Good Day Tulsa: 82 Tulsa teachers return to the classroom this year with fellowship experiences

Health and Fitness Magazine

Fund For Teachers provides funds for direct grants to teachers to support learning opportunities. Kurt Hoffman, vice president of marketing for Nobel Corporation, Linda Stephens, managing director for RBC Capital Markets and Mark White, former Texas Governor and president of H.I.S.D. Foundation.

Jones Apparel Group Pledges Long-term Financial and Corporate Commitment to Teachers and announces Campaign: Jones New York In the Classroom

Teachers will benefit through local Fund for Teachers organization

May 3, 2005 – Jones Apparel Group, Inc. (NYSE: JNY) announced today on National Teacher Day the launch of its first corporate-wide cause program, Jones New York In the Classroom. This nationwide program aims to improve the quality of education for children through the recruitment, retention and support of teachers in America’s public schools. Carrying its signature brand’s name, the Jones New York In The Classroom program not only commits dollars to support America’s teachers, but expansive human resources as well. Jones Apparel Group’s employee network, combined with the support of four leading national non-profit organizations, provides the strength needed to bring the program to life in communities across the country.

Fund for Teachers was one of the four beneficiary nonprofits selected by Jones New York to participate in this national campaign. Fund for Teachers (FFT) is a unique public foundation whose mission is to enrich the lives of schoolteachers and students by providing outstanding teachers with recognition and opportunities for renewal. FFT provides funds for direct grants to teachers to support learning opportunities of their own design. FFT impacts teachers, classrooms, schools and students. Founded by Apache Corp. Chairman, Raymond Plank, the foundation’s enrichment fund is supported by individual and corporate donors.

“This summer teachers from many various US cities will benefit from our grants program,” states Fund for Teachers Executive Director, Karen Kovach-Webb. “Next year we hope to provide grants for even more teachers. The Jones Apparel Group is helping Americans understand how vitally important it is to nurture and invest in teachers. Jones New York In the Classroom will help raise awareness of teachers, the most important resource for our country’s future,” added 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. Research also confirms that not only are teachers the single most important factor in raising student achievement, but the ever-growing teacher shortage has challenged America”s schools, and has had a negative impact on the quality of education for America’s most valuable resources-its children.

“This is Jones Apparel Group’s investment in the future,” said Peter Boneparth, President and Chief Executive Officer of Jones Apparel Group, Inc. “Teachers are essential to the success of our children and Jones Apparel Group wants to take a leadership role in providing immediate and tangible help in the classroom, while encouraging others to join us along the way. We believe that if we appreciate the teacher, we in turn appreciate our children, which is exactly why Jones Apparel Group was inspired to take up this cause,” added Boneparth. Jones Apparel Group is taking a multi-faceted approach to supporting teachers at critical points in their careers, with a focus on four areas: recruitment, retention, professional development and recognition and support. By implementing corporate programs to raise funds and allowing employees paid time off to donate their time toward the initiative, Jones Apparel Group is making a long-term financial and corporate commitment to the following non-profit organizations and foundations: TeachersCount, New Teacher Academy, Fund for Teachers and Adopt-A-Classroom. Each of these groups addresses one or more of the Jones New York In The Classroom areas of focus.

Jones Apparel Group commissioned extensive market research with both their customers and their employees to determine what cause platform they chose. According to Stacy Lastrina, Senior Vice President of Marketing for Jones Apparel Group, “When we asked what issues are important, both employees and consumers lined up behind children and behind education as top priorities.”

Importantly, the Jones Apparel Group commitment goes beyond its initial $1 million grant to its founding non-profit partners. Specifically, each of Jones Apparel Group’s 18,000 employees will be offered the opportunity to volunteer up to three hours of paid time off each month in local communities in support of teachers and education, totaling up to 600,000 hours annually to support the cause. Additionally, Jones Apparel Group will work with its retail partners to launch its in-store cause marketing program, including a limited edition t-shirt featuring artwork from New York City artist Ryan McGinness.

An additional partner in the Jones New York In The Classroom program is The Fruit Company, an online retailer of fine fruits and gourmet gift specialties based in Hood River, Oregon. Working as a preferred gift vendor with Jones Apparel Group, The Fruit Company will donate 20 percent of its sales from gifts purchased on their Web site ( with a special promotional code to the Jones New York In the Classroom’s founding non-profit partners.

