 29th to congratulate this spring’s grantees. 

Those selected for funding included Adobe Acres Elementary for “Native Pollinator Plants/Edible Garden with Outdoor Classroom Space” led by Kelly Eckel.  Ms. Eckel was awarded a $25,000 Schoolwide Impact Award that will provide water to the space, laying the foundation for an expansive project in which all stakeholders including students and staff can have a voice and learning experience.  Ms. Eckel writes, “The teachers and staff at the school are eager to use the garden as a learning tool. In two years, we hope to have a fully functional outdoor classroom and established native plants. The students will create clay slabs with the names of the plants, and teachers will sign up to use the garden as an area to make art, music, learn about native ecosystems and edible plants.”

Cibola High School and Lavaland Elementary School became the latest grantees to expand APS Esports and the Foundation was proud to again partner with Pepsi to help send Jefferson Middle School and La Cueva High School to the 2022 VEX Robotics World Championships and Highland High School to the FCCLA National Conference through the Pepsi Award.  A week earlier, Pepsi funded DECA programs across the district to help with competition expenses. 

Schoolwide Impact Award Winners Truman Middle School and Jefferson Middle School are taking project-based learning to the next level.  Jefferson Middle School is investing in science equipment and reaching out to community partners to enrich the classroom experiences of their students, while Truman Middle School is collaborating with NASA as they create a STEAM lab.

Families across Albuquerque will be excited for the “Downtown Book Show” from the Downtown Community School Collaborative (Lew Wallace Elementary School, Eugene Field Elementary School and Longfellow Elementary School).  The schools will produce weekly broadcast programs to encourage reading, and students at Bel-Air Elementary School and Edward Gonzales Elementary School will have more opportunities to develop their love of books with an expanded bookroom at Bel-Air Elementary School and by reading Wishtree as part of the One Book: One School program at Edward Gonzales Elementary School.  The APS Family Engagement Unit was awarded a grant to expand their efforts to train and support schools as they ensure that families are included in school decisions and that everyone knows they have a role to play in improving educational and social emotional outcomes for all our students.

