Jeanie Ritchie Innovation Grants


The mission of the Jeanie Ritchie Grant is to enable teachers to pursue innovative teaching programs in their classroom, grade or school and provide educational experiences that students would otherwise not be able to have. The grants are funded by the Menlo Park-Atherton Education Foundation and are an important part of the Foundation’s motto: Investing in Education. Together.

District teachers have been applying for Jeanie Ritchie Grants for over 25 years. Each year, teachers with unique teaching concepts prepare a comprehensive grant and present their idea to the Jeanie Ritchie Grant committee who evaluate the grant to see if it meets the program's three key qualities of innovation, creativity and enrichment.

Thank you to everyone who donates to MPAEF and to all of the teachers among us who go above and beyond to make our school district the very best!

Congratulate this year's Jeanie Ritchie Grant Recipients




Engineering Event

Alicia Payton


21st Century PE

Cheryl Arner


Ritmo Y Sabor

Rachel Bergeron


Steppin Up

Megan Stone


Mileage Club

Megan Stone


Draw the Line

Heidi Yamada


22nd CA Mission

Heidi Yamada


Angel Island Immigrants

Heidi Yamada


Thinking About Thinking

Grant Conour


What Does it Mean to be Global

Liliana Gomez


Exploring Latin American Culture

Marisela Ghahramani

Laurel and Encinal

Buddies Against Bullies

Jeriann Hirsch

Laurel and Hillview

Brains and the Body

Alicia Payton

Laurel, Encinal and Oak Knoll

Little Free Library

Jacqui Cebrian

Oak Knoll

Teaching Intangible Feelings

Vicki Renard


Outside Play Partners

Erika Caruso



Jeanie Ritchie Committee Chair

Colleen Cutcliffe (email Colleen)

Applying for a Grant

If you are an MPCSD teacher with an idea that you would like to submit to the Jeanie Ritchie Grant Committee, we are excited to see your grant submission during the next grant application cycle. Here is what to do.

  1. Take a look at the rubric to know how grants are evaluated and email us with any questions.
  2. Fill out a grant application 
  3. Submit your application by the due date. Please watch this space for details about the next grant cycle.
  4. You will receive an email confirmation once your grant has been successfully submitted.
  5. The Jeanie Ritchie Grant Committee will review your grant application. The committee is comprised of parents from each school in the district, a teacher representative from each school in the district and the Director of Curriculum.
  6. You may receive questions from the committee to get clarity on your application.
  7. The committee will hold a Grant Review Meeting on an announced date to review and vote on all grants.
  8. The MPAEF and Superintendent will decide to grant or deny grant funding.
  9. You will receive an email informing you of whether your grant was selected. If selected, instructions will be included in this email.

The Grant Process:

School Principals and Site Councils are playing in integral part in the awarding of Jeanie Ritchie Grants at each school. The Jeanie Ritchie Grant committee chairs will be available to help with grant applications along with the teacher representatives on the committee. We have one at each school and they are are all experienced Jeanie Ritchie grant writers. The idea is to get great ideas to work in classrooms and on District campuses, not to create endless paperwork for our busy teachers and staff!

Grants for Funding 2017-2018 School Year -- Upcoming Dates:

  • October 1, 2017: Grants are due by 5pm (e-mail)
  • October 11, 2017: Grant review meeting
  • October 20, 2017: Grant notification

If you have any questions about your grant application please feel free to contact Colleen Cutcliffe.

Grant Documents

  • 2017-18 Application - DOC