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Classroom Grants Snap into Focus

PCEF began with a STEM-focused grant in 1986.

Since then, donors have funded more than 840* grants to classroom teachers (plus about 150 Express Grants!) through Classroom Grants (formerly called "Teacher Grants" and "School Grants"). 

Classroom Grants fund impactful programs like Special Education, Latinos in Action (LIA), Makerspaces, Afterschool, STEAM for Afterschool, Before School, Tuition Assistance for PCSD Preschool, innovative pilot programs, and many, many more.

The examples below are just a few ways Park City's excellent educators are preparing our students to be tomorrow's innovators, problem-solvers, and leaders. 



"I have students from varying backgrounds making post-secondary plans to pursue aviation full-time, and I've had a few students already pass their drone licensing test.

It's been unreal to see these motivated students take their dreams to the next level."

--Trip Marshall, PCHS Teacher

Trip Marshall's Drone Aviation course was supported by a PCEF Classroom Grant. It's part of the new Aviation Pathway in PCSD's exceptional Career & Technical Education (CTE) program.

See video! 


"Mirrorless cameras are the newest technology in photography & film. With a full classroom set, students have access to new technology.

The cameras have been amazing and allowed so many more students to be creative!”

-- Natalie Star, PCHS Teacher

Natalie Star, who teaches a photography program that has nearly tripled in size, used her Classroom Grant to buy 20 mirrorless cameras.

They allow students to work with equipment that meets current industry standards and provide access for more students more time for hands-on work during class.

See student photos!


"This is an innovative approach to construction technology, exposing students to many principles of home construction through real build-outs in our school."

-- Caleb Fine, Treasure Mountain Jr. High Principal

Students in TMJH's Construction Technology, taught by Brad Gannon, are designing and building an actual small-scale living space!

This hands-on, applicable learning provides tangible construction skills - and sets students up for future success in PCHS' CTE pathways.

The Construction Tech course was made possible through ´╗┐Classroom Grants & a PCEF donor-directed gift.

Read PCSD FACE Team's Article!


"Students very rarely get to build something like a model rocket. They feel an amazing sense of accomplishment when they build and successfully launch it.

We also connect it to what NASA and Space X do, which helps students have a greater appreciation for scientists & engineers."

-- Gina Mason, EHMS Teacher

Rocket kits, purchased with a Classroom Grant, saved 7th grade science students hours of work (usually spent building rockets from scratch).

The streamlined process allowed them to meet the state and district standard to "design an engineering solution to demonstrate Newton’s third law of motion" in less time.

The savings made it possible for 400 students to spend more time on Newton's Laws - and deepen overall science learning.

See a video! 


"My kids have absolutely loved using Boom Cards; not only are they easy to use, they are a fun way to build student confidence and fluency in whatever academic area is targeted.

I have seen an improvement in math scores because they're used to practicing every day!"

-- Natalie Martinez, JRES Teacher

Natalie Martinez, a 1st Grade DLI teacher, purchased Boom Cards with a Classroom Grant.

They were so effective that she expanded the program with a PCEF Express Grant just a couple of months into the school year!


"Having the Mindful Child Project Grant from PCEF has been the biggest gift not only to my students - but also to us as teachers. Carrie Kushner has an amazing ability to use age appropriate, safe, calm, non-judgmental, rich, and inspirational techniques to teach our littlest learners how to identify feelings and regulate emotions. 

I see firsthand how my students are now able to negotiate, express, and switch gears during conflict. Not only that - they're also expressing gratitude while looking at the positive in everyday situations.

When I hear my students share what they are thankful for, or that they are strong, brave, confident, and kind, it inspires me... It gives me hope and for this generation and the amazing things I know they will accomplish. 

What a wonderful foundation PCEF has provided!"

-- Julie Wrathall-Alvarez, MPES Preschool Teacher 

Current preschoolers were born shortly before and during COVID started - and haven’t spent much time away from home.

Isolation implemented by families to keep their little ones safe meant little to no time at parks, museums, or libraries - and not many playdates. These circumstances have introduced a new set of goals for Park City's Preschool teachers, who are now working to teach them how to actually play and be social with each other.

Julie Alvarez's Classroom Grant brings Carrie Kushner, a trained mindfulness expert certified to work with early education/children, to her classroom each week. 

Carrie holds 20-30 minute sessions with MPES Preschoolers. Here is what some of them have to say about The Mindful Child Project:

  • "She makes me happy and laugh."  -- Abby, age 4
  • "My favorite part about Ms. Carrie is she helps us feel strong." --Addie, age 5
  • "I am kind, I can do anything!" -- Chloe, age 4
  • "We learn about feelings and I love the frog pose." -- Enzo, age 5
  • "Ms. Carrie helps me feel so happy. I like doing the clam breath with my hands, it calms me." -- Hart, age 5
  • "Mindfulness makes me feel calm and I learn about my feelings." -- Rylan, age 4

"Even for our 3-year-olds, mindfulness is helping with focus, respect for others and regulation of feelings. It has a calming influence - and the children are learning about the goodness in themselves and others."

--Laurie Hoolbrook-Jorgenesen, MPES Preschool Teacher 

See pics! 


"The vending machine... [is] filled with students' favorite, most popular books, displayed in the front lobby of our school for all students, teachers and parents to see.

It's filled with literature in English and Spanish as chosen by the students [from an approved book list] to reward them for following our 3 rules: responsibility, respect and safety."

- Holly Ray, PPES Interventionist 

The new vending machine at PPES rewards students for positive behavior AND gets books into their hands - to keep!

Students get rewarded with tokens and tickets for great behavior. They can use the tokens to get books out of the vending machine, and tickets are entered into a weekly drawing. Each week's drawing winner gets to pick a book, too! 



"Coffee Cart fosters a positive inclusive culture at Trailside. It allows students with disabilities to practice social skills, communication, functional money skills, independent work, and math with staff throughout the building.

Coffee Cart has been proven to be an effective project-based learning opportunity."

-- Laura Glass, TSES Teacher 

Laura Glass and McKenzie Moore's TSES Classroom Grant funds the Coffee Cart, which creates an opportunity for students with disabilities to provide a service for their school community. 

One to two times each month, students check order forms, set up the coffee cart, interact with staff, and collect data to graph it. These elements incorporate embedded ELA, math, and independent work practice. 

*Spring 2023

Half of tomorrow's jobs don't exist yet - but the skills to succeed in them do.

When you support PCEF, you equip educators to teach student with these skills - to prepare them to be tomorrow's innovators, problem-solvers, and leaders. 

Show your support for PCSD teachers, students, and schools when you contribute to PCEF or participate in Running with Ed

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