Think The Magic School Bus meets a bookmobile and you have the classroom on wheels changing students’ lives in Chattanooga, TN.
Brittany Harris (2013 FFT Fellow) and her colleague Colleen Ryan re-purposed and “tricked out” a short school bus they now take to students’ homes on the weekends to extend lessons and connect with working parents. Brittany, a teacher at Hardy Elementary, bought the bus with her own money, so committed was she to students’ success. Ultimately, the red bus, affectionately called “The Passage,” has been underwritten by local businesses and philanthropies, as well as a T-shirt fundraiser.
Watch local news coverage of The Passage here.
“Enabling our students to succeed, despite where they come from, was oneof the major reasons I used a Fund for Teachers grant to attend the “Teaching with Poverty in Mind” and “Tools for Maximum Engagement seminars” said Brittany after completing her fellowship.“Our students come from a background of poverty and we want them to have maximum engagement in their academics.”
The vehicle for engagement is now actually a vehicle. Since last November, Brittany and Colleen spend every weekend rolling into neighborhoods and swinging open the doors for their students, who eagerly enter for math and reading tutorials.
“Fund for Teachers granted me the opportunity to learn, serve and infuse strategies that have built a better and stronger community,” said Brittany. “I learned how to teach with students in poverty, and make a positive impact on student growth. I also gained knowledge on how to engage every child daily. What truly opened my eyes during that innovative week was that the teacher holds the greatest percentage of student achievement. With that information, I created plans and goals to strive for my students to reach their greatest potential. Fund for Teachers allowed me to build on previous knowledge and make a powerful impact. I appreciate that amazing ability to create a strong influence for teachers to persevere and seek more.”