Grant Programs

$104,883 Awarded to Teachers in 2023 Thanks to a Generous Community 

The 2023 Grant Winners Announced!

Teachers, administrators, program advisors, and coaches submitted grant applications to the New Haven Schools Foundation in February for project funding during the annual grant application period.

The Board of Directors is pleased to announce that $104,883 in project funding has been awarded to local teachers and schools, the most ever awarded in a single year. 

By the numbers:

  • Total of grant applications this year: 73, totaling $157,642
  • Total grants funded this year: 62, totaling a record $104,883
  • Cumulative total of grants funded since 2009: $429,995
  • Average amount of 2023 grant: $1692

Awards will be made on May 9, 2023, with the expectation that projects will take place during the 2023-2024 school year.

Grants are awarded for classroom innovations, enrichment activities, special programs, literacy, the arts, athletics and other programs. If you have an idea to enhance learning and your project is not covered by the usual school budget, we encourage you to submit a grant request next year and we’ll consider it for funding. We fund as many projects as our annual budget allows, and often seek outside funding when possible.

The New Haven community came together to fund $104,883 in grant requests. A record $157,653 in project funding requests were received from teachers in February, and the NHSF board worked diligently to fund as many projects as possible for our classrooms, enrichment programs, and schools. Our budget it limited, but with help from generous donors, we were able to fund 62 grants.


Funding for grants comes primarily through fundraising, including the Fund-a-Need campaign held at our annual gala. We also reach out to generous members of the community to help make these projects possible.

Thank you to our grant program donors!

  • Albert and Marsha Badella
  • Brian Kelly Fund
  • Don del Pilar and Barbara Scheifler
  • Special Need Children Center Foundation
  • Art and Cheryl Kuhlmann
  • Lance and Tina Nishihira


We offer several types of grants for classrooms and school programs.

Supporting New Haven schools and students since 1981. Nonprofit since 2007.

Scholarships Awarded*


Project Requests Funded

Grants Awarded Since 2014

Innovations in Education Grants

The New Haven Schools Foundation puts money directly into classrooms by providing grants to teachers with innovative ideas for learning that may not be covered by normal classroom and school budgets.

Money for these classroom grants comes from primarily from the Foundation, fundraising events, with occasional donations from indviduals and corporate and government partners. Winning projects are often those that make learning these often-difficult subjects fun.

The Innovations in Education program makes grants available to all grade levels in varied academic areas. Each year, the Foundation provides guidelines for grant proposals, along with instructions for submitting a request. Grant proposals are generally due by the end of February of each school year.

A committee made up of Foundation Board members reviews the applications in the early spring and the winners are selected. The final step of the process is to deliver the funds to the classrooms, as winning a grant is a very exciting event for the student beneficiaries.

Project: Enrichment

The New Haven Schools Foundation was originally formed for the main purpose of providing funds to extra-curricular activities in our schools. This has been an important part of our mission since 1981, and it continues through this program.

Project: Enrichment” grants bring new attention to both co-curricular and extra-curricular programs by making grants available for all grade levels in varied academic and extra-curricular areas. Each year, the Foundation provides guidelines for grant proposals, along with instructions for submitting an online request. Grant proposals may generally be submitted in February of each year, and are announced in the New Haven E-News and via social media.

A subcommittee made up of Foundation Board members reviews the applications in the early spring and the winners are selected. The final step of the process is to deliver the funds to the classrooms, as winning a grant is a very exciting event for the students who are the ultimate beneficiaries.

STEM Grants

STEM grants can be provided for classroom or enrichment programs that are focused on Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math, including creative applications of technology. We’ve helped get after-school robotics programs to get off the ground, and provided multimedia equipment for school libraries. Our goal is to support projects that help students develop skills in new technology platforms enabling them to prepare for college and the careers of tomorrow.

Apply in February during our open application period. Projects are funded as budget allows.

Brian Kelly Fund

Brian Kelly was a Logan High School student who passed away at a very young age, and this fund was created by the Kelly family to honor his memory. The Brian Kelly Memorial Fund is a unique program that initially focused exclusively on supporting tutoring for high school students. In recent award cycles, the focus has expanded to include literacy programs, especially in elementary school.

The Program provides funds that may be used to supporting tutoring initiatives at our schools, encouraging students to help their peers succeed. One such project is the Math Mentors program at Logan High School. Applications may be submitted during February of each year for suitable projects.

Virginia Swihart Beginning Teacher Fund

Virginia Swihart was a beloved teacher and administrator in the New Haven Unified School District who nurtured and supported new teachers. She established the Virginia Swihart Fund to help beginning teachers with their classroom needs. Today, monies in the fund come from donations made by NHUSD staff, some of whom also direct disbursements. (This fund is not open for applications.)

New teachers face the challenge of turning their first empty classroom into a warm and inviting place where students will enjoy learning. Essential elements are provided, but established teachers have accumulated their own collections of educational displays, organizational tools, art supplies, and other items that personalize the space for their teaching style. Each year, small grants from this fund provide gift cards that enable new teachers to purchase supplies needed to get started. 

Historic Milestone

During the 2011 – 2012 and 2012 – 2013 school years, budget cuts by the State of California forced us to suspend awarding “Project: Enrichment” grants in order to focus on the greater need. This huge annual funding shortfall meant that many co- and extra-curricular programs in our schools would be drastically cut or discontinued altogether. These cuts affected programs such as athletics and music, as well as any other program outside normal classroom hours.

The Foundation got to work to bridge the gap. Working in partnership with the New Haven Boosters Association, we pledged to raise $100,000 to keep these wonderful programs going during the recession. It has been one of our proudest accomplishments that we were able to meet this pledge in BOTH 2012 – 2012 and 2012 – 2013!

The impact of this pledge can be seen with this great example: in the first year of the pledge, 48 coaching and assistant coaching positions were saved. Students at all levels were able to continue their after-school activities.

NHUSD Employees

You can conveniently contribute to scholarships, grants and other Foundation programs by payroll deduction. Donations are tax-deductible and may be directed to one or more of the specific programs. Even small donations add up and make a difference for our students!

Send the completed form to the Payroll Department at the ESC.