Shaw Fund Grant Launches California History and Archaeology Education Program in the Presidio of San Francisco

July 25, 2006 (PRLEAP.COM) Education News
SAN FRANCISCO, CA — July 24, 2006 — The Shaw Fund announces a $107,000 grant to the Presidio Trust to support the launch of the Presidio Archaeology Education Program, a unique hands-on program to educate students from San Francisco schools about the military, colonial and pre-colonial history of California.

Set in the Presidio of San Francisco, the aim of the program is to engage students in the rich history, archeology and natural heritage that this San Francisco treasure has to offer. The program will have a particular focus on reaching students in the fourth grade, when they typically study California history. “The Presidio archaeology program captured our imaginations,” said Alec Shaw, a principal of the Shaw Fund. “There is so much history here – right in San Francisco’s back yard. This program is an excellent way for young students to participate directly in the adventure of archaeological excavation, and in the process discover California history first hand.”

Presidio Trust archaeologists have been working to uncover the foundations of the original Spanish El Presidio, one of the two oldest buildings in San Francisco. “The Presidio offers an unparalleled archaeological resource for students to learn about the history of San Francisco and the West. We appreciate the Shaw’s generosity, which will enable us to develop a rich educational program for young people,” said Craig Middleton, Presidio Trust executive director.

Trust archeologists are collaborating with researchers and k-12 experts from the University of California at Berkeley (UC Berkeley) to design and direct the program. This partnership between the Presidio Trust, the Shaw Fund, and UC Berkeley ensures that the Archaeology Education Program has a sustainable future.” The generous grant from the Shaw Fund served as the catalyst for the University to match the grant in kind with teaching and administrative resources,” said Michael Ashley, the coordinator for the UC Berkeley program

The Presidio reflects more than 200 years of military history under three flags. From March 28, 1776, when Spain’s Lieutenant Colonel Juan Bautista de Anza erected a cross on the Punta del Cantil Blanco on the Golden Gate, until October 1, 1994 when the Sixth U.S. Army left and the Presidio became a national park, the Presidio of San Francisco was a military post with local, regional, continental and global connections. Before the arrival of Europeans in 1769, the indigenous Ohlone people seasonally occupied villages in what is now the San Francisco peninsula and gathered shellfish along the Presidio’s bay shore. With 780 contributing features, the Presidio has been a national historic landmark since 1962, and is one of the largest historic preservation projects now underway in the nation. For more information on the Presidio or the Presidio Trust, please visit:

In collaboration with educational, nonprofit and governmental organizations, the Shaw Fund supports hands-on education for k-12 students in the San Francisco. The Fund provides early stage funding, business development and programming support, with the aim of catalyzing the participation of other funders and strategic partners to create long-term sustainable programs. For more information, contact Alex Gault at (415) 987-1002 or

The University of California at Berkeley has been a long standing partner with the Presidio in key research, public outreach and educational programs. The current project team is coordinated by the Office of the Chief Information Officer, in cooperation with the Archaeological Research Facility, the Department of Anthropology, the Interactive University Project and the Multimedia Authoring Center for Teaching in Anthropology (MACTiA). For more information, contact Michael Ashley at (510) 501-8981 or