2015 Fellows Announced

Teachers Awarded “Golden Tickets” for Summer Learning
Fund for Teachers Awards $1.8 million in Grants to 487 Teachers for Self-Designed Fellowships

(HOUSTON) April 2, 2015 – Teachers work both as technicians teaching particular skills and intellectuals developing students’ love of learning.* To remain effective in both roles, they need development and inspiration. Fund for Teachers annually awards grants to preK-12 educators seeking relevant knowledge and learning experiences through self-designed summer fellowships. Today, Fund for Teachers announces its list of 2015 Fellows.

  • This year, 487 teachers representing 318 schools received Fund for Teachers grants.
  • These teachers will embark on summer odysseys spanning six continents, with the largest percentage remaining in North America.
  • Topics range from a digital literacy workshop at the University of Rhode Island to conducting field research in the Galapagos Islands and Amazon rainforest.
  • For a complete list of grant recipients, fellowship descriptions and the schools they represent, visit fundforteachers.org.

“Fund for Teachers serves as a piggy bank of sorts, funding educators’ quests for deeper knowledge or mastery that transfers directly to students,” said Karen Webb, Fund for Teachers executive director. “We all learn by knowing, by doing. These grants offer teachers more than ‘one-size-fits-all’ professional development and it’s free for the district. Everyone wins, with the biggest winners being the 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 since 2001. Previous grant recipients share the impact of their fellowships at fundforteachers.tumblr.com. For more information about the application process, 2015 grant winners or student outcomes, visit fundforteachers.org.

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

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

Fellows Bring Learning, Experiences and Energy Back to School

519 Teachers Use $2 Million in Fund for Teachers Grants to Pursue New Knowledge & Skills This Summer

“A defibrillator for the educator”; “A reminder that there is still a student within me;” and, “By far, the best learning experience of my life” describe three of more than 500 self-designed fellowships teachers experienced this summer with Fund for Teachers grants. PreK-12 public and private school educators applied for the grants to pursue topics and/or destinations they identified as relevant to their practice and student success. Those awarded leveraged $5,000 individual grants and $10,000 team grants to learn in 151 countries and bring their learning back to school this fall.

Teachers (or Fellows) awarded grants represent 353 schools from all 50 states. The largest percentage of Fellows chose STEM-related learning and fellowships most often took place in the United States. A complete list of Fellows and their fellowship descriptions is available at www.fundforteachers.org.

“The most essential component in any classroom is the teacher; students’ grasp of knowledge and perception of issues lie largely in their hands,” said Karen Webb, Fund for Teachers’ executive director. “Fund for Teachers invests in these professionals, empowering them as learners who explore and experience to advance student achievement.”

Since 2001, Fund for Teachers has invested more than $22 million in 6,000+ teachers who, in turn, transform their classrooms into laboratories where students process and put into practice their teachers’ learning.
Fund for Teachers’ 2015 grant application opens on October 1. For eligibility and more information, visit www.fundforteachers.org/apply.php, or the nonprofit organization’s blog and Facebook page.

Fund for Teachers enriches the personal and professional growth of preK-12 educators by recognizing and supporting them as they identify and pursue opportunities around the world that have the greatest impact on their practice, students and school communities.

$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.

Teacher Visits WWII Sites on Fund for Teachers Fellowship; Discovers Grandfather’s Photo in RAF Museum

While researching D-Day sites across England and France on his Fund for Teachers fellowship, a Chicago teacher discovers a photo of his grandfather hanging in a wartime museum. He now uses his grandfather’s service to guide students’ exploration of World War II and the overarching question, “What makes people brave?”

Last July, with a Fund for Teachers grant, Dan Lundak set out to retrace his grandfather’s D-Day experience. The American History teacher planned to use his research to help eighth graders at Chicago’s Sauganash Elementary School personally connect with World War II. The pilgrimage grew more personal than expected, however, upon discovering his grandfather’s photograph hanging in a wartime museum.

Continue reading, here.

Teacher Prepares Students to Become Future Chemistry Nobel Laureates

Fund For Teachers Grant Turns Oklahoma Science Teacher into Scientist at UC Berkeley Chemistry Department Lab; Researches Under International Expert in Protein Synthesis to Model Fundamentals of Biochemistry for Students and Encourage Careers in Science

The newly announced Nobel Laureates in chemistry relied on research conducted in the 1970s to develop their award-winning work. Jan Post wanted his students at the Oklahoma School for Science and Math to comprehend this relationship between years of research and results – so he became part of the process this summer using a Fund for Teachers grant.

Continue reading the release, here.

Grants Now Available for 2014 Summer Learning

National nonprofit tells preK-12 teachers “It’s Your Turn to Learn” — Invites teachers to design unique fellowships that pursue new knowledge and hone skills to advance student achievement. Individuals eligible for grants up to $5,000; teams $10,000.

Houston, TX – October 1, 2013 Teachers committed to expanding their knowledge and increasing student engagement are invited to apply for 2014 Fund for Teachers grants beginning today. These grants allow preK-12 teachers to design and pursue summer learning experiences that meet specific learning gaps – theirs and/or their students’. As a result, teachers (or Fellows) return to classrooms with insights, energy and abilities that directly advance student achievement.

Continue reading the release, 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.

Fund for Teachers Awards $2 Million in Grants to 531 Teachers

National nonprofit arms 500+ teachers with opportunities to pursue new knowledge in 280 countries on 7 continents this summer. Literacy workshops in New York City, scientific excursions in the Arctic Circle, volunteer teaching in a Rio de Janeiro favela, language immersion classes in Guatemala and social justice workshops in South Africa among awarded proposals. Meet our 2013 Fellows.