San Diego's Knox Middle School to Enhance Robotics Program With $5,000 Barona Education Grant

SAN DIEGO, CA--(Marketwired - Oct 4, 2016) - Students and teachers at Knox Middle School received a $5,000 Barona Education Grant today from the Barona Band of Mission Indians. The Southeast San Diego Middle School will use the grant to develop an innovative robotics program.

"Knox Middle School encourages students to become more innovative thinkers and is committed to inspiring kids to excel in school," said Clifford LaChappa, Chairman of the Barona Band of Mission Indians. "We're excited that this Barona Education Grant will go toward helping energize the school's robotics program and expose the students to the world of science and engineering."

Barona Tribal Councilwoman Beth Glasco presented the Knox Middle School check to California State Assemblywoman Shirley Weber, who sponsored the grant, Knox Principal Heather Potter and excited students.

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. 

Knox recently converted from an elementary school to a middle school and enrollment has increased every year since the transition with a strong commitment to parental involvement, community participation and college readiness preparation. Knox educators believe a robotics program will develop problem-solving skills within students at a young age and create an excitement for advanced technology, science and computer programming.

"We are grateful to Barona for awarding us with this education grant. It will make such a big impact on our students," said Heather Potter, Knox Middle School Principal. "We believe it will inspire our students to gain a love for robotics that will help them in high school, college and beyond. Now that they have the tools they need to compete with other middle schools locally and across the state, it will expose them to so much and help boost confidence and self-esteem. We are excited to get started."

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

Barona Tribal Councilwoman Beth Glasco, Assemblywoman Shirley Weber and STEM teacher Johnathan Hill