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Anyone Can Make a Difference in Education

Posted July 25, 2019, 3:30 PM. Updated August 19, 2019, 2:39 PM.

The 2019-2020 school year is already here and now is your chance to invest in innovative academic programming to positively impact students throughout the district

You don’t have to be a teacher or work in a school to change the life of a student.  The educators who are also entrepreneurs, risk takers, makers and mentors need your support in order to provide new opportunities to students.

Through the grant programs of the APS Education Foundation, employees of Albuquerque Public Schools can apply for funding to implement innovative programs that bring curriculum to life to students.  The experience of applying what they learn in the classroom through hands on, project-based learning programs has engaged thousands of students throughout APS.  Grants also support educators who provide meaningful opportunities for students to develop socially and allow them to devote energy and creativity to the community. Grants have allowed educators to use new technologies, not only in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), but also to engage students in reading and writing and the arts.  Grants have supported new approaches to special education and provided needed resources to counselors.  The list goes on and on.  All these impactful initiatives came from our educators who work with students each and every day, know the challenges they face and know the gaps that need to be filled. 

“Heather Johnson of New Mexico Bank & Trust serves as the president of the APS Education Foundation Board of Directors.  “It’s important for the community to understand that we all have a responsibility to improve our children’s and student’s lives.  I have seen first-hand how the programs implemented by the grants given through the Foundation have done that.  The Foundation provides an opportunity for non-educators to join in the fight and not sit on the sidelines.  We all have a role to play in improving student outcomes throughout our district and I invite you to join us.”

Last year, Randi Sevigny of Seven Bar Elementary School was awarded a grant to implement RiverXchange, a national program focused on STEM.  Mr. Sevigny wrote that through RiverXchange, “students are introduced to the living natural resources in Albuquerque through speakers, research, blogs and hands on experiments.  Students have a unique opportunity to interact with our local environment and its resources.” Over 130 students participated in the program that included three trips to the Bosque, research and journaling, presentations and demonstrations on our water process. Mr. Sevigny reported that one of the most engaging parts of the program was planting cottonwoods with the students.  He wrote, “We had a few students that had never been to the Bosque before, so exposing them to our environment, in an educational way, was really exciting!”

RiverXchange was just one of 77 programs made possible by Foundation donors last year.  This year, the Foundation aims to fund more programs to reach even more students who would not have these experiences otherwise. 

Everyone can get involved by making a donation, large or small, to support innovative academic programming in APS.  You can even choose to become a monthly donor, and please check to see if your employer will match your donation as many large companies do!  With just a few steps, you can double your impact through a matching gift program. 

Visit to learn more about the work of the Foundation and to make a donation.  With your help, the 2019-2020 school year will be the most innovative and promising one yet.

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To learn more about investing in the Foundation, contact Lawren McConnell at  To learn more about the grant programs of the Foundation, contact Antoinette Wright at