Fun and Learning Beyond the Classroom Walls with PVF’s Excursion Grants

When one donor came to us wanting to find a way to help children have fun, little did we know that it would result in one of our most robust and popular teacher grant programs. Five years later, we have given out more than $700,000 in Excursion Grants to public schools in San Mateo and Alameda Counties.

The Excursion Grant Program, funded by The Geballe Family, provides grants of up to $1,000 for teachers to take their students on field trips. For many students, these field trips mark the first time they are visiting a particular place, such as the beach, a museum, or San Francisco. For many teachers, these grants allow them to teach beyond the restrictions of the classroom.

These grants are gone almost as soon as they are available, often with funding being exhausted within a month or two. This speaks to both the dedication of public school teachers and the need for funding that is often not available for field trips in the public school system. Understanding this need, the program donor has provided additional funding to expand the Excursion Grant Program to San Francisco.

Below, we have compiled a few quotes from dedicated Excursion Grant recipients who reported back to us about the impact of the program:

“Thanks to your generous donation I was able to take our two second grades classes to the Monterey Bay Aquarium and subsidize part of an IMAX movie at the San Jose Tech Museum. As you may know, our students face monetary hardships which makes it almost impossible for them to attend enriching trips. These students are prime examples of the change you can make not just in our community but in the lives of our future generation.” – 2nd grade teacher, Los Robles Magnet Academy in East Palo Alto

The process [of applying for funds to see a live theater performance] was very easy and timely. What a great day it was. Students were commenting that it was ‘the best field trip ever.’ We got six-year-olds excited about reading, were able to see live theater, were able to see a part of our city that my students rarely see, and got to involve families in the learning. This field trip would not have been possible without the Excursion Grants Program and the generosity of the Geballe Family.” – 1st grade Teacher Ascend School in Oakland

“The excursion grant that our school received was used to pay the cost of transportation for 72 fifth grade students to the San Jose Tech Museum. The hands-on learning was evident all day and we are confident that students will always remember the science and life skills that they learned that day. After immersing in science, and being chemist themselves, my students can feel more confident knowing that they too can continue to learn and succeed in the area of science. Thank you so much for supporting public school education. As a Title-One school we would not have been able to make this trip without your help.” – 5th grade teacher, Taft Community School in Redwood City

“After a unit of study on astronomy, our students had the opportunity to visit the planetarium at the Cal Academy with your support. This field trip fueled students’ curiosity and drove them to read more and engage in deeper inquiry into space upon our return to school. This field trip was a cornerstone of our unit of study and could not have been possible without your support.” – 1st grade teacher, East Palo Alto Charter School in East Palo Alto

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