The Carlston Family Foundation was founded in 1987 by the founders of Broderbund Software, an educational software company located in San Rafael, California.

From 1987 to 1998 the mission of The Foundation was to support the volunteer efforts of Broderbund employees by making grants to social service and environmental non-profit organizations at which the employees worked as volunteers. Since its inception, The Foundation has made hundreds of grants, totaling approximately $2,000,000, to support such organizations. When Broderbund was sold in 1998, the Foundation became independent. 

Currently, the mission of the Carlston Family Foundation is to recognize and reward outstanding teachers in California public high schools, a continuation of the the focus at Broderbund Software on all matters educations. 

Where does the money go?

The Carlston Foundation recognizes and rewards outstanding teachers in California public high schools having awarded over 1 million dollars in personal awards to outstanding teachers and over $350,000 in grants to individual schools

To be considered for  the Carlston Family Foundation’s Outstanding Teachers of America Award, teachers MUST be nominated by former students who are either currently enrolled in, or who have graduated from, four year colleges or universities. Nominating students believe their former teachers have had a life-changing impact on their lives, both academically and personally. 

The following are quotes from a few of the nominations of Carlston Honorees:  

Ms. Page was the first teacher ever who believe in me and convinced me I could go to college. She was the first teacher who convinced me I was smart enough to compete in higher education. Without her, I would never have gone to college.
— Tameika, San Diego, CA
When I met Ms. Lawson, my life began to change. I felt an instant connection with her. She inspired in me a desire to work harder than I ever had. She pushed me beyond what I thought were my limits. She believed in my abilities and, for the first time in my life, I believed in myself.
— Boldero, Lodi, CA
I never dared to dream about college until I met Mr. Valdivia. He inspired me and gave me the strength to find a way out of my abusive family life. I took a leap that ultimately made all the difference in my life. I went to UCSD and was successful and now I am an editor in New York City. Instead of a hurt, damaged and insecure girl, I am a confident, successful career woman with a bright future.
— Kyla, Redding, CA
Mr. Fisher is the only reason I decided to even think about pursuing a college education. Since my 9th grade year, he continuously motivated me to do well in school. He pushed me to always do my best. He kept telling me that in the long run college will be the key to a better life and future for me. As the years progressed, I began to value school more and more and clearly saw the importance of going to college. Mr. Fisher challenged me mentally and academically.
— Gabrielle, Long Beach, CA

These remarks are typical of the comments of  former students about Carlston Honorees.  The Foundation applauds these teachers for their persistence and dedication to making the educational process work for their students and for providing students with the academic and personal skills necessary to compete and be successful in higher education and that will form the foundation required to propel them toward reaching goals they had not dreamed of before.

We encourage former California public high school students to consider nominating and honoring former high school teachers who positively impacted and change the trajectory of their lives.