Jones New York In The Classroom is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to improving the quality of education in America and inspiring others, both individuals and corporations, to do the same through support of teachers and vital teacher-based programs. For more information on Jones New York In The Classroom and their partners please visit

Jones Apparel Group, Inc. (, a Fortune 500 company, is a leading designer, marketer and wholesaler of branded apparel, footwear and accessories. We also market directly to consumers through our chain of specialty retail and value-based stores, and operate the Barneys chain of luxury stores. Our nationally recognized brands include Jones New York, Evan-Picone, Norton McNaughton, Gloria Vanderbilt, Erika, l.e.i., Energie, Nine West, Easy Spirit, Enzo Angiolini, Bandolino, Joan & David, Mootsies Tootsies, Sam & Libby, Napier, Judith Jack, Kasper, Anne Klein, Albert Nipon, Le Suit and Barneys New York. The Company also markets apparel under the Polo Jeans Company brand licensed from Polo Ralph Lauren Corporation, costume jewelry under the Tommy Hilfiger brand licensed from Tommy Hilfiger Licensing, Inc. and the Givenchy brand licensed from Givenchy Corporation and footwear under the Dockers Women brand licensed from Levi Strauss & Co. Each brand is differentiated by its own distinctive styling, pricing strategy, distribution channel and target consumer. We primarily contract for the manufacture of our products through a worldwide network of quality manufacturers. We have capitalized on our nationally known brand names by entering into various licenses for several of our trademarks, including Jones New York, Evan-Picone, Anne Klein New York, Nine West, Gloria Vanderbilt and l.e.i., with select manufacturers of women’s and men’s products which we do not manufacture. For more than 30 years, we have built a reputation for excellence in product quality and value, and in operational execution.

Fund For Teachers Announces 2005 Fellows

River Oaks Examiner

Fund for Teachers recently recognized its 2005 fellows at a special award ceremony at the Intercontinental Hotel.

Ninety-six teachers from charter schools, private schools and ten different school districts from the Houston-area received grants for travel, seminars and workshops, and materials to enrich pupils in the classroom.

Teachers honored in our readership areas were Eva Felder of Awty International, Cindy Frost of Pershing Middle School, Connie Hutfless and Mary Avina of Emerson Elementary, Yubai Jacobs of Rogers Elementary, Joanna Pun of The School at Post Oak, Sidney Chambers of Pine Shadows Elementary and Keith Coleman of Westbury HS.

Also names as fellows were Heather Whitby of Herod Elementary, Nedaro Bellamy of Lanier MS, Michael Brundage and Kristen Bryant of Landrum MS, Rachel Allen and Shanna Standley of Hunters Creek Elementary, Stacy Winchell of Landrum MS, Laura Shanks of Lanier MS and Suzanne Webb of Roberts Elementary.

Fund For Teachers Announces 2005 Fellows

HOUSTON (April, 2005) — Fund For Teachers (FFT) recently recognized its 2005 fellows at a special award ceremony at the Intercontinental Hotel. Ninety-six teachers from charter schools, private schools and ten different school districts from the Houston-area received grants for the opportunity to travel, attend seminars and workshops, and acquire hands-on materials and information to enrich their students in the classroom.

Teachers were honored April 4, 2005 and were awarded grants to pursue their independent projects. The teachers will embark upon a variety of trips this summer, which will include travels to Mexico, Spain, Europe and throughout the United States. Focus of studies for these trips include: Spanish immersion, literature, history, geography, science, photography, cultures and internships.

Teachers from the following school districts were awarded grants: Katy ISD; Houston ISD; Spring Branch ISD; Conroe ISD; Ft. Bend ISD; Katy ISD; Alief ISD; Cy-Fair ISD; Klein ISD; and Aldine ISD.

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.

FFT is a unique public foundation whose mission is to enrich the lives of schoolteachers and students by providing outstanding teachers with recognition and opportunities for renewal. Making a difference one teacher at a time, FFT provides funds for direct grants to teachers to support learning opportunities of their own design. FFT impacts teachers, classrooms, schools and students. Founded by Apache Corp. Chairman Raymond Plank, the foundation’s enrichment fund is supported by individual and corporate donors.

Newsletter – Volume 1, Spring 2005

In This Issue:
Energy for Teachers Raises $3 Million
Bringing the World into the Classroom

Read our recent newsletter, Odyssey.



Fellow Testimonial – Sharon Felty

Traveling Teachers Maximize Their Summer Off

Johnston Grier, South End News, Boston, MA

When kids return to Boston Public Schools (BPS) this fall they’ll share stories about what they did this summer. They won’t be the only ones at school with stories of visiting far away places, learning new and exciting things. This summer, 94 Boston Public School teachers – including several from South End schools – received grants from the Boston Plan for Excellence. Between them, they will visit 24 countries and 17 states, all in the name of professional development.

