What We Fund

Our goal is to help children realize their potential and pursue their dreams.

Thank you to the generous individuals and community partners who help fund enriching experiences for every student.

Elementary School Programs

Each of our nine elementary schools receives dedicated funding for elementary programs.

This encompasses more than 10 programs in music, science, and innovation that enrich the elementary experience for every student, every day.

At this age, it’s vital that we introduce students to concepts and experiences that open their minds to a whole new world of possibility.

San Diego Children's Discovery Museum Mobile Lab

Each first-grade class throughout CUSD receives a guided, hands-on workshop with the San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum Mobile Lab. The mobile lab visits every elementary school to engage our first-grade students through NGSS-aligned challenges, specifically targeting hands-on engineering practices.

LEGO Robotics

An introduction into robotics that entails a six-week FIRST LEGO League Jr. robotics course taught in class for all 2nd grade students. The curriculum includes the foundations of engineering, coding, and robotics. Students develop their language, communication, and collaboration skills. The course concludes with an educational field trip to LEGOLAND where students are able to experience what they’ve learned in a real-life setting.

FLL Robotics

Grades 4 and 5
FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Lego League Robotics is a national robotics program designed for students to develop critical STEM and life skills. In the FIRST Lego League Robotics (FLL) Program, students get to:
– Design, build, and program robots
– Learn from professional engineering mentors
– Use sophisticated software, hardware and power tools
– Apply math and science concepts to solve real-world problems
– Develop problem-solving, organizational, and team-building skills; and
– Compete and cooperate in alliances and tournaments.

Environmental Stewardship

The Agua Hedionda Lagoon Foundation’s Third Grade Academy for Environmental Stewardship provides students with a deeper understanding about the environment and conservation. All CUSD 3rd-grade students partake in three onsite visits with hands-on instruction that emphasize responsible interaction with our natural surroundings and develop awareness of the environmental impact of day-to-day human activities.

Science Days

Science Days expose more than 8,000 elementary and middle school students to science in ways that are not possible in the classroom. Our community partners in STEAM industries help provide hands-on science experiences that apply to real-world concepts in these full-day explorations. 

Elementary Music

Music classes for every CUSD elementary student remain the largest investment CEF makes each year, this year investing over $350,000 because of the steadfast belief that music education is critical to a well-rounded elementary education. The Elementary Music Program, impacting approximately 5,000 students, introduces students to reading music and playing instruments collaboratively, while exposing them to new cultures and musical styles. 

International Baccalaureate

The International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program has been the cornerstone of Jefferson Elementary school since 2008, and has been instrumental in developing a high level of transdisciplinary inquiry based learning and collaboration centered around authentic tasks, action and reflection. Students learn about a variety of different topics, including learning a second language. The program includes the IB Jefferson Collaboration Days which provide students with hands-on learning experiences that give them real world application of standards and skills while demonstrating mastery in a variety of ways.

Biztown

Junior Achievement’s BizTown combines in-class learning with a day-long visit to a simulated town. This program allows 5th grade students to operate banks, manage restaurants, write checks, and vote for mayor. The program introduces students to the concept of career and connects the dots between what they learn in school and what they observe in real life.

Coastal Roots Farm

Transitional Kindergarten and Kindergarten students participate in a virtual field trip with the Coastal Roots Farm. In class, students are provided with lessons and activities and then an opportunity to connect virtually with farm staff and “visit” the farm.
4th grade students participate in a multi-week unit that includes in-person field trips to Coastal Roots Farm to apply knowledge learned from lessons in a hands-on and immersive experience.

Project Lead the Way

The Project Lead the Way program for Calavera Elementary provides K-5 students with opportunities to learn about STEM in engaging and creative ways to inspire young students in the STEM fields.

Elementary Science Lab Teachers and Supplies

Each elementary school received funding for credentialed teachers to teach bi-weekly science labs to all 1,700 fourth and fifth grade students. 

Middle School Programs

Each of our three middle schools receives dedicated funding for STEAM, music programs, science labs, robotics, advanced technologies and more.

This young age is where many students start to discern their academic path. These programs help pave the way and open their world to many possibilities.

