SAN DIEGO, CA--(Marketwired - Dec 17, 2015) - The Barona Band of Mission Indians continues to give to schools statewide by recently awarding a $5,000 Barona Education Grant to Excelsior Academy in the Allied Gardens area. The school's mission is to make a difference in the lives of children with learning disabilities by building confidence and character in a supportive learning environment.

The grant, which was sponsored by Assemblywoman Shirley Weber, will be used to purchase a desktop computer and a number of items to assist occupational therapy instructors in teaching fine motor skills to their students. The tools, which will include scissors, putty and handwriting licenses for occupational therapy students, will help students develop better hand-eye coordination by completing smaller movements.

"A quality education for all has always been one of the top priorities for the Barona Tribe, which is why it is with great pleasure that we award Excelsior Academy with this education grant today," said Clifford LaChappa, Chairman of the Barona Band of Mission Indians. "The teaching staff will be able to better instruct their students using the materials they need to succeed, which is what the Barona Education Grant is all about."

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

Contact Information:

Sheilla Alvarez

Kelly Jacobs Speer