Teachers Innovate with Self-Designed Grants

Fund for Teachers awards 546 teachers $2.1 million to design relevant learning

April 6 (HOUSTON) – Fund for Teachers, one of the nation’s largest investors in teacher learning and leadership, has awarded $2.1 million to 546 preK-12 teachers from across the country for self-designed fellowships to support student success, enrich their practice and strengthen their schools and communities.

Unique to this grant opportunity, teachers submit projects and destinations they believe best address specific achievement gaps – theirs and/or their students. Since 2001, more than 7,400 preK-12 teachers have leveraged
$27.5 million in Fund for Teachers grants into relevant learning for students and best practices for peers.

This year, grant recipients designed summer learning experiences spanning six continents and ranging from STEAM to language/cultural immersion to socio-emotional learning. Grant recipients’ most common fellowship destination is North America; themes include immigration, storytelling and social justice. A complete list of Fellows is available at fundforteachers.org.

“This fellowship changed the way I think about being a scientist; which in turn, changed the way I think about educating my students to become scientists,” said Kristin Knight Burrus, teacher at Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences. “Collaborating with professionals in various STEM fields during our fellowship provided a perspective that cannot be learned in books.” Last summer with colleague Janie Fossett, Kristin explored the geology, engineering and architecture associated with San Francisco’s “safe buildings” to develop a cross-curricular, multi-grade student exhibit involving students in middle school science, high school geometry and a peer mentor program.

“Teachers who model a passion for life-long learning inspire the same in their students,” said Karen Webb, Fund for Teachers’ executive director. “The experiences, skills and knowledge gained by Fund for Teachers Fellows influence students’ education and achievements. The ripple effect of one fellowship can impact students and school communities for decades.”

Teachers may begin applying for 2018 Fund for Teachers grant on the organization’s website beginning October 1, 2017. For more information, visit fundforteachers.org or fundforteachers.tumblr.com.

Newsletter – Volume 12, Winter 2016

Read how self-directed teachers designed and pursued fellowships now impacting students’ digital literacy, health and wellness, environmental literacy, artistry, problem solving and global awareness.

Read the latest issue of Odyssey, here.


Newsletter – Volume 12, Fall 2016

Read the latest issue of Odyssey, here.


Newsletter – Volume 12, Summer 2016

The Summer Olympics, migration and gender awareness top today’s headlines and this issue of Odyssey. More than 500 FFT Fellows are pursuing relevant, timely learning this summer – get inspired by a few of their stories here.

Read the latest issue of Odyssey, here.


Newsletter – Volume 12, Spring 2016

Read the latest issue of Odyssey, here.


The Ford Family Foundation and FFT

Original release appears on tfff.org, accessible here.

February 12, 2016: The Ford Family Foundation is bringing the national Fund for Teachers grant program to Douglas County, Oregon, to support teacher-designed educational experiences that impact their practice, students and school communities.

This is the first year that the Foundation, in partnership with Fund for Teachers, is providing this opportunity to Douglas County public school teachers. Up to $50,000 total will be awarded to teachers in Douglas County.

Continue reading, here.

Apply for a Teacher Travel Grant This Summer

Original article appears on Edutopia, accessible here.

Summer is the perfect time to research and apply for a teacher travel grant. The key is to look in the right places and write a compelling application. Then, once you win an award, you might find yourself kayaking the length of the Mississippi River while developing a river ecology unit. (At least, that’s what one teacher did with a Fund for Teachers grant.)

To help you get started, here are some tips for writing winning proposals, inspiring articles, and a list of interesting travel grants that you might want to consider.

The Best Places to Look

Edutopia has covered travel grants in the past. Be sure to check out our blog posts on the subject, including Teacher-Tested Travel Grants, Five-Minute Film Festival: Travel for Teachers, and No-Cost Teacher Travel for more grant-writing tips and funding sources.

Plus, the Institute for International Education is an organization that anyone interested in educational travel should get to know. In addition to administering tons of interesting travel grant programs, the IIE is also a source for research, policy updates, and relevant resources for teachers.

  • Grosvenor Teacher Fellowships From National Geographic: Each year, National Geographic and Lindblad Expeditions take K-12 geography teachers on expeditions around the world. Usually, 25 educators are selected for fellowship trips each year, and participants travel to exotic locations and participate in professional development and curriculum-building activities.
  • Fund for Teachers Fellowships: Fund for Teachers fellowships enable educators to design their own professional development programs. International and domestic travel are often included in grant proposals, and FFT has been supporting these grants since 2001. Additionally, FFT has links to some other great travel fellowships.
  • Global Classrooms Program From IREX: This Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs program is a year-long cultural exchange for middle and high school teachers. The program includes intensive training, an international field experience, and a global education symposium in Washington, D.C.
  • Toyota International Teacher Program: This program from Toyota and administered by IIE combines international travel and environmental education. Through the program, secondary educators from U.S. schools go on two- or three-week trips to learn about environmental issues and innovative solutions for environmental challenges.
  • Einstein Distinguished Fellows Program in STEM: The Einstein program enables teachers to advocate for STEM on Capitol Hill and/or Congressional offices for up to a year. The application process for the 2015-2016 school year opened in fall 2014.

Other Great Travel Grant Sources

  • Travel the World With Grants Just for Educators: This article from the National Education Association features ten scholarships designed to help teachers travel the world. Included are program details, funding amounts, and eligibility requirements for applications.
  • 35 Travel Grants and Other Travel Opportunities for Teachers and Education Professionals: Travel Beyond Excuse is a blog that is “helping teachers who want to travel.” This article features 35 sources for teacher travel grants, and in addition, you’ll find tons of ideas and strategies for traveling on the cheap.
  • Travel Grants From Teaching Traveling: Another website dedicated to education travel, Teaching Traveling is a great source of inspiration for educators looking for travel funding. In addition to the site’s Travel Grants section, you’ll find inspiring interviews with “teacher-travelers,” as well as ideas and tips for securing funding.

Writing an Awesome Application

Newsletter – Volume 11, Winter 2015

Teachers’ experiential learning inspires unique opportunities for students to learn, as well. Read about students in school gardens, the White Mountains, the Galapagos Islands, on stage and in Croatia as a result of FFT fellowships.

Read the latest issue of Odyssey, here.