FFT at the Closing Bell

Fund for Teachers kicks off campaign for teachers

Business leaders from around the city have joined forces to participate in the newly formed Houston Leadership Committee raising money for the Fund for Teachers Houston 2005-2006 campaign. Funds raised will be used to permanently endow summer sabbaticals for Houston-area teachers.

FFT grants are awarded to teachers who work with students in grades K-12 and have a minimum of three years teaching experience. Participants are selected based on how their summer fellowship will make the applicant a better teacher, how improved skills and capacity will be implemented in the classroom and how the teachers’ improved skills or capacity will benefit students, curricula and the school.

Founded by Apache Corp. Chairman Raymond Plank, the foundation’s enrichment fund is supported by individual and corporate donors.

National Firm Boosts Local Teachers

An international designer garment corporation is boosting Tulsa’s teachers.

Jones Apparel Group Inc. has launched its first corporate wide cause program-Jones New York in the Classroom.

In Tulsa, the program to aid teachers will be administered by the Tulsa Community Foundation. (TFC).

The nationwide program aims to improve the quality of education for children through recruitment, retention and support of teachers in America’s public schools.

In addition to dollar donations, the JNY is offering human resources via an employee network and a united effort with four other national non-profit organizations.

Tulsa’s Fund for Teachers (FFT) was one of the four beneficiary nonprofits selected to participate in this national campaign.

FFT is a public foundation whose mission is to enrich the lives of schoolteachers and students by providing outstanding teachers with recognition and opportunities for renewal.

In partnership with TCF, FFT provides funds for direct grants to teachers to support learning opportunities of their own design

FFT recently recognized its 2005 fellows – 82 teachers from Tulsa – area schools – who received grants, totaling over $214,190 of funds awarded, for the opportunity to travel, attend seminars and workshops, and acquire hands-on materials and information to enrich their students in the classroom.

“The Jones Apparel Group is helping Americans understand how vitally important it is to nurture and invest in teachers, “said Fund for Teachers Executive Director, Karen Kovach-Webb.

The need for teacher is great and retention is important, said Kovach-Webb. Experts predict that two million more new teachers will be needed over the next decade, while recent studies show that approximately one-third of the nation’s teachers leave the profession during the first three years and almost half in the first five years.

“(We want to) take a leadership role in providing immediate and tangible help in the classroom, while encouraging others to join us along the way,” said Peter Boneparth, president and CEO, Jones Apparel Group Inc.

Rather than just “throw money” at the cause, the corporation “is taking multifaceted approach to supporting teachers at critical points in their careers, with a focus on four areas: recruitment, retention, professional development and recognition and support,” he said.

Group Raising Funds For Teachers

Houston Chronicle

The newly formed Houston Leadership Committee has begun its 2005-2006 fundraising campaign for the Fund for Teachers, a program that offers summer sabbaticals and grants to Houston-area teachers.

Edgewood pupil wins ‘Fund Run’ poster contest

Winning design to be used for promotional materials

Kimberly Blair, Chronicle Correspondent

Hundreds of students from around Houston competed to design the posters and promotional materials for the First Annual Fund for Teachers “Fund Run” — but one Edgewood Elementary School pupil won the contest.

Eliza Quintana, a fourth-grader at the Spring Branch school district school, was presented with a certificate of achievement and a $50 gift card to Old Navy for her effort.

Quintana said she plans to use the money “to buy clothes for my family as a gift for their support.”

The First Annual Fund for Teachers Fund Run, scheduled for Jan. 21 at Sam Houston Park, 1000 Bagby, is a fundraiser for the organization, said Karen Kovach-Webb, executive director of Fund for Teachers.

The Memorial-based organization awards grants to teachers for self-designed summer development opportunities.

Quintana’s winning design “stood out from all the others because of her use of color and creativity,” Kovach-Webb said.

“She also used emotion in her design that truly brought her drawing to life; we thought it was a perfect fit.”

Quintana said the inspiration for her design — which depicts children running on a track field, trying to get to the finish line — was her school’s track coach.

“I thought about coach making us run the track and thought it would be fun to actually bring myself in this picture,” Quintana said. “I drew myself running across the finish line.”

