$2 Million Awarded to Teachers

FFT Awards Millions to Educators for Innovative Learning Experiences
Trusts teachers to redefine professional development, one fellowship at a time

April 30, 2014 (HOUSTON) – Fund for Teachers, a national nonprofit that invests in teacher learning to advance student achievement, has awarded $2 million to teachers across America for self-designed learning experiences. This summer, 525 preK-12 teachers will pursue knowledge and skills they identified as essential to student success. Fellowship destinations include conferences, self-guided expeditions, fieldwork and service learning projects in 85 countries on 6 continents. A complete list of Fellows and their projects is available at fundforteachers.org.

This form of personalized teacher learning contrasts with the more traditional, but less effective, professional development offered by most districts. More than 90% of teachers participate in workshop-style training sessions; yet studies show that short, one-shot workshops don’t change teacher practice and have no effect on student achievement. Alternatively, Fund for Teachers invites educators to choose the subject area and outlet for their professional development and provides $5,000 for individual grants or $10,000 for team grants.

“Fund for Teachers bridges the gap between what teachers have and what students need to advance academically,” said Karen Webb, Fund for Teachers’ executive director. “Fellows turn our initial investment into broadened perspectives and engaged learning – for themselves and their students. The result is a transformed career and classroom.”

Since 2001, Fund for Teachers has invested $22 million in the personal/professional growth of 6,000+ educators. This new class of Fellows will post updates throughout the summer on the organization’s blog, Facebook and Twitter feed. Teachers may begin applying for 2015 Fund for Teachers grants online beginning October 1.

Fund for Teachers enriches the personal and professional growth of teachers by recognizing and supporting them as they identify and pursue opportunities around the world that impact their practice, the academic lives of their students and school communities. For more information, visit fundforteachers.org.

FFT Founder Honored by Houston Technology Center

The Houston Technology Center (HTC), announced it will honor Fund for Teachers founder, Raymond Plank, at their “A Celebration of Entrepreneurs” gala. This annual event honors Houston entrepreneurs who have made a significant impact in the community. Learn more about the event, here.

Thanking Teachers By Awarding $2 Million in Grants for Summer Fellowships

National nonprofit Fund for Teachers believes the key to improving teacher effectiveness lies in asking what teachers need to improve, then funding their individual growth strategies. For Teacher Appreciation Week, Fund for Teachers distributes $2 million in grants to 500+ teachers to narrow achievement gaps and enhance learning in 350 classrooms across the country.

Across the country this week, gift cards, cookies, bouquets and lattés remind teachers that they matter. National nonprofit Fund for Teachers joins the Teacher Appreciation Week celebration by distributing checks totaling $2 million to more than 500 preK-12 teachers for their self-designed summer fellowships.

2013 Houston Fellows

A complete list of grant winners, along with their fellowship descriptions, is available at fundforteachers.org.

Fund for Teachers’ approach to improving teacher effectiveness involves recognizing and rewarding educators’ innovative ideas for improvement. Instead of applying a top-down, unilateral approach to professional development, Fund for Teachers asks individual teachers what they need to succeed. Teachers annually propose solutions for narrowing achievement gaps – theirs or their students’ – by pursuing new behavioral strategies, instructional techniques, curriculum enhancements or scholarly advancement. Fund for Teachers then supports teachers’ growth plans by funding summer odysseys to locations ranging from hometowns to distant continents.

Since 2001, Fund for Teachers has awarded $20 million in grants to more than 5,000 preK-12 teachers.

“Effective teachers model for their students a growth mindset of inquiry, engagement, and achievement,” said Karen Webb, Fund for Teachers’ executive director. “Fund for Teachers grants represent exemplary educators’ efforts to analyze growth areas, develop strategies for improvement and pursue deeper learning to leverage greater student success.”

When school lets out for the summer, Fund for Teachers grant recipients become the students – conducting field research, volunteering with community organizations, mastering new skills, strengthening command of a subject. Each self-designed fellowship increases teachers’ competency, confidence, and commitment to teaching. Most importantly, these odysseys culminate in broadened perspectives that directly transfer to students, classrooms and school communities.

The online application for 2014 grants is available beginning October 1, 2013. For more information, visit fundforteachers.org.

About Fund for Teachers
Fund for Teachers enriches the personal and professional growth of teachers by recognizing and supporting them as they identify and pursue opportunities around the world that impact their practice, students and school communities.

Teachers in the following locations are currently eligible for Fund for Teachers grants: Alabama, Boston, Chattanooga, Cincinnati, Los Angeles, Louisiana, Minneapolis, Mississippi, Nebraska, New York City, Oakland, Oklahoma, San Francisco, Texas, Washington DC, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Newsletter – Volume 9, Spring 2013

This issue of Odyssey highlights the work of teachers who pursued science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) learning with Fund for Teachers grants.

Read our recent newsletter, Odyssey.

 
 
 

Fellows Study Bosnian Genocide

Pius X educators study Bosnian Genocide through Fund for Teachers summer fellowship
Neighboorhood Extra, Lincoln, Nebraska
December 04, 2012 4:33 pm • Article Submitted

This past summer, two Pius X teachers had the extraordinary hands-on opportunity to explore the historic and social impact of the Bosnian Genocide of the 1990s, thanks to a fellowship they received from Fund for Teachers. Through this grant, World Geography teacher Shiela Sievert and English teacher Sandra Sullivan travelled to Croatia and Bosnia to witness firsthand how the Balkan people have dealt with the aftermath of a modern genocide.
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FFT Fellow Receives White House Award

FFT Fellow Erik Fogel accompanied his students to the White House to accept the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award from First Lady Michelle Obama. The NYC Urban Debate League, an after school program Erik founded, is one of 12 school groups awarded and will receive a $10,000 prize. Erik applied two Fund for Teachers fellowships toward establishing and growing this program: first in 2007 at Dartmouth College’s Debate Institute and in 2011 at the International Society for Technology in Education conference where he pursued technology relevant to debate team research.

FFT Fellow Erik Fogel and Ashley Meija, member of the New York City Urban Debate League, accepting their award from First Lady Michelle Obama.

Read more about Erik’s award, here.

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.
Continue reading.

FFT Board Member and Partner Named Ashoka Fellows

Fund for Teachers congratulates two of the newest Ashoka Fellows: FFT Board member and Strive leader (local partner), Jeff Edmondson and Scott Hartl, President, long-time local partner Expeditionary Learning. Jeff and Scott are making a tremendous impact in the world, and at Fund for Teachers.

To learn more about Jeff and Scott’s work, Forbes has posted a description of each of this year’s winners.