On Teacher Appreciation Day (May 6), Fund for Teachers announce with a national release the names of 191 public, private and charter school teachers to receive $325,000 in grants for self-designed summer fellowships and experiential learning opportunities.
Now in its 20th year, Fund for Teachers encourages the self-directed professional development of pre-K to 12th-grade educators across the country and has provided $33.5 million in grants to more than 9,000 teachers. In light of the pandemic, the national nonprofit specifically asked teachers applying for grants to focus their proposals on transformational learning experiences within the continental US that address equity, diversity, inclusion, climate change and civic engagement.
“Teachers heroically met the needs of students and their families this year more than ever before,” said Karen Eckhoff, executive director. “The fact that these 2021 grant recipients also found time to craft proposals aimed at improving their practice and, in turn, students’ learning speaks volumes about their professionalism. They are problem solvers, innovators and role models for their students.”
This year, Fund for Teachers granted summer fellowships to 77 educators from 27 states including New York, Texas, Oregon and Minnesota. In their proposals, selected Fellows addressed topics such as how to create culturally responsive classrooms and how to increase accessibility and learning opportunities for all students. They also focused on the environment and learning in the natural world. Jenny Roberts (Houston, TX), for example, will complete forest school teacher training in Berkeley, CA and a mindfulness workshop in Portland, OR to help design authentic, learner-driven activities for her students, while Veronica Wylie (Hazlehurst, MS) will complete marine life training on submerged conservation projects in order to guide her students into a more accurate understanding of scientific concepts and processes.
Also this year, for the first time, Fund for Teachers awarded 114 Innovation Grants to previous Fellows. Innovation Grant recipients receive $1,000 to individually pursue experiential learning around one of four problems of practice—Accessibility, Equity, Art & Design or Social Emotional Learning—along with the opportunity to collaborate with their peers, share what they learned and amplify impact in the classroom.
A complete list of 2021 FFT Fellows and Innovation Grant recipients can be found on the Fund for Teachers website at www.fundforteachers.org.