And when the competition was over, that’s what she’d done.

“I thought I was the luckiest person,” Quintana said of her design being selected. “I felt proud.”

Energy For Teachers

002 Magazine

Fund For Teachers and its founder Raymond Plank invited guests to a recognition dinner in honor of Energy For Teachers at the Legends Ballroom in the Intercontinental Hotel. Fund For Teachers is a unique public foundation whose mission is to enrich the lives of school teachers and students by providing outstanding teachers with recognition and opportunity for renewal. Guests enjoyed live entertainment by Mid-Life Crisis and the Hot Flashes and guest speaker Robert Fulghun, author of “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.”

Jones Selects Model Teachers

NEW YORK – Jones Apparel Group is out to make teachers look and feel their best.

Through the Jones New York in the Classroom program, a nonprofit organization supporting teachers and children’s education, the company turned up at Macy’s at Garden State Plaza in Paramus, N.J., on Saturday to give makeovers and a runway presentation for seven deserving teachers in the area. Jones’ nonprofit beneficiaries – New Teacher Academy, Fund for Teachers, Adopt-a-Classroom and TeachersCount – reached out to schools to offer teachers the chance to participate in the show.

The seven women chosen were Dorotea Binetti, a sixth-grade teacher at Essex Fells Public School in Essex Fells, N.J.; Josette D’Ambrosi, a physical education teacher at M.S. 447 the Upper Carroll School in Brooklyn; Theresa D’Ambrosi, a science teacher at P.S. 10 in Brooklyn; Erin Lubick, a science and technology teacher at P.S. 33 Chelsea Prep in Manhattan; Dory McMahon, a 12th-grade teacher at South Orange/Maplewood School District in Maplewood, N.J.; Karen Young, a pre-kindergarten teacher at P.S. 16 Cornelia F. Bradford School in Jersey City, N.J., and Jessica Zampetti, a teacher of gifted and talented students at Roy Bixby School in Bogota, N.J.

More than 100 shoppers stopped to check out the teachers decked out in the latest fashions from the Jones New York collection. The show kicked off Shop for Education Week, which runs through Oct. 22, when 10 percent of the selling price (up to a maximum of $500,000) of apparel sold from the Jones New York clothing lines – Collection, Signature, Dress, Suit and Outerwear – will be donated to Jones New York in the Classroom.

“Teachers are superstars in the classroom every day, and we made them supermodels to celebrate all that they give to our children,” said Stacy Lastrina, senior vice president of creative services at Jones Apparel Group.

The Jones New York in the Classroom program aims to improve the quality of education and inspires others to do the same. The organization supports efforts to celebrate teachers since the company believes they are the single most important factor in raising student achievement. Jones New York in the Classroom’s efforts have helped teachers who spend their own money to outfit their classrooms (a teacher currently spends an average of $1,200 a year of her own money), offer support for new teachers entering the field, and provide emotional and practical support for teachers and schools nationwide.

Shearn Elementary Gets an Extreme Makeover

When students at HISD’s Shearn Elementary School show up for class on Thursday, September 15, they will see a different school from the one they attended just the day before.

Thanks to a huge contingent of volunteers from a number of Fortune 500 companies, within just 24 hours the school will appear squeaky-clean and next-to-new, with weed-free flower beds, freshly painted walls and curbs, and power-washed windows throughout the entire building.

The volunteers who performed these tasks (while the students attended class in a set of on-site temporary buildings) came from companies like Home Depot, Schlumberger, Starwood Hotels, and Transocean as part of the Corporate Month of Service program started by the Hands On Network. Its goal is to increase the number of employees who volunteer by 10 percent each year and encourage them to collectively contribute more than half-a-million hours nationwide during a month-long period.

The “extreme makeover” of Shearn Elementary School was one of more than 2,000 service projects slated for completion around the country in September.

“It is wonderful when people from the community come in to support a school,” said Principal Bill Buck. “The volunteers are doing an excellent job, and we have over 300 of them here doing landscaping, painting, and various other jobs around the campus. We are thrilled.”

Other partners who made the rejuvenation of Shearn Elementary School possible are: Volunteer Houston, Jones NY, the Fund for Teachers, Dillards, and UBS.