PEF hosted a celebration of 27 Hamilton County teachers who were awarded fellowship grants – a total of $96,630 – to pursue self-designed learning adventures this summer. The fellowships were made possible through a grant to PEF from the national nonprofit organization, Fund for Teachers.
The winning teachers responded to PEF’s invitation to propose their ideal professional development experience and explain how this would inspire authentic learning in their classrooms. Among the exciting and innovative proposals:
-- Lora Jenkins and Lonna Henriquez, Tyner Middle School Academy, conducted biodiversity and conservation research in Costa Rica for a documentary and curriculum materials to be used in a school-wide unit.
-- Tammy Johnson and Kristy Kimball (right photo) of McConnell elementary traveled with naturalists to explore Alaska’s diverse landscapes, culture and environment in order to develop a cross-curricular science/social studies unit called “The Case of the Missing Sea Otter.”
-- Katie Hawkins, Brown Middle School, and Rachel Price, Red Bank Middle School, attended the Reading and Writing Summer Institute at Columbia University and met with young adult author Lois Lowery to discuss the craft of writing for young adults.
-- Stacy Williams, East Brainerd Elementary School, and Rita Schubert, East Ridge Elementary School, attended a creativity workshop in Barcelona and a brain-based workshop in Texas to acquire strategies to ignite creativity in students from poverty.
-- Susan Morrison (photo left), East Hamilton Middle/High School, ventured to Cambodia to meet survivors of the Khmer Rouge and discovered the potential for grass roots activism in 3rd world economies.
“We were delighted to see the impact these Fund for Teachers experiences have had on our Hamilton County educators,” explained Leslie Graitcer, PEF Fund for Teachers Coordinator. “We knew from their applications that the Fellows would gain new insights, skills, and experiences. It’s wonderful to see how those experiences are enriching classrooms and engaging students this fall,” continued Graitcer. “I strongly encourage teachers to apply for a 2013 Fund for Teachers fellowship.”
Applications for 2013 Fund for Teachers fellowships are now available and are due January 28, 2013. More information about the program, as well as a link to the online application and a full list of 2012 Fellows, is on PEF’s Fund for Teachers website.
Fund for Teachers awarded $1.8 million in teacher grants for 2012 summer exploration and learning to 450 teachers from around the country. This is the first year that Hamilton County educators were eligible for these fellowships, made possible through PEF’s new partnership with Fund for Teachers.