Grant Amount Funded School/Department  Program/Project  Summary  Program Lead 
Discretionary  $25,000.00 APS Coordinated School Health Division - Family Engagement Unit Family Engagement Capacity Building The Family Engagement Capacity Building project aims to build the capacity of both staff and families to partner effectively on behalf of student and school goals through School Training for Engagement Planning (STEP) and Families Connected..   Benjamin Barlow  
Discretionary  $5,000.00 APS Fine Arts Department APS Secondary Visual Arts Field Trips to Meow Wolf - Transportation Meow Wolf offered to donate 500 tickets to their venue in both SY 2021-2022, and 2022-23.  This funding is to provide transportation.   Denise Rudd 
Discretionary  $2,947.00 Atrisco Heritage Academy High School Take Back the Bosque Day! And other service projects too... Funds equipment to match that provided from  community partners and teachers to support the first school partnership with the City of Albuquerque Open Space Division for Take Back the Bosque Day.  Tanya Critchfield
Guhl Early Literacy  $6,100.00 Bel-Air Elementary School Balanced Bookroom Helps fund high-quality, differentiated texts, and more titles that include children of color, as well as children from diverse backgrounds and those with strong female models.  Hannah Mainolfa
Guhl Early Literacy  $6,100.00 Edward Gonzales Elementary School One Book One School:  Wishtree From a literacy standpoint, the novel, Wishtree, is a grade-level appropriate and accessible book that will provide academic challenges in comprehension, vocabulary and higher-level thinking.   Funding helps with the purchase of books. Lisa Ludvik 
Guhl Early Literacy  $22,800.00 Lew Wallace, Longfellow, Eugene Field -- The Downtown Community School Collaborative The Downtown Book Show (Take a Look, It's in a Book!) The Downtown Community School Collaborative will  create weekly broadcast programs.  The funding helps support the purchase of technology. Anne Marie Strangio 
Pepsi  $3,456.00 Jefferson Middle School 2022 VEX Robotics World Championship This opportunity will help jump-start further engagement in STEM education for our team members and provide them with a boost in self-confidence and an incentive to strive for academic excellence. Jay Penn 
Pepsi  $3,456.00 Highland High School FCCLA National Conference  Through participation in competitive events, our Family, Career and Community Leaders of America members gain employable skills and industry insight needed to thrive. Maria Herrera
Pepsi  $3,456.00 La Cueva High School VEX Robotics World Competition  This world level competition will improve the outcome for students by exposing them to more competitive teams and to gain more experience for the years to come. Yolanda Lozano 
Schoolwide Impact  $25,000.00 Adobe Acres Elementary School Native Pollinator Plants/Edible Garden with Outdoor Classroom Space The school will create a sustainable garden habitat with native plants, pollinator friendly plants, compost, edible garden, and an outdoor classroom. The grant funding will support irrigation.   Kelly Eckel 
Schoolwide Impact  $19,118.00 Jefferson Middle School Data Collection and Graphing at Jefferson Middle School With this grant, each science classroom will increase the number and quality of opportunities to collect data and graph data that will equip all students with hands-on science skills that are necessary to be successful in the future. Samantha Cordova 
Schoolwide Impact  $25,000.00 Truman Middle School Truman Tiger STEAM Lab Program Truman Middle School will create  a STEAM Lab that promotes collaboration and exploratory learning. Adrian Avila 
Student Clubs & Activities  $3,750.00 Alameda Elementary School National Archery in the Schools Program This program teaches archery to fourth and fifth grade students in elementary school. Tammy Burns 
Student Clubs & Activities  $1,766.00 Bandelier Elementary School Youth Wellness and Running Club This program brings together 5th through 8th grade students with teachers and community members who are volunteer mentors. The group will meet weekly after school to learn about social, emotional and physical health and to run in the community. Students and mentors will participate monthly in public 5K runs.  Laura Burns 
Student Clubs & Activities  $9,995.00 Cibola High School Cougar Esports Esports is an engaging, competitive extracurricular activity that is open to any and all students interested in gaming and socializing with their peers through technology.  This funding supported the purchase of equipment. Angelina Knight 
Student Clubs & Activities  $5,578.00 East San Jose Elementary School  ¡Leer es divertido!/ Reading is fun! This incentive program is a collaboration between school partners to support literacy among our elementary school students.  The goal is to engage students in reading beyond the regular school day and to support effective literacy achievement for students, and parents/guardians. Judith Ledford 
Student Clubs & Activities  $4,000.00 Eldorado High School Dress To Impress Dress to Impress is a DECA initiative to secure funding for 50 new DECA blazers. Aaron Orosco 
Student Clubs & Activities  $8,558.00 Garfield STEM Magnet and Community School Garfield Goes to the Great Outdoors Garfield STEM will partner with Cottonwood Gulch to take students on a three-day camping trip in Western New Mexico. During this trip, students will visit three distinct biomes, get hands-on experience and learning opportunities, and connect with the outdoors and each other. Lena Fahrenkrog
Student Clubs & Activities  $6,000.00 Highland High School  New Mexico Diversity Conference for Youth 2022 Hundreds of teens from across New Mexico will gather for a youth-led conference to discuss the social challenges preventing teens from academic and social success, and then brainstorm and enact student-led projects to address these challenges in their local school and community.  This funding covers registration fees. Gina Cordova 
Student Clubs & Activities  $699.00 Hoover Middle School Native American Club The club projects are to make beaded charms, hair clips, pens, keyrings to give as gifts and to sell in the student store for the club's expenses. 
Another project is to make ceramic pots with tribal designs.
Charlotte Brummell 
Student Clubs & Activities  $1,409.00 Kennedy Middle School LEGO Education: Building the Future Supports the school's  LEGO Club by utilizing materials and standards-aligned lesson plans from LEGO Education.  Cassandra Doctor 
Student Clubs & Activities  $7,301.00 Lavaland Elementary School Lava eSports Having eSports during Genius Hour  provides students the opportunity to be a part of a team which allows them to communicate and participate in a larger learning community while building pride in representing their own learning community of Lavaland Elementary.  Funds support equipment, transportation, medals, certificates and T-shirts.   Melissa Maes 
Student Clubs & Activities  $1,600.00 Sandia High School "Hot" YA Titles This project involves students who are part of the high school book club making decisions on books they would like to read during the school year, including the option for the latest popular Young Adult novels.  Donna Smith 
Student Clubs & Activities  $2,160.00 Taylor Middle School Once and Future Robot Provides funding for LEGO robot kits and new batteries for the STEM support group. Harry Henderson 
The Dolde Trust  $650.00 Highland High School Jazz Library Refresh Refresh of the music library for the jazz program. Josephine Gonzales 
The Transformative Idea Grant (TIG) $3,719.00 Marie M. Hughes Elementary School Sensory Support for Students The sensory supports will be used in the classroom setting to help students calm their anxieties, maintain focus and avoid aggressive and unsafe behaviors. Jody Antal-Nicks
The Transformative Idea Grant (TIG) $4,997.00 Rio Grande High School Growing the Future  Students will operate a hydroponics system to grow different types of produce as they study current topics in biology such as genetics, ecology and in agriculture, topics related to current issues.  This project will focus on how science and agriculture will help people solve future problems and challenges. John Wright