Established in 1984, the Boston Plan for Excellence is a nonprofit foundation working exclusively with BPS. This year it began a partnership with the National Fund For Teachers, founded by philanthropist Raymond Plank in 1998 to provide recognition and opportunities to educators. The fund’s new Fund For Teachers/Boston, has distributed nearly $250,000 in grant money for teachers to travel and study this summer. Teachers design their own trips; the fund provides between $1,200 and $7,500 to cover expenses such as airfare and lodging.

To apply for a grant, teachers must have been in the BPS system for at least three years, intend to continue teaching, and have spent at least 50 percent of their time in direct instruction.

Keri Purple and Amelia Greiner from Newmarket’s Mason Elementary School each received $7,500 from the fund to travel to Ghana this summer. Purple has been teaching at Mason for five years; Greiner has taught Mason first-graders for three years.

Purple and Greiner have been using a unit on Ghana from the Boston Children’s Museum to teach social studies. “It’s a really good kit,” said Greiner, but “some of it had started to get a little bit outdated.”

“When we first heard about the program, it was like, right away, hey, we should go to Ghana,” said Purple.

In their application, Purple and Greiner proposed to use their trip to combine the social studies unit they already teach with two additional units they teach separately. Explained Purple, “we tried to pull in two other units that we could teach through an interdisciplinary approach to the kids. So we’ll also be…comparing/contrasting our country to Ghana. That way they also learn about our own country and our own community. And we also have a large unit in science on living things. So we are hoping to go on a safari and see the animals that are there.”

Purple and Greiner see their grant as an opportunity to provide more substantive material to their students. “I’m looking forward to having those three units put into one so that not only are they condensed but they’re more meaningful,” said Greiner.

Besides going on a safari, Purple and Greiner are planning to explore Ghana’s capital city, Accra, and view monuments, castles and other historical sites to get a feel for life in this country of over 20 million people. And while they won’t be able to visit a Ghanaian school – kids there are on vacation, too – they will meet up with some local teachers.

Sandra Garzon is also taking a trip overseas this summer courtesy of the Fund For Teachers. Garzon has worked as a BPS speech therapist for 13 years, and has been at Blackstone Elementary School since 1994. She received approximately $2,800 from the fund to travel to Barcelona.

Garzon specializes in helping students who speak Spanish as a first language who have developed a stutter. Stuttering is not an uncommon problem among young children who have a great deal of language demands. Often they will repeat words as they struggle to express themselves. “What we try to do is protect the child, their environment, and make the child understand that he has all the time to express their feelings and thoughts,” said Garzon.

In Barcelona, Garzon is visiting the Spanish Stuttering Foundation, an organization founded in 2002 to promote awareness of stuttering and develop methods for helping the stutterers and their families cope. Garzon hopes to improve her own techniques.

When Garzon heard about the grants offered by Fund For Teachers she jumped at the opportunity to apply. “It was something that I was going to do anyway,” said Garzon of her trip to Barcelona, “but I found this, and I think it is a very genuine effort by Fund For Teachers to help people who are interested in expanding their knowledge.”

Garzon will use what she has learned during her visit to the Spanish Stuttering Foundation to develop a checklist and information packet to help Boston Public School teachers identify students who are developing a stutter. “Some of the teachers, they don’t know what to do when a child stutters, how to address the feelings of the child. So with that checklist and package of information for teachers it will help me to identify kids that are at risk,” she said.

In nearby Chinatown, four Quincy Elementary School teachers received grants: Dona Cavanaugh, Heidi Thomas, Ann Whaley-Tobin and Cindy Wilson. They are attending classes at the Teaching of Reading Institute at Columbia University in New York City.

Dottie Engler, the Fund For Teachers/Boston site coordinator, sees the grants as more than just a chance for professional development. “The time is so right to just show appreciation for teachers and to say, “Hey here’s a chance, take wing, $5,000, $7,500. What are you thinking? What is it you thing you need that you can bring back to the school?”

That is really the core idea behind the Fund For Teachers program. Providing teachers with the opportunity to improve kids’ classroom experience rewards teachers’ commitment, recognizes them as an integral part of the education process, and allows them to renew themselves’ as educators.

Fund For Teachers/Boston is a pilot program. The Boston Plan for Excellence will decide in the fall whether to continue the program next year. Already, Dottie Engler is seeing the program’s positive effects. “The real interesting thing about this program is that simply its existence elevates people.”