Mini Grants

Our 2017 Mini-grant recipients have used their grants to fund exciting projects in their classrooms.  Read the descriptions below of how they used the funding to implement classroom projects.

  • Thanks to the Education Foundation of Yuma, I was able to get materials to make reading binders for my students. My students are English Language Learners who are learning the English language as well as focusing on reading skills.  Many of them do not have reading materials at home or even the means to get to the public library.  With the materials I received, I was able to print out dozens of bilingual books for my students on colored cardstock, protected in plastic sleeves.  Every week, students can choose new books to put into their binders to take home.  This project has not only been about the reading material that we now have available, but also how motivated my students are because of these new materials.  They helped me choose and assemble the books, so they are proud of and invested in the result.   My students absolutely love their new binders, and I love to see them so excited!                                                                                                                                Frances Flynn, Salida del Sol Elementary School

  • The Cibola Library applied for a $375 grant to fund additional books for the library in order to improve student literacy. Thanks to the money that we received, we were able to purchase 27 books to add to our circulation. The new books were advertised by the school’s communication liaison and are part of prominent displays in the library. The money was spent in our areas of highest demand, and we are hoping to see a 3% increase in circulation thanks to the additional books.                                                                      Amanda Coltman, Cibola High School

  • Mesquite Elementary in Yuma, Arizona used the mini grant funds to purchase much needed garden equipment.  The hoes, shovels, gloves, buckets and wagon are being used by every grade level, K through 6th.  Students were given instruction from our friends at Arizona Western College and Mr. Steve West.  The lessons were very informative and laid a nice foundation for students to begin their units on gardening.  They enjoy the “hands on” experiences with planting and harvesting, and it’s still going on.   Students have learned first- hand how water and climate affect crops.  The warm climate has left us with a small crop of Bermuda grass, and a fall rain shower put a kink in our strawberry planting week.  Despite setbacks, our students are enjoying the harvest and always eager to work in the garden.                                                                                                                                     Deann Best, Mesquite Elementary School

  • The Education Foundation of Yuma Mini-Grant Program was an answer to prayer!  Thanks to the grant we were able to purchase the supplies we desperately needed to form a College and Career class for migrant students at Southwest Junior High in San Luis.  Students are researching careers that they are interested in, costs involved in pursuing those careers, making displays to share with others about a career of their choice, and writing children’s books that involve that career.  Students are engaged, seriously thinking about their future, and taking a realistic view of their chosen career and how they will reach that goal. Click here to see what my students did.  Thank you Education Foundation of Yuma!                                                            Terri Miguel, Southwest Jr. High School

Students in  Araceli Valtierra's 2nd grade class

    • First of all I want to thank the Education Foundation for funding our project! 

    I teach second grade at Desert Sonora Elementary school and my students were very excited when they heard they would be conducting a project that included learning but at the same time a fun way to discover new facts about “Sea Monkeys.”  Having the opportunity to have a project funded does not only open the doors to another way of learning but it gives students a chance to conduct research and create a project in a fun and interesting way.  As teachers we always spend money out of our pockets and are always looking for ways to bring new and different learning experiences into the classroom.  My students have benefited so much due to this project.  They have been very excited to learn about Sea Monkeys and are very motivated to see them grow.  We were able to receive a growing kit for each student thanks to the “The Education Foundation of Yuma.”  Due to this opportunity students are eager to learn and all academic areas are being taught through a wonderful project that has enhanced my student’s learning.  Again, thank you for helping our students learn!                                                        

                      Araceli Valtierra, Desert Sonora Elementary School

2nd graders with Sea Monkeys


  •         The objective of this project was to improve student learning in Social Studies, and better integrate the subject area across a broader cross section of the curriculum. Grant funds were requested to provide instructional materials specific to State of Arizona third grade Social Studies standards. The “Studies Weekly, Democracy Studies,” contains relevant articles, links to additional online resources, interactive learning activities, and assessments for all of the State mandated grade level subject area standards. Several Arizona third grade Educational Technology standards are also being integrated with these materials.                                                   Each week during dedicated social studies learning times, the teachers introduce the core concepts relevant to the target performance objectives for that period. The teachers elicit from the students an identification of the applications and key issues associated with each concept. Students use combinations of independent, collaborative, and distributive technology-enabled learning activities to interact with the information presented in the instructional materials. These learning activities also integrate standards from other content areas for a transdisciplinary cross-curriculum approach to learning.     The teachers guide students to synthesis levels of understanding and application outcomes. Student learning is assessed through a combination of assessment tools included with the instructional materials and rubric-driven assessments of student work products.  The grant-funded materials include subject area assessments organized by standard that enable student learning evaluations.  The materials came ready to be implemented and are reusable; they will sustain instruction to the State standards, as long as the standards are in effect.    The new grant-funded materials began being used in the classroom at the beginning of the third quarter, and so far are meeting all of their success criteria.  The project success criteria are for 90% of students to obtain a score of 80% or higher on all assessments, and the grade level average score on all assessments to be 80% or higher. Providing grant funds to acquire these materials has improved student learning outcomes and enabled domain integration across the curriculum for more holistic learning and authentic assessment.

