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SDG&E pledges $250K to fund STEM and anti-racism education in schools

Teachers can apply to receive funding via 'DonorsChoose,' a crowdsourcing site.

SAN DIEGO — SDG&E announced Friday it’s donating $250,000 in shareholder funds to local teachers to help boost stem and anti-racism education.      

The money will be available through ‘DonorsChoose,’ a crowdfunding platform for educators.

Eighth grade science teacher Kristina Hereford Watkins has benefited from the program in the past. She was able to acquire virtual reality headsets last year for her students at Lemon Grove Academy Middle School .

Hereford wanted to give them a chance to experience dissecting animals in a different way, but at hundreds of dollars per headset, she had to get creative.

Using DonorsChoose, donors give money to teachers to help pay for certain supplies or projects, then big corporations like SDG&E match those donations.

“DonorsChoose helps level the playing field to give more equity,” said Watkins.

Teachers all over the county have benefitted from the donors choose platform, including Lori Huntsman, who teaches 4th grade at Spreckels Elementary in University City.

"We have anything we could imagine from flexible seating, iPads,” said Huntsman.

SDG&E has long supported ‘DonorsChoose.’

But, starting today, they're providing even more money, $250,000, specifically to fund stem projects and anti-racism education, both of which go hand in hand, says Watkins and her school's principal, Tamara Muhammad.

"I do think it's important as a person of color to have opportunities to try science, technology, engineering and math earlier in your career cuz how would you know of you wanted to pursue that in college if you've never tried it before," said Watkins.

“We want to make sure our children get what every other student is getting no matter where they come from, what they look like, what their parents have, how they grew up. It's just a matter of providing a strong educational foundation for all students no matter who they are,” said Muhammad.

To be eligible, you must be a teacher at a public school within SDGE’s service territory, in San Diego and Southern Orange counties.

Projects of $1000 or less will be considered, but there's no cap on applications. So, if you want six items at $1,000 a piece, apply six times via the donors choose website.

SDG&E will then choose a project and match funds already raised.

If your school is in a disadvantaged area like Watkins’s, you'll get a double match.

"I just really appreciate giving those resources and providing those opportunities because you never know where they'll go from there," said Watkins.

The money is available until it runs out. To apply, click here.

WATCH RELATED: Palomar Health inspires 8th grade Escondido students to become healthcare workers (Oct. 2022).



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