With the goal of raising thousands of dollars to support and improve innovative programs, the Ventura Unified School District Educational Foundation has launched its 1993-94 "We Give Back to School" campaign.
Through the program, businesses and private individuals can make donations that the foundation will present to innovative teachers early next year in the form of $500 mini-grants.
"It's really one of the most effective ways of getting dollars directly to teachers," said Virginia Mendoza O'Neil, a foundation board member and chairwoman of the campaign. "And really creative teachers, too, the ones who are doing something special for our kids."
Last year, 23 mini-grants were awarded, O'Neil said. Teachers have used the money to purchase computer supplies, software and other classroom educational tools.
The fund-raiser will run through February, when teachers' individual applications will be judged and the funds awarded, O'Neil said. For more information or to make a donation, call O'Neil at (805) 652-0887.
Sponsors who have already committed to this year's campaign are Pacific Bell, Chase Brothers, Don L. Carlton Realtors, Bank of A. Levy, Barber Ford and Cabrillo Pharmacy.