Santa Rosa, Calif. – CTE Foundation announced on Wednesday that it is awarding $101,150 in grants to support Sonoma County initiatives to increase student engagement and connect classroom learning to real-world careers during the 2023-2024 school year.
12 schools and the Sonoma County Office of Education received grants. Those grants will fund a new culinary pathway at Santa Rosa Middle School, the hiring of a part-time work-based learning coordinator to spearhead an internship program at Technology High School in Rohnert Park and the purchase of a laser cutter for Sonoma Valley High School. The full list of funded initiatives can be seen at ctesonomacounty.org/investments/grants.
The organization received 28 proposals from 19 districts, schools and organizations, with a total requested funding of $670,726. With this round of funding, CTE Foundation expanded their annual grant program to fund a wide range of activities such as teacher salaries, planning time, supplies and equipment — all aimed at incentivizing schools to integrate career readiness and exploration throughout a student’s school day.
CTE Foundation used a trust-based philanthropy model for the grant process, streamlining and simplifying the grant process to reduce barriers for applicants. Nearly half of the schools awarded funding have never received grant funding from CTE Foundation before and one third of the funds are being awarded to schools with more than 40% of their students qualifying for free or reduced-price meals.
“Educators know best what they need to connect with students and we’re thrilled that with the support of our donors we’re able to invest in such innovative approaches to making education relevant and engaging,” said Kathy Goodacre, CEO of CTE Foundation. “CTE Foundation is the only source of local funding dedicated to innovative strategies that connect students to meaningful careers in Sonoma County.”
The annual grant distribution comes as the nonprofit marks CTE Month®, a national movement to raise awareness about the importance of career-connected learning in preparing students for college and career success. Earlier this month, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors issued a Gold Resolution proclaiming February CTE Month.