TVHS Biosustainability Club receives 20K CTA IFT Grant for greenhouse construction

The newly-launched Temecula Valley high School (TVHS) Biosustainability Club has just received a twenty thousand dollar Institute For Teaching (IFT) Grant to help support the construction of an extensive on-campus greenhouse. Designed, built, and maintained by students, the aquaponics system will supply green produce and fish for the needs of the campus culinary arts program and local food pantry.  Statewide, grants are awarded to individuals and programs that exhibit innovation, with programs that tap into school and communities using a strength-based approach.

Advanced Placement Biology teacher Tobin Brannon has been encouraged by the level of parent and student interest the concept has generated; “We are so appreciative of the opportunity that CTA and IFT have afforded TVHS Biosustainability.  Their belief and trust in the vision of our students is going to transform the educational experience of every student involved as well as affect positive change on our school campus and in our local community.”

Read the award letter below:

The Institute for Teaching sincerely appreciates the time and energy you spent envisioning and describing your strength-based grant project. We are pleased to inform you that your grant proposal was approved by the IFT Board of Directors on June 15, 2017 for a grant award in the amount of $ 20000 for the 2017-2018 school year.

Your local chapter Temecula Valley Educators Association, will serve as a fiscal agent to receive funds on behalf of your project, BioSustainability.  IFT will be sending a letter to you, your local Association president and treasurer to explain this process. That letter will be accompanied by a check for the full amount of the grant funds requested.

It will be necessary for you to complete a summary report, including a complete financial accounting, by the end of the 2017-2018 school year. IFT also encourages you to begin now to consider how you might be able to record the progress of your grant project. Please consider joining IFT’s social media platform to hook up with other grant recipients. We welcome photos and videos, as well as a link to any local stories that might feature your project. We also look forward to visiting with you next year in person at your school site.

Your proposal was 1 of 132 applications that were submitted by CTA members statewide. That represents the highest number of applications in the eight-year history of the grant program. All proposals were evaluated through the lens of the IFT Strength-Based matrix and each was scored on a 0-3-point scale for each of the seven areas of the matrix.

The Grant Selection committee recommended a total of 49 Educator and Impact grants for next year totaling $583,529. Unfortunately, there were many worthy proposals that were not recommended for funding due to budget constraints.

We will send you some additional information soon, but please don’t hesitate to contact Jackie Hidalgo ( or me at IFT office if you have questions or concerns.

Thank you for your participation in the IFT Grant program and for your willingness to go above and beyond for your students.

Dick Gale

Manager/Program Director

CTA Institute for Teaching