"All Aboard the Bus" Mission Field Trip

"All-Aboard-the-Bus" Mission Field Trip Registration and Grant Application Program

The California Missions Foundation (CMF) with grants from the William H. Hannon Foundation, the Monterey Peninsula Foundation's Youth Fund, The Marjorie and Edward Illig Family Foundation, the Upjohn California Fund, Montecito Bank & Trust, and individual donors are pleased to provide funding for Title 1 elementary schools to take 4th grade students to their local mission in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, Monterey, Santa Barbara, San Diego Counties and beyond to see first-hand the rich history of our state.


Title 1 elementary school 4th grade classes in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, Monterey, Santa Barbara and San Diego Counties are eligible to apply as well as a few schools outside these areas. The grant covers 100% of the cost of transportation (up to $1,000.00) for students, teachers, and chaperones. CMF will issue the cost of the bus directly to the school or transportation company.

Schools in Los Angeles, Riverside, and San Bernardino County may choose between Mission San Gabriel and Mission San Fernando. Monterey County schools may visit Mission Carmel, Mission Soledad, Mission San Juan Bautista or Mission San Antonio de Padua. Schools in Santa Barbara County may visit Mission Santa Barbara, Mission Santa Ines, Mission La Purisima, Mission San Buenaventura or El Presidio de Santa Barbara. Schools in San Diego County may visit Mission San Diego or Mission San Luis Rey. Other counties may apply to schools within in their county.

The school is responsible for contacting the mission or related site as well as the bus transportation company to arrange the date and time of the field trip; and for covering the cost of admission to the mission. To ensure funding is in hand, field trips should be planned between January - May.


Applications for the CMF "All-Aboard-the-Bus" School Field Trip Grant will be accepted in the Fall (September 1 - December 1) for Spring field trips. Only one online application per school is accepted for all 4th grade classes at the school. Completed online applications, including a written quote from the bus transportation company, must be submitted with your application.


Each school is required to submit a REPORT to schools@californiamissionsfoundation.org after their field trip with quotes from students and teachers about their experience and PICTURES of the students on the trip with PHOTO PERMISSION FORM, bus INVOICE and CHECK REQUEST FORM. The ultimate deadline to submit your grant report, pictures, permission form, invoice and check request for reimbursement after your field trip is June 1.

Each AATB Report must include:

  • A brief summary (no more than one page in Word doc) outlining the date of your visit, highlights of your visit, and should include 1) the name and address of your school, 2) your school county 3) the date of your field trip 4) “quotes” from teachers and students regarding their experience.
  • Photo Permission Form for student pictures to be used in the CMF Newsletter, website and promotional materials.
  • INVOICE from the Bus Company.
  • CHECK REQUEST FORM requesting that CMF make payment to reimburse the school or pay the bus company directly.


The California Missions Foundation will award grant letters in December. Award letters must be signed and returned to CMF before the field trip. The Foundation will release grant checks after the field trip when we have received 1) Signed Agreement 2) Report with photos 3) Photo Permission Form 4) Check Request Form and 5) Invoice from the bus company. Failure to provide your Signed Agreement, Report, Pictures, Photo Permission Form, Check Request and Bus Invoice may result in the award not being received.


CMF Embarks on Its 19th Year of Sending 4th Graders on Important Field Trips to Their Local Missions

For the 19th consecutive year, the California Missions Foundation is sending fourth grade students on field trips to their local mission through its annual "All-Aboard-the-Bus" Field Trip Grant Program. Currently, CMF is working with virtual classroom experiences and offering those to students throughout the state as stay-home schooling continues.

Read all about it here