Menlo Park-Atherton Education Foundation Awards $30,000 in Jeanie Ritchie Grants

by Linda Hubbard on November 17, 2023

The Menlo Park-Atherton Education Foundation (“MPAEF”), which raises money to provide high-quality teachers and educational opportunities for students in the Menlo Park City School District (MPCSD), has awarded $30,000 in Jeanie Ritchie Innovation Grants.

These grants – ranging from $237 to $3,200 – will support 27 inventive projects led by teachers and staff at all four MPCSD schools (Encinal Elementary, Laurel Elementary, Oak Knoll Elementary, and Hillview Middle School) during the 2023-2024 school year.

New this school year is a partnership with California Water Service, which provided $5,000 to MPAEF to fund Jeanie Ritchie Innovation Grant projects focused on the theme of “water conservation”. This included topics and activities specific to local geography, geology, flora and fauna related to our local water resources, drought resistant flora and fauna, how to be “water wise” in your home and community, and water quality.

“This year, as MPCSD is refocusing on our academic programs, the Jeanie Ritchie Grants are especially impactful. Some of the most engaging learning happens through the JR Grants, where our teachers create meaningful, hands-on lessons. We want our students to become world ready, and the JR Grant experiences directly address that goal” said Kristen Gracia, MPCSD Superintendent.

2023-2024 Jeanie Ritchie Innovation Grant awardees include: (Grants with an * are those that were funded by California Water Service focusing on water conservation.)

Access for All – Participation in Physical Education — Cheryl Arner & Katie DeAnda —Hillview

And the Caldecott Medal Goes To…. — Georgia Walton — Encinal

Best Childhood Production Company Presents…—Jeriann Hirsch, Ashley Guillot, Alice Hom, Krista Carroll, Tricia Dunlap, Hannah Lopez, Marlene Lehman & Erika Rodriguez — Lower Laurel

Bioluminescence: Glowing Animals Gruesome & Glorious — Steffany Cressey, Alison Howard, Joyce Chan & Andrea Cheng — Oak Knoll

Building Flexible Thinking of Numbers — Caroline Lucas — Upper Laurel

Building Thinking Classrooms —Joyce Chan — Oak Knoll

Building Thinking Classrooms Project — Eva Sullivan — Lower Laurel

Celebrating Diversity Through Art — Rachel Naishtut — Encinal

Collaborative Art/Design Team – Legacy Project — Angela Gardner — Upper Laurel

Cooking for Everyone — Tracey Berliner — Hillview

Global Convergence: The Medieval World — Marianne Santo, Mike Rogers & Shalann Kunkel — Hillview

Hydroclimatologists* — Sandra Horwitz, Nick Keller, Randy Chase, Marisela Ghramani & Gina Watkins — Upper Laurel

Large Print, Big Gains — Aimee Mathenia — Hillview

Making Thinking Visible: Vertical Workspace in the Classroom — Chris Beirne & Tara Keith — Hillview

Math Games for Engagement and Mastery  — Andrea Cheng — Oak Knoll

Mock Geisel — Jacqui Cebrian — Oak Knoll & Encinal

Multi-Faceted Math Centers: A Game-Based Approach— Janiq Meneze & Mindy Garagozzo — Oak Knoll

Numbers Come Alive! — Erika Caruso, Andi Dehne, Laura Fujimoto & Kathleen Oliveira — Oak Knoll

Orff Afrique – Ghanaian Music, Movement, and Culture — Rachel Knight — Oak Knoll

Retelling Stories with Felt Board Sets — Amy Nelson & Lori Sullivan — Encinal

Save OUR Scraps* — Maggie Sanchez — Encinal

Shadow Play — Linda Dugoni, Tracy Gray, Elizabeth Harrison & Nari Yee — Lower Laurel

Tinker Time!* — Erika Rodriguez — Lower Laurel

TK Storytellers — Jocelyn Guerra — Oak Knoll

Token Economy — Mimi Nguyen — Hillview

Water Wise Sensory Garden*  — Jocelyn Guerra — Oak Knoll

Weather Watchers: Student Meteorologists in Training — Rachel Naishtut & Erin Pindar — Encinal

Donations to the MPAEF are accepted from parents, community members and businesses.

One Comment

Jacqui Cebrian November 17, 2023 at 2:33 pm

Also, because this grant provides for multiple years of funding, it helps in growing programs outside of the originating classroom. This year, I will be partnering with the Menlo Park public library to offer a Mock Caldecott program to the whole Menlo Park community. So, if your child has been a past participant in Mock Caldecott and you’d like a glimpse into the amazing learning and thinking that goes on (plus some stunning, thought provoking picture books) please join us on December 9th for the kickoff or stop by the library anytime after that to peruse the contenders and vote for the book you think is most deserving. Thank you to the Jeannie Ritchie grant program and MPAEF for giving teachers the space to grow and learn as well.

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