                 Cynthia Cabanillas – Gowan Science Academy


  • Today’s technology empowers students in ways that less than a generation ago would have been the stuff of science fiction. Now learners can a see problem, look for a solution, then design and print their vision.  That’s what fifth grade students at Desert Mesa School have been doing using CAD software and a 3D printer. Budding designers begin by completing tutorials using web-based TinkerCad, a free and very kid-friendly design program that communicates with our Dremel 3D printer.  As they work through the design tutorials, students are able to print their objects and make modifications and improvements.   With basic skills in hand, they are challenged to find a need at school and design an object that can fill that need.  Currently students are working with kindergarteners printing learning aids for math and writing.                                                   

                    Tim Gilliland -- Desert Mesa Elementary School


  • The percussionists from the Gila Vista Junior High School "Monster Band" would like to extend deepest thanks to the Education Foundation of Yuma for their assistance in acquiring seven new snare drum practice pads and stands in addition to an entirely unique percussion curriculum! The band program at Gila Vista has been in dire need of this type of equipment for quite a few years now, and I'm happy that this grant was able to supply it. Our percussionists are now able to deepen their skills in learning snare rudiments as well as auxiliary percussion playing techniques in a lab style learning format. In the absence of a separate class just for them, these students can now learn and practice essential skills independent of the whole band, but still continue learning concert repertoire alongside them. It is truly a win-win for these talented and dedicated students. It has taken their spark of passion for learning music and turned it into a raging fire! They truly feel like a special part of the band and feel like their educational needs are being adequately met now. With the equipment and the percussion curriculum, these students will be high school concert and marching band-ready by the end of this year! Once again, thank you, Education Foundation of Yuma !                                     Candice Brown, Gila Vista Junior High School

  • Teaching young students to cook wholesome and healthy meals has been made possible with the grant from The Education Foundation of Yuma County. I teach eighth graders to cook meals from scratch in a variety of styles and in various cooking methods. I was able to purchase electric skillets, stock pots, blender/food processors, and other kitchen utensils to further broaden the students cooking horizons. The students ask everyday, "What are we cooking tomorrow?" and have learned to try new foods they never imagined themselves eating. I have also grown as an educator with my students bringing in traditions and stories of their grandparents while cooking. Thank you so much to The Education Foundation of Yuma County for making this possible, and I look forward to continual growth in the future!                    Jan Philpot, Ron Watson Middle School, Art/Culinary Arts


Congratulations to the following Yuma County educators for being awarded a mini-grant as a result of their proposal submissions.  We had 23 proposals submitted this year, and the Education Foundation approved granting funding to 11 of the 23 for a total of $4776.93 in funding.

Congratulations to the following educators and to their schools:


  1. Frances Flynn                 Salida del Sol Elementary      $405.40
  2. Terri Miguel                    South West Jr. High                 $500.00
  3. Jonathan Bailey             Gary Knox Elementary           $405.00
  4. Candice Brown              Gila Vista Jr. High                     $498.96
  5. Araceli Valtierra            Desert Sonora Elementary    $500.00
  6. Cynthia Cabanillas       Gowan Science Academy       $459.00
  7. Deann Best                    Mesquite Elementary             $472.20
  8. Jan Philpot                     Ron Watson Middle School   $500.00
  9. Amanda Coltman        Cibola High School Library     $375.00
  10. Cathleen Klakulak       Kofa High School Science       $335.90
  11. Tim Gilliland                 Desert Mesa Elementary        $325.47


The Educational Foundation of Yuma County offers mini-grants to Yuma County educators each year to assist with special projects or programs in their classroom. The mini-grants are competitive grants with a maximum funding of $500.00.  Watch this website for the announcment for the 2018-19 school year competition.

Before you apply, check with your business office regarding your district policy on using grant funds should your application be funded.  

Mini-Grant Criteria:

  1. Projects and programs must support the school and grade level State Standards.
  2. The mini-grant will not fund field trips.
  3. Selected projects must expend funds during the current school year.
  4. Recipients of 2018 mini-grants will provide a short video narrative stating/showing the impact the grant money made in their classrooms.  This will be made into a video that will be posted to the Ed Foundation website and shown at either the Kick-off Dinner or the Banquet in 2019.




Questions about the mini-grants can be directed to Nancy Blitz, (928) 344-7677.



Please help us by contributing a small donation.