SOURCE: Barona Band of Mission Indians

September 10, 2009 17:23 ET

El Cajon Middle School Celebrates Back to School With Grant From Barona Tribe

State Treasurer Bill Lockyer Lauds Program for Helping Schools Throughout the State

SAN DIEGO, CA--(Marketwire - September 10, 2009) - Staff and students of Montgomery Middle School located in El Cajon, Calif. accepted a welcome "back to school" gift in the form of a $5,000 grant from the Barona Band of Mission Indians. The school was selected as a recipient based on an application process and endorsement by California State Treasurer Bill Lockyer.

As schools across the state continue to grapple with the reality of budget cuts, the Barona Band of Mission Indians has been sharing resources through its Barona Education Grant Program. Since 2006, Barona has awarded more than $800,000 to over 160 schools statewide.

"With so many budget cuts in education, we are proud to help schools in our own backyard, such as the Montgomery Middle School, and across California," said Edwin "Thorpe" Romero, Chairman of the Barona Band of Mission Indians. "Every additional dollar counts these days. It is our Tribe's tradition to share our resources and we've seen first hand how effectively and efficiently the money is put to use."

Montgomery Middle School will use the grant money to purchase books for all reading levels for its library media center.

"As a former educator, I appreciate the opportunity the Barona Band of Mission Indians' Education Grant Program gives to deserving schools throughout California," said State Treasurer Bill Lockyer. "I'm pleased Montgomery Middle School received this award because they will put the money to good use buying library books and reading materials. The supplies will help lay the academic foundation needed to assist the diverse student population prepare for high school and beyond."

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

The Barona Band of Mission Indians has lived in Southern California for over 5,000 years and the Barona Indian Reservation since 1932. The Tribe was once a semi-nomadic band that traveled across Southern California in tune with the seasons and what nature provided. It is now a sovereign government operating Barona Resort & Casino, San Diego's premier luxury resort and casino.

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    Kelly Jacobs Speer