Boston Public Schools Teachers Win Grants for Summer Travel & Study

For the fourth year, the Boston Plan for Excellence (BPE) has awarded grants to teachers for summer travel and study as part of its Fund for Teachers/Boston (FFT) initiative with the Boston Public Schools (BPS).

Southbostononline.com

For the coming summer, 34 BPS teachers have won $127,500 in grants to visit 17 foreign countries and three states. Individual grants range from $2,210 to a maximum of $5,000; the maximum for team grants is $7,500. With these awards, to date more than 200 teachers in the city’s public schools have won grants totaling $700,000 and traveled to more than 50 countries and dozens of states. Lists of winners from all four years with project descriptions are at www.bpe.org.

FFT/Boston grants fund projects that teachers design to pursue a special interest, research an area they teach, or broaden their own learning about another culture. A Wilson Middle School teacher will travel through Israel, Jordan, and Egypt to enrich with personal experience the unit he teaches on Mesopotamia. A team of five teachers from the Gardner Extended Services School in Allston will participate in intensive Spanish-language instruction in the Dominican Republic and then volunteer at a children’s center there. Two teachers from the Horace Mann School for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing will also study Spanish but in Peru, then help out at an orphanage for deaf children in Cusco. With one of two Teachers as Artists (TAA) grants awarded through FFT/Boston, an artist-educator from the McKinley South End Academy will study painting and printmaking in New York City and explore the city’s museums and galleries.

Two teachers who live and/or teach in South Boston, Megan Wise and Erin McDonough, will be seeing the world this summer, thanks to grants from the Boston Plan for Excellence. Photo: Ian Drumm.

“For Boston’s teachers, this is an extraordinary opportunity,” said Ellen Guiney, Executive Director of the Boston Plan for Excellence. “The nature of teaching is to open the world to students, and Fund for Teachers/Boston allows educators to experience the world so that what they bring back to the classroom is authentic and meaningful.” Superintendent Michael G. Contompasis added, “This is a win-win program, for teachers and students.”

Fund for Teachers/Boston is affiliated with the national Fund for Teachers (FFT) foundation, founded by Apache Corporation Chairman Raymond Plank. Already established in Denver, Minneapolis, St. Paul, Tulsa, New York, and Houston, FFT expanded to Boston in 2004 and is administered by the Boston Plan for Excellence. TAA grants are underwritten by the Surdna Foundation and an anonymous foundation.

Established as the city’s local education foundation by the corporate and foundation communities in 1984, the Boston Plan for Excellence has been for the last eleven years the district’s primary partner in improving instruction. Led by a volunteer board of trustees, the nonprofit organization also manages Boston Teacher Residency, an independent teacher preparation and licensure program, and hosts Principal For A Day each fall.

From Norman, Oklahoma to Kenya and Uganda

Oklahoma News Tonight

Pattison teachers going colonial

Andrew Glover, Katy Times

Seven Pattison Elementary third grade teachers with the help of a grant provided by Fund for Teachers, will take a trip to the Historic Triangle June 4-9, to enhance their curriculum of Early America.

The Historic Triangle is made up of the historic sites of Jamestown, Williamsburg and Yorktown. The seven teachers are: Beth Emerson, Jill Hortness, Whitney LaRocca, Regina Thompson, Pennylane Lara, Laura Sanders and Cathie Paz. The group named themselves “Team Jamestown” and was all filled with excitement about receiving the grant.

Six Pattison Elementary teachers will get a real hands-on look at colonial America. Pictured here (left to right) are (front) Jill Hortness, Whitney LaRocca;,(middle) Beth Emerson, Regina Thompson;(back) Cathie Paz, Pennylane Lara and Laura Sanders.

“It’s a great opportunity,” Paz said in the Pattison Elementary Conference Room.

“This is the second time we’ve applied for the grant,” LaRocca said.

“With this being the 400th anniversary, they have done up Jamestown.” Lara aid the group is honored with receiving the grant.

“Tons of applicants applied and we were chosen,” Lara said.

The six of them agreed that the trip would definitely impact their teaching of the Early American time period.

“We (Team Jamestown) feel this trip will open our children’s eyes, as well as our own eyes, to just how far we have come in 400 years, and the gratitude we should have for those that paved the way for this great nation.” Emerson said in the grant proposal.

“It will help us bring Jamestown to life and bring it to the classroom,”

“You can only learn so much from textbooks and pictures,” LaRocca said.

“Students learn about American History in fifth grade, so hopefully our excitement for the unit will spark their interest.”

“It will be a good base for them to take to fifth grade,” Sanders said.

Emerson said the teachers would be looking at artifacts to build resource kits.

With a $7,500 budget they only have enough money for one kit but with the support of the community and third grade parents, they have raised enough money for two resource kits.

All seven teachers said they are excited about just going there.

“The fact that we can go as a team, and come back and collaborate as a team will benefit out curriculum of Early America,” Lara said.

“When you dedicate your life to teaching, you’re a lifelong learner.” Emerson said. “We can better our student’s lives and our lives by going on this trip.”

Jamestown was the first permanent English settlement in America and is located southeast of Richmond, VA.

Yorktown was the final battle in the American Revolution that resulted in the surrender of the British.