Environmental Stewardship

A continuation of the 3rd grade program includes in-class lessons and an onsite visit where every 7th grade student experiences six hands-on learning stations that connect real-world scenarios with in-class lessons. Students are introduced to careers related to environmental stewardship and develop an understanding of environmental issues in our community and the world around them.   

Project Lead the Way

Calavera Hills Middle School

The program supports STEM Pathways from middle school through high school through engaging, innovative learning opportunities in biomedical sciences, computer science, and engineering.

Science Lab Supercharge

Science Lab Supercharge transforms the science classroom into a high-quality science lab. Funding provides an onsite teaching assistant, elevated equipment, and lab materials to engage students in hands-on experiments and instill an innovator’s mindset. 

FLL Robotics

FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Lego League Robotics is a national robotics program designed for students to develop critical STEM and life skills. In the FIRST Lego League Robotics (FLL) Program, students get to:
– Design, build, and program robots
– Learn from professional engineering mentors
– Use sophisticated software, hardware and power tools
– Apply math and science concepts to solve real-world problems
– Develop problem-solving, organizational, and team-building skills; and
– Compete and cooperate in alliances and tournaments.

Science Days

Science Days expose more than 8,000 elementary and middle school students to science in ways that are not possible in the classroom. Our community partners in STEAM industries help provide hands-on science experiences that apply to real-world concepts in these full-day explorations. 

High School Programs

Both of our high schools receive dedicated funding for music programs, STEAM, and robotics programs.

At this age, your student is looking beyond high school, and programs like Finance Park prepare them for their future.

The Foundation contributes to college and workforce readiness through innovative programs that truly have an impact.

A great example is the Student Leadership Council, focused on developing life-long leadership skills.

FTC Robotics

FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) teams are challenged to design, build, program, and operate robots to compete in a head-to-head challenge in an alliance format. Guided by adult coaches and mentors, students continue to develop their STEM skills and practice engineering principles, while realizing the value of hard work, innovation, and working as a team. Additionally, teams design and build robots, raise funds, design, and market their team brand, and do community outreach to earn specific awards.

Science Lab Teaching Assistants

Credentialed science lab teaching assistants assist our high school science teachers with in-class science experiments to ensure all 3,800 high school students are provided exceptional hands-on science labs as part of their science curriculum.  

Science Olympiad

Science Olympiad is a full-year STEAM program that requires preparation, commitment, coaching, and teamwork. Students compete in academic competitions and learn life-long skills through this program. By combining events from all disciplines, Science Olympiad encourages a wide variety of students to get involved.

Music Coaches, Instruments, and Repairs

A well-rounded education includes access to music. Students can go from beginning band and orchestra to advanced levels and have a large selection of instruments to select from. This grant helps the robust music programs continue to be operational in CUSD’s middle schools and high schools.

Innovation Coach

The Innovation Coach assists secondary teachers’ efforts to improve lessons, assessments, grading practices, and the students’ daily experience. The Innovation Coach helps teachers engage students in their subject area and give students real world skills and experiences to make learning meaningful and relevant.

Student Leadership Council

This empowering program for high school students provides members the opportunity to develop life-long leadership skills. Students focus on understanding themselves as leaders and set personal and group goals to develop their leadership skills through monthly meetings, volunteer opportunities, and student ambassador roles.

Instrumental Music

This class, new to the 2021-22 school year and made possible by CEF’s funding for the class’s musical instruments, allows students who experience stage fright an avenue to create music in a safe space. Students will learn cajòn, ukulele, guitar, and piano in a class with no concert component. Instruction will illustrate how music is incorporated into their lives as a hobby, release stress, have fun, or even start a band.

Project Lead the Way

The program supports STEM Pathways from middle school through high school through engaging, innovative learning opportunities in biomedical sciences, computer science, and engineering (Sage Creek High School).

Science Lab Teaching Assistants

FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) teams are challenged to design, build, program, and operate robots to compete in a head-to-head challenge in an alliance format. Guided by adult coaches and mentors, students continue to develop their STEM skills and practice engineering principles, while realizing the value of hard work, innovation, and working as a team. Additionally, teams design and build robots, raise funds, design, and market their team brand, and do community outreach to earn specific awards.