As a new school year gets underway amid continuing challenges posed by the pandemic, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) is providing $250,000 in shareholder funds as matching dollars to help teachers supplement classroom education with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) projects. This is the fourth year that SDG&E is partnering with DonorsChoose, an education nonprofit that empowers public school educators to post their projects and raise donations to fund them.
“Our region has faced and overcome several challenges over the course of the pandemic, which have made distance learning difficult for our children. It’s more important than ever to continue to support teachers as they transition back into the classroom environment.” Caroline Winn, SDG&E’s chief executive officer. “SDG&E is proud to help provide these influential teachers with the extra resources they need to develop projects and hands-on activities to inspire children to be the scientists, engineers and innovators of the future.”
SDG&E first launched its partnership with DonorsChoose in 2018. Recognizing that teachers often use their own money to purchase supplies, the partnership in the first three years provided a cumulative $664,159 in matching funds to teachers for classroom STEM projects. Since the program launched in 2018, the STEM collaboration between SDG&E and DonorsChoose has supported 1,320 teachers and 180,784 students at 723 schools in more than 33 school districts. SDG&E continues to expand the program to support teachers with new needs caused by the pandemic, such as supplies that can no longer be shared among students.
“Our teachers need resources to get creative to engage with students and cultivate their interest in STEM. The ongoing support from SDG&E enables teachers to take learning to a new level,” said San Diego County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Paul Gothold. “We especially appreciate SDG&E’s focus on equity, making sure students from schools serving low-income communities have expanded access to resources and supplies."
How it Works
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.
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. Last year, 65 percent of the 266 schools in 31 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 until funds are exhausted.