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Turtleback Elementary School Awarded $5,000 Barona Education Grant to Establish a Maker Space to Foster Exploration, Problem Solving and Collaboration

Turtleback Elementary School Awarded $5,000 Barona Education Grant to Establish a Maker Space to Foster Exploration, Problem Solving and CollaborationTurtleback Elementary School Awarded $5,000 Barona Education Grant to Establish a Maker Space to Foster Exploration, Problem Solving and Collaboration Click here for high-resolution version

/ -- SAN DIEGO, CA--(Marketwired - Oct 12, 2016) - Students and teachers at Turtleback Elementary School received a $5,000 Barona Education Grant today from the Barona Band of Mission Indians. The school, part of the Poway Unified School District, will use the grant to establish a Maker Space, or learning area, to provide students an opportunity to explore, create, build, design, problem solve, collaborate and think critically.

"With the creation of this custom learning space, Turtleback Elementary School will be at the forefront of a new trend in education," said Clifford LaChappa, Chairman of the Barona Band of Mission Indians. "Maker Spaces like these are becoming more popular at schools across the country as a creative way to inspire young students to be more engaged in classroom learning. We're excited that this Barona Education Grant will provide the funds needed to purchase the materials to get it up and running."

Barona Tribal Council Vice Chairman Ray Welch and Councilwoman Beth Glasco presented the Turtleback Elementary School check to the grant's sponsor California State Assemblyman Brian Maienschein, Turtleback Principal Ann Auten and students.

"Barona's Education Grant will aid in the development of Turtleback Elementary students by allowing children to discover new strengths and interests," said Assemblymember Brian Maienschein. "The Maker Space program will provide an effective and fun way to support children's academic rigor, growth and creativity."

More than one fifth of Turtleback's students speak English as a second language. Maker Space learning environments are shown to transcend all languages allowing every student a chance to participate, be engaged and successful in the classroom. The space is also accessible and suited to the learning styles of students with Autism, ADD and ADHD.

Turtleback's Maker Space will consist of a Lego wall, Lego starter kits and materials for building the wall, and two classroom kits of Ozobots 2.0, a tiny smart robot, where children create different landscapes of adventure, games and coding. Five Educator Executive Little Bits Premium Kits and a STEAM Maker Station will allow students to learn the basics of electronics, explore STEAM/STEM principles and form the foundations of critical thinking.

"We are thankful to Barona for awarding us with this education grant that will increase engagement for all students," said Principal Ann Auten. "We know that the jobs of the future for our students do not yet exist, so we must allow them opportunities to become great thinkers and explore learning without being told what to learn. The Maker Space is designed to provide an uncommonly rare environment for students to personalize their learning and discover why they need to learn."

Since the Barona Education Grant program was launched in 2006, Barona has awarded over $2.9 million to California schools statewide. The program has equipped 587 schools with hundreds of computers, thousands of books, iPads, computer software programs and various other technologies and school supplies.

The Barona Education Grant program is the first of its kind in California created and administered by a Tribal Government. The goal of the program is to create strong educational opportunities for the children of California building upon the success of the Barona Indian Charter School, which operates under a continuous improvement model. Schools throughout California can apply for educational grants from Barona to purchase much-needed supplies and materials that promote academic improvement. Each grant awarded by the Barona Education Grant Program is $5,000. Applications can be downloaded at

About the Barona Band of Mission Indians
The Barona Band of Mission Indians, recognized by the United States government as a sovereign nation, has lived on the Barona Indian Reservation in rural eastern San Diego County since 1932. Prior to that, the Tribe lived on the Capitan Grande Reservation, which was established by the federal government in 1875. Long before living on a reservation, the Tribe traveled across Southern California in tune with the seasons and what nature provided. Today, the sovereign nation, governed by an elected Tribal Council, is serving its Tribal members, their families, and sharing with the San Diego region. One of the most successful gaming Tribes in the country, Barona also owns and operates the Barona Resort & Casino, San Diego's leading gaming resort, casino and golf course. For more information, visit

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