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Sonoma County Gazette
Melanie Dodson Bolin & Lisa Wittke Schaffner
Melanie Dodson Bolin of the Community Child Care Council of Sonoma County with Lisa Wittke Schaffner executive director the JJF at the visit to Wright Start Preschool 2017. Photo:

The John Jordan Foundation
Announces The Teacher’s Wishes Grants


Nov 18, 2019


By Lisa Wittke Schaffner

With tighter budgets for public education, teachers in Sonoma County increasingly find themselves taking money from their own pockets for basic supplies, special projects and even books for their classrooms.

Since 2012, the John Jordan Foundation (JJF) has sought to bridge some of these gaps with the Teacher’s Wishes initiative. The goal is simple: To make request for teachers come true. Every September, teachers can submit applications to receive funding for one wish. In the eighth year, the Foundation is excited to invest in 115 schools.

The Teacher’s Wishes program set a new record in 2019 with grants touching over 12,000 students. The foundation received 239 applications and funded 118 grants. The teachers not funded received a $20.00 gift card from Office Depot. Since 2012, JJF has fulfilled over 900 grants.

According to   Lisa Wittke Schaffner, Executive Director of the foundation,   the breadth and depth of the application pool was a reminder that teachers are committed to doing their best. “Each year, Teacher’s Wishes reminds me of the creativity and desire of educators to provide an interactive and interesting environment for their students,” she said, “but since the 2017 fires we have seen an increase in requests for alternative kinds of seating like wobble balls and funds for quiet corners. A place for young people take deep breaths, read or practice relaxation.”

A handful of applications were particularly inspiring. Like the applications from Roseland for an Airplane Club to explore aviation careers and graphing calculators for the physics sections. Mark West requested lab coats so elementary students felt like real scientists. Sometimes it is funds for a basic need like the sink at Lawrence Jones Middle School. Expanding the classroom options to include outdoor areas is another frequent request such as purchasing an outdoor easel at Cinnabar and building a sensory garden at Gravenstein Elementary.

This grant program allows teachers to purchase project supplies, provide transportation for field trips or other needed classroom aids to get the kids excited about learning,” Wittke Schaffner said.

Schools who received investments are:

4Cs Bennett Valley Child Development Center

4CS Flowery State Preschool

4Cs Wright Start Preschool 

Abraham Lincoln Elementary

Adele Harrison Middle School

Albert F. Biella 

Altimira Middle School

Amarosa Academy

Analy High School

Bellevue Elementary School

Binkley Elementary School

Brook Haven Middle School

Brook Hill Elementary

Brooks Elementary

Brush Creek Nursery School

Cali Calmécac Language Academy

Cardinal Newman High School

Casa Grande

Children's Center at Santa Rosa Junior College

Cinnabar Charter School

Cinnabar Charter School

Cinnabar Elementary School


El Colegio Preschool 

El Molino High School

Elsie Allen High School

Fitch Mountain Campus

Geyserville New Tech Academy

Grant Elementary

Gravenstein Union Elementary

Guerneville School

Healdsburg Community Nursery School Inc.

Healdsburg High School

Helen Lehman

Herbert Slater Middle School

Hidden Valley

Hilliard Comstock Middle School

Horicon Elementary 

J.X. Wilson Elementary School

James Monroe School

Jefferson Elementary School

John B. Riebli Elementary School 

Journey Academy

Journey Academy 

Kashia School

Kenwood School

Laguna High School

Lattice Educational Achievement Preschool

Lawrence Cook Middle School

Lawrence E. Jones Middle School 

Liberty School

Liberty School

Live Oak Preschool

Loma Vista Dual Immersion Academy

Loma Vista Immersion Academy

Maria Carrillo High School

Mark West Elementary School

Mark West Elementary School

Martinez Head Start

Mattie Washburn

Mattie Washburn Elementary

McDowell Elementary

McKinley Elementary

McKinley School

McNear Elementary

Meadow School

Meadow View Elementary School

Miwok Valley Elementary School

Monte Vista Elementary School

Montgomery High School

Multicultural Child Development Center

Old Adobe Charter

Old Adobe Elementary Charter School 

Olivet Elementary

park side elementary

Paulin Creek Child Development Center

Penngrove Elementary 

Petaluma Accelerated Charter School at McKinley 

Petaluma High School

Pivot Charter School - North Bay

Plumfield Academy

Prestwood School

Proctor Terrace Elementary

Rancho Cotate High School

Ridgway High

Riebli Elementary 

Rincon Valley Charter School, Sequoia

Robert L. Stevens School

Roseland Accelerated Middle School (RAMS)

Roseland Collegiate Prep

Roseland University Prep

San Antonio High School

San Miguel Charter Elementary

Santa Rosa French American Charter School

Santa Rosa High School

Santa Rosa Middle School

Sassarini Preschool

Sonoma Mountain

Sonoma Mountain Elementary Charter School

Spring Creek Matanzas Charter School

Spring Creek-Matanzas Elementary School - Spring Creek Campus

St. Eugene's Cathedral School

St. Eugene's Preschool

St. Vincent de Paul Elementary School

Steele Lane Elementary

Taylor Mountain Elementary

Technology High School

The Healdsburg School

Twin Hills Middle School

Two Rock Union Elementary

West Side School

Whited Elementary School 

Willowside Middle School 

Windsor High School

Windsor Oaks Academy

Woodland Star Charter School

Wright Charter School

Yulupa School


For more information or questions, email or call 

Lisa Wittke Schaffner, Executive Director

(707) 484-7805

About John Jordan Foundation 

Founded in 2012, the John Jordan Foundation (JJF) was created to provide under-resourced children and families with the tools needed to succeed educationally and professionally, from cradle to career. JJF has helped thousands of families through education, after-school enrichment and health programs. To date, the foundation has supported more than 220 partner organizations, more than 1,000 teachers have received grants for their classrooms and schools in every part of Sonoma County have been served.



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