Special Education Resource Grants

 In grantmaking, PVF News, Special Education Grant Program, teacher grants

After more than 15 years, our Special Education Resource Grants remain in high demand by the educators and therapists working with extensive needs students. These $500 grants fund a variety of fundamental needs, such as sensory regulation tools, curriculum material, parent education workshops, and professional development. Funding was needed more than ever this year, as school’s pivoted to fully online learning and students lost access to hands-on materials and curriculum supports.

Read on to learn how teachers put their Special Education Resource Grants to use during the 2020-2021 school year:

  • With a grant from PVF, Kindergarten and 1st Grade Teacher at Grass Valley Elementary, Julie Slater, was able to purchase 100 $5 gift cards to use as motivation and promote participation while learning remotely.
  • Allison Leshefsky, Adapted Physical Education Teacher for the Alameda Unified School District, was able to provide special education students of all ages with “PE Packs” of fitness and sport equipment at home, so they would have the necessary equipment to gain skills and access instruction virtually with the required materials.
  • Terri Huston, Education Specialist at Silverwood Elementary, was able to create a distance learning virtual library full of multicultural collections for her students at home.

In addition to the creative uses of PVF grants detailed above, we have noticed recurring needs; Special Education students required more hands-on learning and sensory stimuli that online learning lacks. Many teachers request:

  • Boom Cards for speech therapy online lessons or TeachersPayTeachers online materials
  • Sensory kits and adaptive seating options at home to allow students to be as present in their education as possible
  • Visual supports, such as colored graphics or even puppets, to keep students attention

Feedback like this inspires us. While small in size, the Special Education Grants create a lasting impact for countless students who are building important skills using these new resources.

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