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Culver City Rotary Club Funds Classroom Grants to More Than 50 CCUSD Teachers

$20,000 grant distribution will go towards classroom projects

The Culver City Rotary Community Foundation (CCRCF) was proud to partner with the Culver City Education Foundation for a $20,000 grant distribution to more than 50 teachers from the Culver City Unified School District (CCUSD). 

​​”We are so thankful for our amazing Culver City teachers and we are so happy to help support them,” said Jodie Fratantuno, vocational chair of the CCRCF. “The Culver City Rotary Community Foundation is thrilled to support the important work our teachers do in the classroom, which in the long-term benefits not only the 7,000+ students of CCUSD, but also our broader Culver City community.”

Teachers received anywhere from $200 to $2,000 each to go towards classroom projects. During a festive reception at the Culver City Rotary Plaza, CCRC President Carmela Raack and CCEF Executive Director Wendy Hamill distributed award checks and congratulated the awardees in person.

“CCEF is so pleased to partner with the Culver City Rotary Community Foundation to bring these resources into CCUSD classrooms, and to support our teachers’ innovative projects,” Hamill said. 

Teachers across various campuses requested funding for items such as supplemental curriculum materials, books, field trips, technology accessories, and materials that promote safe learning environments. Diverse books at appropriate reading levels in English, Spanish, and Japanese were a common request for use in general education classrooms, special education classrooms and language immersion classrooms.

Building a library of diverse books and learning materials is also a priority for the OCD After-Care Program at Farragut. Aretha Tillett, one of the Rotary Teacher Grant recipients expressed that “these are the same students that go to our elementary school” but such programs are often overlooked by funding sources.

Funding was also used to purchase hands-on math learning materials which connect mathematics to real-world contexts; Cyndi Flowers’ Special Education OCD Preschool classroom received money for a “Learning with Numbers” program while 150 wipe boards were given to sixth graders at CCMS so they could learn through an engaging “Thinking Classroom” approach. Mason Sustayta’s fifth-grade class at El Rincon will feature mathematicians of different cultures and backgrounds on posters around the classroom and Keely Dowdall plans to turn her third-grade classroom at Farragut into a pizza shop as an interactive way to teach fractions.

“My favorite thing about the Rotary Teacher Grant is feeling supported by the community. Knowing that the people making these decisions are all local and have a good understanding of what CCUSD does helps me feel that my work is appreciated in a very concrete, personal way. This grant really makes me feel empowered as a teacher to do what is right for my students,” said Eileen Pottinger, the Art & Innovation Lab Teacher at Farragut.

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