SBEF Receives $50,000 Grant from to Support Teachers in the Classroom

By Giving List Staff   |   April 24, 2023
Santa Barbara Community Academy students with a 3-D printer that was purchased with a previous Teacher Grant

Santa Barbara Education Foundation received a $50,000 grant from, Google’s philanthropic arm, for its Teacher Grants program, which provides funding to Santa Barbara Unified educators to promote innovative teaching and purchase essential classroom supplies.

Since 2018, the Santa Barbara Education Foundation (SBEF) has awarded grants once a year to support much-needed, project-based supplies, instructional tools, and field trips to encourage creative and innovative teaching in the Santa Barbara Unified School District. The grant will specifically fund classroom projects and materials that increase students’ learning opportunities in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education.

“We’re thrilled to support educators through the incredible work the Santa Barbara Education Foundation is doing to expand access to STEM education resources,” said Dr. Erik Lucero, Lead Quantum Engineering at Google and Site Lead for the company’s Quantum AI Campus in Santa Barbara. “We hope we can play a small part in sparking the interest of the next generation of scientists, engineers, technicians, business experts, and quantum mechanics.”

SBEF has seen a dramatic increase in grant requests from educators in recent years. In 2022, the organization received over $330,000 in requested funds from teachers. With only $100,000 in funding available, more than $230,000 in classroom needs did not get funded by SBEF.

“Equipping our teachers with resources is tantamount to the success of our next generation,” said Santa Barbara County District 2 Supervisor Laura Capps. “I am grateful that our community has the Santa Barbara Education Foundation and to help support our teachers, who inspire our students. I hope to see more collaborations like these to help nurture our youth.”

“As a former educator, I am grateful to the Santa Barbara Education Foundation and the Teacher Grants Program as it has supported hundreds of teachers in the Santa Barbara Unified School District,” said 19th District Senator Monique Limón. “The SBEF Teacher Grants Program has allowed teachers to be innovative and creative in the classroom by helping fund curriculum development in the classrooms, student field trips, technology, instructional tools, and general supplies. For some teachers, SBEF Teacher Grants Program is an opportunity to bring technology into the classroom. “

According to Limón, “Last year, the Teacher Grants Program helped fund an LED Light Project for 6th graders at Adams Elementary and robots for a coding project at McKinley Elementary School’s STEAM lab. In doing so, SBEF and teachers generate artistic and STEM opportunities for local students to participate in while fueling their curiosity about potential careers in STEM and the arts.”

“We are truly grateful for this extraordinary gift.” said Executive Director Pedro Paz, “It will go a long way to give teachers additional tools to impact Santa Barbara Unified students directly and inspire a love of learning.”

The Santa Barbara Education Foundation started in 1985 when a group of concerned parents came together to support teachers by offering small grants for classroom supplies. Today, SBEF promotes private support of Santa Barbara’s public education system and serves over 12,500 students in 19 schools. For more information, visit


Santa Barbara Education Foundation

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(805) 284-9125
Executive Director: Pedro Paz


Santa Barbara Education Foundation (SBEF) provides and supports programs that enrich the academic, artistic, and personal development of all students in the Santa Barbara Unified School District.

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The agenda for the 2022/2023 school year is to close the gap and achieve more funding for Teacher Grants while focusing on literacy development and mental health. Despite the $223,000 gap that the Santa Barbara Education Foundation is currently experiencing, their diligence and thoughtfulness bear every single student in mind.

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Arnesen Family Foundation
Timothy and Louise Casey
Andrew and Mary Jane Cooper
Daniel and Mandy Hochman
Elaine F. Stepanek Foundation
James S. Bower Foundation
John L. Carleton Foundation
Senator Monique Limón
J.M. Lind
Superintendent Dr. Hilda Maldonado
Sara Miller McCune
Mithun Family Foundation
Mosher Foundation
Santa Barbara Foundation
Nick Rail
April Thede
Towbes Foundation
Walter J. & Holly O.
Thomson Foundation
Wood-Claeyssens Foundation
Zegar Family Foundation