Teacher Innovations Get Allergan Boost

In a continuing effort to give money directly to teachers, the Allergan Foundation contributed $25,000 this week to the Irvine Public Schools Foundation.

Over the past five years, the foundation of Allergan, an Irvine-based health-care company specializing in pharmaceuticals, has donated more than $100,000 to the school district, said foundation President Tom Burnham, a former Irvine Unified School District board member.

The funds will be used for the Teacher Mini Grants Program, which allows teachers to apply for money to support innovative classroom programs.

Since the program's inception 12 years ago, more than $175,000 has supported programs for more than 100,000 students, spokeswoman Stephanie Kight said.

Officials illustrated one grant-funded program at a ceremony Tuesday at El Camino Real School.

In May, sixth-grade teacher Sheila Tomlin received funds to buy a digital camera, which has amazed her students and taught them how to use it with the classroom computers.

"Sometimes the teachers take money out of their own pockets for these activities," Irvine Public Schools Foundation President Keith Greer said. "The state of California can't provide the extra funding."

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