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Pasadena Educational Foundation works to build excellence in the public schools of Pasadena, Altadena and Sierra Madre through operating and supporting enriching and creative educational opportunities.

Stories from our Programs

Butterfly Wings, Mouse Paint, and Grammarosaurus

Image : Butterfly Wings, Mouse Paint, and Grammarosaurus

PEF Teacher Grants in Action! All three of these great activities were made possible by PEF Teacher Grants. Thank you to all who support PEF and make it possible for us to help bring these innovative projects into our PUSD classrooms. More here >>

2nd Grade Art Walk

Image : 2nd Grade Art Walk

Did you know that every Pasadena Unified School District 2nd grader takes a public art walking tour with PEF's My Masterpieces program? Ms. Totaro's 2nd grade class from McKinley School had an exciting day this April getting inspired in our community on a public art tour around Pasadena City Hall. MORE >>



Summer Enrichment Program

PEF has facilitated a Summer Program for local K-8 students since 2003. More than 60 different classes including drama, art, math, creative writing, chess, and foreign language are offered.  High School students can volunteer as scholar mentors to younger children and earn community service hours!

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My Masterpieces

My Masterpieces: Discovering Art in My Community is an award-winning arts integrated curriculum that connects Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD) students with the cultural resources of their community.  Teachers and arts organization staff partnered to create this unique program. 

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Pasadena Unified Principal for a Day

Principal for a Day is a nationwide program that helps build stronger relationships among schools, businesses, and the wider community. Business and community leaders have an opportunity to shadow a principal on a PUSD campus and discover the challenges and opportunities involved in running a public school.

Find out more >>

Teacher Grant Program

The PEF Teacher Grant program provides teachers the opportunity to apply for grants that provide students with important tools and learning experiences.  This program is a vital resource for students, teachers and principals and funds equipment and instructional materials that enhance curriculum and increase student achievement. 

PUSD•3D Imagine it…print it!

3D Printers in Pasadena Unified Schools


The Pasadena Educational Foundation is helping to create a new model for teaching innovation in PUSD schools with the introduction of 3D printing technology. Thanks to the support of a generous donor, incorporating 3D printers in the schools will give the students the opportunity to get their hands on next-gen technology so they can utilize their creativity and collaboration skills to help them be prepared for the jobs of tomorrow.

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PEF has partnered with the PUSD to create a Robotics education program.  Within the course, students learn how to build and program Robotic systems that incorporate sensors and motors to accomplish a variety of complex tasks. By engaging in exciting hands on applications, students practice and reinforce key concepts in engineering, computer programming, and mathematics, all while strengthening problem solving skills.  The program culminates in an exciting Robotics Competition.

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App Academy at Pasadena High School

The App Academy at Pasadena High School is an innovative four-year high school program where students learn computer science through mobile, web and game development. Students also benefit from field trips, internships, individual college and career counseling, and a high-tech 21st century learning environment.  The App Academy is an academically rigorous, 9th to 12th grade high school curriculum fulfilling UC/CSU a-g requirements and teaching 21st Century Skills. A partnership between Pasadena Unified School District, Pasadena High School and the Pasadena Educational Foundation, the App Academy is one of several College & Career Pathways in PUSD.

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College and Career Preparation

The College Fair and Career Pathways Showcase will feature representatives from approximately 100 colleges, universities and technical schools.  Financial aid and National Collegiate Athletic Association information will also be available.  Additionally, community business partners who collaborate with high school Pathways will be on hand to highlight projects Pasadena Unified School District students have accomplished in career academies.

The Pasadena Unified School District has implemented a system of College and Career Pathways, comprehensive programs of high school study that connect learning in the classroom with real world applications. 

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Muir Ranch

In 2011, a dedicated team of volunteer teachers and students began converting 1.5 acres of the John Muir High School campus into an urban farm. Today, that farm is “Muir Ranch,” a thriving non-profit business that provides weekly organic produce boxes to consumers around the greater Pasadena area. Students can enroll in classes at Muir Ranch to earn community service and internship credit while growing fruits, vegetables and a variety of flowers. The goods sold on the farm are also incorporated into school cafeteria lunches.

Find out more >>

Past Stories:

What does a Kindergarten student do in the My Masterpieces Program?

Image : What does a Kindergarten student do in the My Masterpieces Program?

The PEF award-winning program My Masterpieces is offered to all PUSD students K-6 starts with a field trip to Kidspace Children’s Museum for Kinder students. They are met by an educator that tours them around the gardens and provides educational activities. More here >>

Classroom Maps

Image : Classroom Maps

During the course of the school year, students study civilizations throughout the world, and therefore need to view historical maps that reflect the location as well as the time period of study.  As part of the seventh grade History-Social Science Content Standards for California, students are required to study both the history and the geography of the civilizations that developed throughout the Middle Ages. More here >>

App Academy Students Win at Hackathon

Image : App Academy Students Win at Hackathon

During a two-day marathon programming session, the team of four App Academy freshmen developed the mobile app to help local residents as part of the inaugural Hack for Pasadena competition on March 15-16, sponsored by Innovate Pasadena.  Their app won the prize for “Most Accessible Implementation of Technology to Reach and Engage the Community," including a $1,750 check and a meeting with a Silicon Beach venture capital firm to pitch their app for additional funding.  Read more >>

Raiders of the Lost Can

Image : Raiders of the Lost Can

On Tuesday, March 11, 2014, over two hundred Pasadena Unified middle school robotics students were invited to Caltech to take a lab tour, hear a lecture on neuroscience, and learn about the relationship between neuroscience and programming robotics. Read More >>

A Thief in the Park

Image : A Thief in the Park

Imagine a time without Netflix or live movie streaming; a time when you had to run over to the neighbor’s house to ask if they wanted to play instead of sending an instant text message. Take a trip back to the early 1900’s by watching these silent films our PUSD’s 4th and 5th graders made. Read more >>

Rockets, Math, Art, and More!



As we wrapped up our 2013-2014 school our PEF Teacher Grant Awardees sent us some fabulous updates from the school year.  We had pictures, stories, audio files, and video coming in from all over the district.Take a look at just a few examples of our fantastic teacher grants. See our Teacher Grants in Action >>


PEF raises funds and awareness to help support PUSD schools. PEF provides grant writing services to help and fund programs such as these recently awarded government grants. PEF also assists PUSD in raising funds to enhance and sustain its core programs.


Realtors Join with PEF and PUSD to Promote Summer Reading

Local realtors have joined with the PEF and PUSD to donate more than 1,700 books to promote reading this summer. Every PUSD second grader received a book to read this summer. The book donation partners with the Pasadena Public Library’s 2017 Summer Reading program for kids, teens, and...

PUSD All-District Music Festival

Image : PUSD All-District Music Festival
“Whether you are a performer or in the audience, music has an immense power to engage and enliven your world. Every year I attend PUSD’s All District Music Festival I am awed by the talents and creativity of our students and teachers. Music in our schools is a vital and essential...

No Boundaries 2017

Image : No Boundaries 2017
Join us for the Pasadena Unified School District's 12th Annual Student Art Exhibit No Boundaries March 10-19, 2017 M-F 3:00-6:00PM Sat and Sun 1:00-4:00PM   No Boundaries showcases the talent and creativity of our schools students and teachers with over 500-800 pieces...

Did you know?

Image : Did you know?
More than 15,000 PUSD 3rd graders have learned to swim at the Rose Bowl Acquatic Center with support from PEF? Every year the Rose Bowl Aquatic Center provides hundreds of third-grade students with swim, dive and water polo lessons. Most of the students are at-risk and have no previous...