Jeanie Ritchie Innovation Grants

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The mission of the MPAEF funded 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 grant program began in 1984 to honor Jeanie Ritchie, one of MPAEF's founders.  The grants funds are a part of the annual grant provided by MPAEF to the school district and are an important part of the Foundation’s motto, "Investing in Education. Together."

District teachers have been applying for these Grants for over 37 years. Each year, teachers with unique teaching concepts prepare a comprehensive proposal and present their idea to the Jeanie Ritchie Grant committee who evaluate the proposal to see if it meets the program's three key qualities of innovation, curriculum enhancement and sustainability.  And each year, the program grows. In the first grant cycle during the 1984-1985 school year, 8 projects were funded with a total of $2,200.  

This year (2021-2022), 22 grant projects were funded with $35,000 in funding!  CLICK HERE to read the press release about this year's grant awardees.

Jeanie Ritchie Innovation Grants Awardees for the 2021-2022 School Year:

Below is a full list of this year’s awarded programs, which will be implemented during the 2021-2022 school year.

Grant Name Teacher(s) School(s)
Audiobooks on the Bus Jacqui Cebrian Oak Knoll
Beyond the Comic Book - Discovering Heroes in Literature Jacky Schlegel & Libby Ellis Hillview
Cardboard Creations: Playing with Forces and Motion Rachel Naishtut & Georgia Walton Encinal
“Choro - Brazil’s Original Jazz” Richard Vaughan Encinal, Laurel, Oak Knoll & Hillview
Djembe Jam!! West African Dance & Drumming for First Graders with Alhassane Camara of Guinea Elizabeth Harrison Laurel
Exemplary Scholars Learn By Doing! Hands-on STEAM Joyce Chan Oak Knoll
Fraction Fundamentals Christine Reuter & Michelle Betancourt Encinal
Interactive Centers for an Engaging Math Workshop Caroline Lucas & Eva Sullivan Laurel
Learning For Justice Community Read Michelle Betancourt Encinal
Let’s Rumba!! Afro-Cuban Dance Workshops with Percussion for Second Graders Elizabeth Harrison Laurel
Living the Diversity in Spanish Culture at Hillview Benjamin Salas-Velasco Hillview
Making Cell Anatomy and Physiology Come Alive Leonardo Schneiderman Hillview
Mesoamerican Patio Refurbish Sara Bartlett Oak Knoll
Mock Caldecott Jacqui Cebrian Encinal, Laurel, Oak Knoll & Hillview
Ninja Warrior PE! Jeriann Hirsch Laurel
One Classroom, One Book Megan Stone Laurel
Patterns of Power Janiq Meneze Oak Knoll
Physical Literacy: Engaging Sensory Pathways Stacy Matsuura ELC (Early Learning Center)
Pop Up Library Jacqui Cebrian Oak Knoll
Powerful and Differentiated Math Through Engaging Math Talk, Puzzles, Games Joyce Chan Oak Knoll
Speaking with the World Amy Kingsley Hillview
Windows, Mirrors, and Sliding Doors: Auditing classroom libraries to ensure a selection of books that reflect all of our students Jacqui Cebrian Oak Knoll


Interested in Applying Next Year? 

If you are a teacher, MPCSD staff or student that is interested in applying for a Jeanie Ritchie Grant for the 2022-2023 school year, please follow the steps outlined below:

  • Review the Call for Applications document (to be provided Sept. 2022) and the Grant Review Rubric to know how grants are evaluated and email us with any questions.  Also, CLICK HERE to check out a few successful grant applications from the past. 
  • Fill out a 2022-2023 Grant Application Document (to be provided Sept. 2022) and submit via e-mail to by the deadline.  You will receive an email confirmation once your grant has been successfully submitted.

If you have any questions about your grant application please feel free to email the Jeanie Ritchie Grant Committee chair

The Grant Process:

School Principals and Site Councils plan an integral part in the awarding of Jeanie Ritchie Grants at each school. The Jeanie Ritchie Grant committee chairs are available to help with grant applications, along with the teacher representatives on the committee. There is a Jeanie Ritchie Grant committee teacher representative at each school and they 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!

Grant Documents: