September 2018: How can we thank you? In 20,000 ways

Napa Valley Vintners Grant $500,000 to NapaLearns to support children’s education initiatives

Peg Maddocks, Ph.D, Executive Director
Published on September 26, 2018

Thank You Auction Napa Valley and Napa Community Foundation

Recently we received two generous grants: $500,000 from Auction Napa Valley and $7,500 from the Napa Valley Community Foundation (NVCF). We are so grateful for these gifts and the recognition of our work! 

Where does the money go?

I’m often asked about what we do with the funding that we receive. The high level answer is that since its founding in 2010, NapaLearns has invested more than $8.5 million into innovative teaching and learning programs across Napa Valley. And this year we are adding a new Career Readiness initiative to our portfolio, while continuing to support Accelerate Math, C-STEM Robotics, Rigorous PBL, and teacher professional development programs. 

When you look deeper, however, you will see that we sponsor long-term, strategic initiatives designed to improve an entire school through systemic changes, and then replicate these enhancements across the entire district. We do not subsidize one-off activities.  

Using the Silicon Valley model

We emulate the successful strategies of Silicon Valley venture capitalists: We fund the start-up, help guide the effort and measure the results, but ultimately it has to be the districts that carry on the programs so they are sustained and scaled. This is systemic change.

One point to emphasize: Integral change only happens with the commitment of teachers. So looking at how we allocate our funds by program provides one answer. The other way to cut the pie is to look where the dollars are spent. More than 70% of our investments are made in professional development so that educators can implement the programs we advance. 

Investing in our collective future

Today’s workforce has changed. Two-thirds of the jobs that the 20,000 students in Napa Valley will apply to will require some form of degree or certification. In the end, our future depends on an educated workforce: One that can sustain our economy, our livelihoods, and our democracy. 

We appreciate Auction Napa Valley and NVCF for their durable support and commitment to education. We also appreciate our other significant donors including Trinchero Family Estates, the McMinn Foundation, the Jones Family Foundation, the Ruth E. Schuler Foundation, and the Prospect Creek Foundation. 

Join the team

Recently a donor has offered a challenge grant to support our math and STEM initiatives. They will match up to $50,000 that other donors contribute. It’s easy. Click here to donate now. 

Please join us in preparing the next generation of Napa Valley innovators. 

Peg Maddocks, Ph.D.
Executive Director