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NASCAR Champ Donates Funds To San Diego Schools


El Cajon’s Jimmie Johnson, named NASCAR driver of the year, gave more than $420,000 to several San Diego County Schools.

— El Cajon’s Jimmie Johnson, named NASCAR driver of the year, gave more than $420,000 to several San Diego County Schools on Thursday.

Johnson still calls San Diego home, even though he lives in North Carolina with his wife Chandra.

The a five-time NASCAR Champion told school officials “It’s been more than a decade since I’ve actually lived in San Diego, but it’s still my home."

His wife Chandra is co-founder of the Jimmie Johnson Foundation talked about their focus on public education.

“We continue to see the huge need in public education,” she said.

Together, the couple presented more than $420,000 dollars in “Champion Grants” to several local schools on Thursday.

Emerald STEM Magnet Middle School, received more than $98,833 to extend its science, technology, engineering and math classes.

Six other schools in San Diego received the following Champion Grants:

• Chase Avenue School (El Cajon) $54,000 to build a running track.

• Grossmont High School (El Cajon) $72,000 to equip a performing arts center.

• Fulton K-8 School (San Diego) $20,319 for a computer lab.

• Marston Middle School (San Diego) $48,227 to upgrade the student woodshop.

• Mission Bay High School (San Diego) $39,871 for the student web design program.

• San Diego Unified School District (San Diego) $87,272 to fund its integrated Learning Experience Project.

This year’s grants bring the Johnson awards to 35 schools in 3 states, including California, with a total of $1.5 million donated in the last two years.

Lowes Charitable Education fund is a Johnson Foundation partner and helped select school sites this year.

The champion racer also hosts local charity events for his foundation, and is clear about where the money goes.

“Every penny we raise in San Diego comes back to San Diego and we match those funds,” Johnson said.

K-12 programs or 501c(3) parent group associations may still apply for a Lowe’s Toolbox for Education grant of up to $5,000 directly at

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