SAN DIEGO, CA--(Marketwired - Sep 28, 2015) - The Barona Band of Mission Indians began the 2015 school year by awarding a $5,000 Barona Education Grant today to Palmquist Elementary School in Oceanside. The school is a science, technology, engineering, math and environment (STEM-E) project-based learning school catering to students from kindergarten through fifth grade.

Assemblyman Rocky Chavez sponsored the education grant which will be used to purchase 13 Vex IQ Robotic Kits for the fifth grade's STEM-E program. The robotics kits are part of a curriculum that delivers an integrated learning program allowing teachers to engage students in creative and meaningful ways while also meeting today's rigorous academic standards.

"We're pleased to kick off the school year with an education grant for Palmquist Elementary School," said Clifford LaChappa, Chairman of the Barona Band of Mission Indians. "The teachers are doing an impressive job of elevating the academic achievement of their students and encouraging them to be problem solvers, innovators and critical thinkers. We are proud to support this school and hope our grant will inspire the next generation of mathematicians, engineers and technology innovators."

Since 2006, the Barona Band of Mission Indians has awarded over $2.5 million to 494 schools statewide to help bridge school budget gaps and share resources through its Barona Education Grant Program.

The 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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Kelly Jacobs Speer