In the fall of 2018, at the suggestion of a teacher, the LAPS Foundation began offering mini-grants to teachers. Each grant is up to $100, and teachers can receive a maximum of 1 mini-grant per school year. The Foundation has allocated $1,000 each in the fall and spring semesters to fund these requests, and so far the return on investment as been huge!
A new ELL teacher for the district was looking to purchase some books that reflected her students’ backgrounds, ethnicity and cultural experiences. Her rationale was that “when students can connect what they read to their own lives, they have more academic success, feel valued, and are more motivated to read. Currently I have students who have cultural connections to Puerto Rico, Mexico, Vietnam and Israel.” The Foundation was able to help her purchase a dozen books for this purpose.
Here is what one 1st grade student said about one of the books: “I liked the book because it was about a coqui and I have seen one. I liked that it is about Puerto Rico because that is where my grandma lives and where I was born. Can I take it home to read to my mom?”