Fund for Teachers invites PreK-12 educators to design learning adventures wherever their imaginations can take them, which is the same thing author Mary Pope Osborne does for young readers through her Magic Tree House series. These award-winning books transport main characters Jack and Annie on quests that pursue people and topics they previously only read about.
This summer, librarian Riley Grant (Pelzer, SC) is writing her own learning adventure and is bringing Jack and Annie along. We caught up with her (and Jack and Annie) as she’s investigating European settings found in the book series to produce springboard book trailers and book talks for project-based learning that helps students identify ways to explore and improve their community…
So, I am half way through with the travel part of my Fund for Teachers Fellowship…it has been nothing short of incredible!!
It truly is all about relationships —
I have spent my adult life building relationships in my personal and professional life and I claim to know some of the best people in the world…honestly!! But, most of my relationships are contained in my small southern state. And, while that is very wonderful, I’m so glad to have this opportunity to build relationships around the world! It is through these relationships that I learn history, geography, cultural similarities and differences and most of all, how to be a good and kind friend.
I am a librarian in a rather rural elementary school but it is close to an up and coming large city. My dream is that by using literature, Project-Based/International Baccalaureate Learning projects, and videos from this fellowship, I can inspire my young students to build meaningful relationships in their small community, our large city, our beautiful state and the world!
To be honest, I’ve also learned a lot about myself. Last fall my principal asked to think of a word for our school year and I chose “execute”… as in “to make things happen.” I had heard about the Fund for Teachers program and decided I wanted to make that fellowship happen. I was nervous and after I pushed the submit button, I did nothing put doubt myself. And, the day the grants were announced, it was late in the afternoon before I received my acceptance email. But getting the fellowship was only the beginning! I overcame my anxiety about going to a country where I did not speak the language, getting lost in a foreign country, meeting total strangers, riding trains between countries and generally “executing” this project. I am truly humbled and proud to be a part of the Fund for Teachers Fellowship program.
Meanwhile I am living my dream of exploring Europe and meeting amazing people from Paris, London, and look forward to building relationships in Edinburgh, Belfast and Dublin.
Thank you, FFT!!
“I love teaching,” said Mary Pope Osborne. “It’s a job that lasts forever. Whatever you teach children today travels with them far into the future.” We agree and can’t wait to see where Riley, Jack and Annie take the students of Fork Shoals Elementary!
Follow the rest of Riley’s Magical Mystery Tour on Instagram @graceorileysreadingclubhouse.