A view of the SDG&E building. File photo

Through a partnership with the DonorsChoose crowdfunding platform, San Diego Gas & Electric has set aside $250,000 in shareholder funding to match donations that help support local teachers with distance learning and with STEM — science, technology, engineering and math — projects.

“Teachers are on the front line of making sure that our children continue to learn despite the enormous challenges of COVID-19,” said Caroline Winn, SDG&E’s CEO. “They are the champions of our new virtual and socially distanced classrooms, and SDG&E is proud to support them with the resources and materials that they need to prepare our children to be the scientists, engineers and innovators of the future.”

This is the third year of SDG&E’s partnership with DonorsChoose to support teachers in the San Diego region. In the first two years, the partnership provided $414,159 in matching funds to teachers for STEM projects. In 2019, the program supported 628 teachers and 92,354 students — almost a fifth of all San Diego County students — at 322 schools in 33 of the San Diego region’s 42 school districts, according to the utility.

This year, SDG&E has expanded the program to support teachers with new needs caused by the coronavirus pandemic, such as supplies that can no longer be shared among students and equipment needed to enhance distance learning.

“With the COVID-19 pandemic, teachers across San Diego County have had to get creative to connect and engage with students at home and cultivate their interest in learning,” said San Diego County Superintendent of Schools Paul Gothold. “The support of individual donors and SDG&E will make a big impact this year, especially in creating greater equity for students who may not have the same access to resources and supplies while at home.”

Teacher STEM and distance learning projects of $1,000 or less at schools within the utility’s service territory in San Diego and southern Orange counties are eligible to receive matching funds from SDG&E on the DonorsChoose platform. It will provide a double match for eligible teacher projects at schools in disadvantaged communities as determined by CalEnviroScreen.

Last year, 67% of the 322 schools in 33 school districts receiving funding from SDG&E were in disadvantaged communities.

–City News Service

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