Through a partnership with DonorsChoose, a crowdfunding platform, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) has set aside $250,000 of shareholder funding to match donations that help support local teachers with distance learning and with STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) projects.
As school districts get ready for a new school year amid the pandemic, whether it's full distance learning or a hybrid model, teachers are faced with a new set of challenges to support all students.
"Teachers are on the front line of making sure that our children continue to learn despite the enormous challenges of COVID-19," said Caroline Winn, SDG&E's chief executive officer. "They are the champions of our new virtual and socially distanced classrooms, and SDG&E is proud to support them with the resources and materials that they need to prepare our children to be the scientists, engineers, and innovators of the future."
This is the third year of SDG&E's partnership with DonorsChoose to support teachers in the San Diego region. Aware that teachers often use their own money to purchase supplies, the partnership in the first two years provided $414,159 in matching funds to teachers for classroom STEM projects. In 2019 alone, the program supported 628 teachers and 92,354 students (almost a fifth of all San Diego County students) at 322 schools in 33 of the San Diego region's 42 school districts. This year, SDG&E has expanded the program to support teachers with new needs caused by the pandemic, such as supplies that can no longer be shared among students and equipment needed to enhance distance learning.
"With the COVID-19 pandemic, teachers across San Diego County have had to get creative to connect and engage with students at home and cultivate their interest in learning," said San Diego County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Paul Gothold. "The support of individual donors and SDG&E will make a big impact this year, especially in creating greater equity for students who may not have the same access to resources and supplies while at home.
How it Works
Teacher STEM and distance learning projects of $1,000 or less at schools within SDG&E's service territory in San Diego and Southern Orange Counties are eligible to receive matching funds from SDG&E on the DonorsChoose platform. In support of equity for schools in disadvantaged communities, SDG&E will provide a double match (2-1) for eligible teacher projects at schools in disadvantaged communities as determined by CalEnviroScreen. Last year, 67% of the 322 schools in 33 school districts receiving funding from SDG&E were in disadvantaged communities.
Eligible teachers can visit the DonorsChoose website to apply. The DonorsChoose match program will run from today until funds are exhausted or December 31, 2020. To donate to a project that SDG&E is matching, visit DonorsChoose.org/SDGE.