February 24, 2024

IPSF Awards Irvine Schools with $200,000 in Grants for Innovation

In the spirit of educational innovation, Irvine Public Schools Foundation (IPSF) has announced the recipients of its 2024 Innovative Grants Program. Each year, this program empowers teachers and staff within the Irvine Unified School District (IUSD) to dream big and develop creative approaches to teaching that will engage and inspire students like never before.

This year, IPSF awarded nearly $200,000 in grant funds to 11 exceptional projects that embody the spirit of innovation and have the potential to redefine the classroom experience.

The projects selected this year are a testament to the diverse spectrum of innovation embraced by IUSD, ranging from cutting-edge STEM equipment to revolutionary digital systems fostering positive behavioral growth, an Esports Lab sparking competitive spirit, and communication devices promoting equity and inclusion throughout our schools.

"It is critical that we equip students with hands-on experiences and real-world skills to prepare them to become the leaders of tomorrow,” explains Neda Eaton, President & CEO of Irvine Public Schools Foundation. “Through these grants, we proudly stand beside IUSD educators who are driven to reimagine their approaches to teaching. We are grateful for the generous contributions of parents, community, and corporate sponsors that help ignite innovation in our schools by making these grants possible."

IPSF has awarded over $2.6 million in grants directly to educators and schools since 1996. This year’s Innovative Grants Program supporters include Chinese American Mutual Association, Assistance League of Irvine, and Amy & Rami Moussilli, in addition to parent donations to IPSF's Parents Appreciating Teachers and Staff program.

The 2024 grant recipients are:

Culverdale Elementary: Project Game On!
New outdoor playground equipment will diversify the play atmosphere during recess to encourage movement and increase connection through play. Creating games and playing in new ways will boost students’ imagination, risk-taking, communication, and self-regulation skills.

Greentree Elementary: Transformative Play
Thoughtful conversion of the current Pre-K/Kindergarten pod will create a purposeful play area to expose students to diverse environments and hands-on learning experiences, enhancing academic, language, and social skills through the power of play.

Irvine High School: Level Up! Irvine High's Esports Lab
Establishing an on-campus hub for the Irvine HS Esports team, fostering inclusivity and improved access for more students to participate in this CIF sport through equipment and a centralized team headquarters.

IUSD Special Education: Creating Equity and Inclusion through Core Communication
Increasing Augmentative and Alternative Communication support through portable communication posters that will promote equity and inclusion for special education students and families districtwide.

IUSD Vision Department: Maximizing Access Through Innovative Technology
The addition of specialized technology to support students with low vision and blindness, maximizing potential within each student by providing access to dynamic educational experiences.

Jeffrey Trail Middle School: Project Battle of the Books
A year-long reading competition promoting literacy, team engagement, and fun through a high-energy quiz-style tournament.

Northwood Elementary: Sami's Circuit: A K-6th Interactive SEL Program
An interactive Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) program for K-6th graders, Sami’s Circuit combines physical activity and fitness with self-esteem and confidence-building activities. This grant is funded by IPSF in partnership with Assistance League of Irvine.

Portola High School: Project A Digital System for Positive Behavioral Supports
A joint initiative with Jeffrey Trail MS and Portola HS, this project creates a software system to gamify Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports programs including student recognition, data-backed feedback on behavior, and social-emotional learning to increase both student engagement and administrative efficiency. This grant is funded by IPSF in partnership with Chinese American Mutual Association.

Portola Springs Elementary: Making Learning Accessible for Every Learner at Every Level
Adapting materials for all students and providing teachers with durable, reusable, individualized tools that support student learning in special education classroom. This grant is funded by IPSF in partnership with Amy & Rami Moussilli.

Santiago Hills: Brite Ideas
Introducing a large Lite Brite wall centrally located in the school library to serve as an inspiration for innovative ideas and creativity to create a new method of student engagement to further explore reading.

University Park Elementary: Project Kind Campus
Creation of a hand-painted kindness mural, a smartboard display for interactive storytelling, and kindness books to the library, fostering a school-wide culture of kindness. This grant is funded by IPSF in partnership with Assistance League of Irvine.

Image: Neda Eaton, President & CEO of Irvine Public Schools Foundation (Right) surprises University Park Elementary School with Innovative Grant. (Photo: Lisa Hu Chen Photography.)

For more information, visit ipsf.net.

About Irvine Public Schools Foundation

Irvine Public Schools Foundation (IPSF) is a nonprofit organization with the mission of enriching the educational experience of each child in every school. What started as a volunteer-driven, grassroots organization in 1996 has grown to become one of the largest and most impactful education foundations in the country. In addition, IPSF excels at uniting local corporate and community partners, parents, and residents in raising funds to nurture student potential. Each year, IPSF provides millions of dollars in funding to Irvine Unified School District to support STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) education, small-group learning, afterschool and summer programs, grants for classroom innovation, and support for mental health initiatives, athletic trainers, and school nurses. 

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