TN Teacher Makes News, Promotes FFT Grants

Prior to an event recognizing the learning of our Chattanooga Fellows, a local new station highlighted the fellowship of one teacher who pursued literacy instruction at Columbia University. Watch her interview here.

2015 Boston Fellows Awarded

BPS Teachers Awarded “Golden Ticket” for Summer Learning
32 Teachers from 17 Schools Receive Fund for Teachers Grants for Self-Designed Fellowships

Teachers work both as technicians teaching particular skills and intellectuals developing a love of learning.* Shaping student achievement, both roles need development to remain current and effective. Fund for Teachers annually awards grants to preK-12 educators who address professional learning gaps through self-designed summer fellowships. An inspired educator, Fund for Teachers believes, inspires students.  Today, Fund for Teachers announces its list of 2015 Fellows.

  • In collaboration with BPE, Fund for Teachers awarded grants to 32 teachers from 17 BPS schools.
  • These teachers will embark on summer odysseys spanning the continents of North America, South America and Europe.
  • Topics range from a literacy seminar at Columbia University to biodiversity research in the Amazon and Galapagos Islands.
  • For a complete list of grant recipients and the schools they represent, visit

“My Fund for Teachers grant inspired and empowered me to teach in new ways, bring effective instruction into my classroom and ultimately transformed the academic lives of my young scholars and the school community,” said Shakera Walker, senior manager of Teacher Leadership & Professional Development at Boston Public Schools. “In my current role, I develop and promote learning experiences that validate teachers’ expertise, leadership and professionalism – just as FFT did for me.” (With her FFT grant, Walker interviewed students and staff in Australia’s schools and Council for Educational Research to re-engineer early numeracy instruction that improved math education for economically disadvantaged students.)

Fund for Teachers is one of the largest funders of teacher learning in the country, investing $24 million in more than 6,500 teachers (with $1.4 million to 390 BPS teachers since 2004). For more information about the application process, grant winners or student outcomes, visit

*Center for Public Education, Teaching the Teachers: Effective Professional Development in an Era of High Stakes Accountability, 2013.

Richard Dreyfuss Speaks Up for Teachers

Academy Award winner speaks up for teachers in Houston, raises $620,000

Culture Map Houston
by, Shelby Hodge

Academy Award winner Richard Dreyfuss with honoree Walt Smith and event co-chairs Vicki and Steve Farris.

With an acting career spanning decades, Academy Award-winner Richard Dreyfuss focuses today on education, working through his Dreyfuss Initiative to put civics education back in classrooms across the country. That was the focus of his straightforward talk at the Fund For Teachers dinner at Hotel ZaZa.
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Fellow Moves Audience at Annual Fundraiser

Fund for Teachers annual fundraiser, Food for Thought, was a huge success thanks in great part to the moving speech given by Houston Fellow, Patricia Greenleaf. Watch as Patricia shares her fellowship’s impact on her teaching and the many at-risk students she serves.

Photos: Food for Thought Luncheon 2010

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Photos: Food for Thought Luncheon 2009

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Evening In The Orchard Gala Photos

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Health & Fitness magazine Fitness Enthusiast participates in Fund Run

Clair Maciel

Running in February’s 5K Fund Run for Teachers has become an annual tradition for Christa Blyth. But she doesn’t do it solely for the purpose of staying fit. She runs as a representative of the many Houston teachers who have benefited from this local event and to give back to an organization that provided her with the experience of a lifetime.

In the summer of 2006, Blyth, a teacher in the Spring Branch ISD, received a grant from Fund for Teachers (, a non-profit organization that raises money through the Fund Run and awards grants to teachers to support their professional growth and learning. With her grant, Blyth had the opportunity to travel to Croatia, Slovenia and Italy, a trip she said inspired her as a teacher and enabled her to share her amazing experience with her students.

“Teachers don’t necessarily have a lot of opportunities to explore the world, but this organization really gives teachers the chance to experience new cultures,” Blyth said. “It’s a great, great cause, and as a past recipient of the grant, I wanted to support the group by running this year.”

Blyth, 29, has her plate full as a mother of two, a 5-year-old son and 9-year-old daughter, a day job as an eighth grade history teacher at Northbrook Middle School, and all the responsibilities of a graduate student pursuing a degree in administration to eventually become a school principal. And to maintain the energy to keep up with juggling all of her roles, she makes regular exercise a priority whenever she can fit it into her schedule.

“It’s important for me to exercise because I want to have a lot of energy during the day. I’m so busy that I have to exercise in order to keep up with my crazy schedule. I also do it because I enjoy having the time to myself.”

A native of Lafayette, La., Blyth admits she rarely took the time to exercise on a regular basis before she moved to Texas a few years ago.

“I wasn’t really into sports before. I didn’t start becoming athletic until I moved to Houston about three years ago. That’s when I decided I wanted to get in shape and start exercising regularly.”

These days, she makes it a point to squeeze in a run at least two or three times a week, whether it’s on a treadmill or at the local park. And if she’s not running, she and her sister will occasionally hit the bike trails and go for a ride together.

Not only does Blyth bike and run for exercise or to support a good cause, she also participates in running events simply for the fun of it. “I’ve also done the Women’s Race in Austin for the past two years. It’s so much fun because it’s a two-woman team event where you partner up with someone and compete against other teams in running, walking, some mind games and a water activity. We have so much fun doing that.”

Of course, Blyth is not the only one in the family who has taken up the athletic lifestyle. It seems her two children are following closely in her footsteps. Her son has started playing T-ball, her daughter is active in dance and both enjoy riding bikes.

It’s that kind of activity Blyth said she tries to encourage in her children, not only because it’s healthy, but also because she sees the importance of staying fit even at a young age.

“I definitely promote a healthy lifestyle with my kids. I’m very conscientious of their health and what they eat. I’d much rather have them playing outside and running around than sitting inside in front of the TV.”

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