State Treasurer Announces Winners of 2019 Scholar Dollars Program

4/9, 7:12 PM (Source: GlobeNewswire)

SACRAMENTO, Calif., April 09, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- California State Treasurer Fiona Ma today announced the winners of the third annual Scholar Dollars, a program that awards more than $300,000 to K-8 schools to pay for extracurricular and afterschool programs that are vital to a well-rounded education. Scholar Dollars is sponsored by ScholarShare 529, the official college savings plan of California.

California State Treasurer announces winners of the 2019 Scholar Dollars Program.
The 2019 Scholar Dollars awards will provide over $300,000 to fund afterschool and extracurricular activities vital to student achievement.

Afterschool enrichment programs like music, art, theater, sports, and computer science are critical to student achievement. But over the years, many California schools have been forced to reduce or cancel many of their extracurricular programs due to budget constraints. The Scholar Dollars program is dedicated to helping schools fill that funding gap so that all California students are well-positioned to achieve great things.

“Scholar Dollars funds afterschool programs that engage, captivate, and inspire students and create college-going cultures on California school campuses—both in and outside the classroom,” said Treasurer Ma. “By participating, families are encouraged to pursue higher education and start saving for their future. I am pleased to help students get on a path towards college.”

A total of 377 schools up and down the state participated in the program and mobilized their communities to vote. All told, over 285,000 votes were cast for a chance to win one of the 20 available awards. 

Winning schools will spend their awards in a variety of innovative ways:

  • Mabel L. Pendleton Elementary in Buena Park received $10,000 to create a makerspace: a collaborative workplace on campus for students to make, learn, and explore by using physical and virtual tools and by sharing ideas.
  • Condor Elementary in Twentynine Palms is putting its $15,000 award toward a running track so it can offer more afterschool sports.
  • Brightwood Elementary in Monterey Park will utilize its $25,000 award to expand the use of technology in all curricular areas and prepare students for their future in an increasingly digital world.
  • Robert A. Millikan Affiliated Charter & Performing Arts Magnet Middle in Sherman Oaks was awarded $30,000 to upgrade their computer lab and purchase additional technology devices for students.
  • Jamul Primary School in Jamul received $5,000 to start a music and art program.

Fifteen other California K-8 public and charter schools will receive awards ranging from $5,000 to $30,000, depending on school size. Some awards will fund the purchase of materials like Chromebooks, library books, and bulletin boards. Others will support enrichment programs like music education and art classes.

West Heritage Elementary School in Fontana will use its $20,000 award to provide extended learning opportunities beyond the school day, with the funds allocated toward math training. “At West Heritage, we are seeing strong growth in the area of mathematics and look to continue to improve our instructional practices and resources for our students,” said West Heritage Principal Benjamin Lautenslager.

Another award recipient, Don Bonito Fundamental in Pasadena, will use its $15,000 award to purchase projectors and cameras for the classroom. “As technology and learning merge, our goal is to provide these resources for both instruction and learning important life skills,” said Don Bonito principal Paula Chamberlain. “Scholar Dollars is helping to enrich and prepare our students with the foundation skills required for future success.”

Scholar Dollars is open to K-8 public and charter schools in California. ScholarShare 529, which sponsors Scholar Dollars, offers families a diverse set of tools to help pay for higher education, including a wide array of investment options, tax-deferred growth and withdrawals that are free from state and federal taxes when used for qualified higher education expenses. Studies show that kids with a savings account in their name are seven times more likely to attend and graduate college.

To learn more about the program and to see a full list of winners, visit

ScholarShare 529 is administered by the ScholarShare Investment Board, which is chaired by California State Treasurer Fiona Ma. TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing, Inc. Program Manager. To learn more about the ScholarShare 529 2019 Scholar Dollars Program, visit

2019 Scholar Dollars Award Winners
School NameAward AmountCityPrincipal
Cesar Chavez Language Academy$5,000Santa RosaRebekah Rocha
Jamul Primary$5,000JamulYesenia Robinson
Learning in an Urban Community with High Achievement (L.U.C.H.A.)$5,000San JoseKristin Burt
Paso Verde$5,000SacramentoTonja Jarrell
Casillas (Joseph) Elementary$10,000Chula VistaChris Vickers
Cleveland Elementary$10,000OaklandPeter Van Tassel
Mabel L. Pendleton Elementary$10,000Buena ParkShin Park
Sandra J. Gallardo Elementary$10,000FolsomPatricia Graham
Colfax Charter Elementary$15,000North HollywoodRobyn Friedman
Condor Elementary$15,000Twentynine PalmsSara Soto
Don Benito Fundamental$15,000PasadenaPaula Chamberlain
Placer Elementary$15,000LoomisAmy Nash
Juliet Morris Elementary$20,000CypressHelen Lu
Junction Elementary$20,000RosevilleSusan Fridly
Repetto Elementary$20,000Monterey ParkCarin Gasca
West Heritage Elementary$20,000FontanaBenjamin Lautenslager
Brightwood Elementary$25,000Monterey ParkNatalie Tee-Gaither
Ethel Dwyer Middle$25,000Huntington BeachChrista Glembocki
Patton Elementary$25,000Garden GroveJennifer Carter
Robert A. Millikan Affiliated Charter & Performing Arts Magnet Middle$30,000Sherman OaksFelicia Drew


A photo accompanying this announcement is available at


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