In the 25 years since the nonprofit PIQE (Parent Institute for Quality Education) was founded, more than 550,000 low-income parents throughout California have used their programs to better engage the school systems so their kids can have a better chance at post-secondary educations.

And their work would not be possible without the financial support of companies like Edison International.

“Edison has been a critical partner in providing us the private funding so we can continue to expand our program,” said David Valladolid, PIQE president and CEO. “We have now served over 550,000 parents in California from 16 different language communities.”

PIQE’s parent education and engagement courses run about $200 to $300 for each parent. Half of the money is funded by the local schools and the other half is paid through private funds such as grants received from Edison International. And with 11 regional offices in California serving three counties, PIQE has now also expanded into nine other states.

This year, Edison is once again encouraging nonprofits to apply for grants up to $5,000 and applications can be filled out online. Grant Day workshops are being held in various cities throughout the year and the most recent workshop in Camarillo had 59 people in attendance. The next workshop will be in Santa Ana on Sept. 19.

Last year, Edison International funded more than $19 million to thousands of nonprofits whose work is making a difference in the categories of education, public safety/preparedness, environment and civic engagement.

“We realize it’s because nonprofits work tirelessly to provide programs and services that the needs of underserved communities are being addressed,” said Tammy Tumbling, director of Philanthropy & Community Investment. “We feel fortunate that we can help with that impact and encourage nonprofits in our service territory to learn about and apply for a grant that is aligned with one or more of our four giving priorities.”

The Assistance League of Covina Valley, a nonprofit that supports the progress of low income students, recently received a $5,000 grant from Edison and the nonprofit used the money so seven kids could receive a full-year of tutoring through their “Study Island” web-based program.

“We try to get them enthusiastic about school — we work towards improved school attendance, as well as improving their attitude towards school and their performance,” said Anna Phipps, who notes that the Assistance League of Covina Valley's Learning Center helps educate students with an emphasis on literacy in math, science and language arts.

Edison International’s support of charitable causes is funded entirely by Edison International shareholders and is not charged to customers of its utility, Southern California Edison (SCE).

The current Edison grant cycle is open and will close on July 31. For more information: www.edison.com/community or email edison.gifts@SCE.com.