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How we're celebrating education with Teach for America

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As Vice President of Alumni Teaching Leadership for Teach For America, I see the passion and commitment to expanding educational opportunities for students among our alumni and their colleagues each day. More than 10,000 Teach For America alumni are leading in the classroom, making teaching the most common profession among our alumni overall.

My team and I work to recognize and honor our teachers while supporting their ongoing professional development through relationships with regional and national organizations. We also seek to build deeper connections with teachers in the broader teaching community to continue the advancement of the profession. For all of these reasons, we are thrilled to team up with FedEx on the launch of the FedEx One Rate Countless Possibilities Through Education campaign.

When FedEx generously offered to support innovation in the classroom, we immediately put a call out to our alumni with 5+ years in the classroom to learn how they envisioned a $25,000 classroom grant would benefit their students. The creativity and depth of ideas we received were tremendous. We selected 5 finalists that serve as a small representation of the amazing work of our alumni and their school colleagues. In no particular order, these were the proposals we found most inspiring:

  • Match Charter Public Middle School, Massachusetts: establish an arts enrichment program with grant funding going to secure instruments and stage apparatus for music, theatre, and dance education to ensure that students have opportunities in academics, arts, and music that stimulate creativity and help build a love of learning and self-discovery. 
  • Oglesby Elementary, Chicago: establish a community farm and green house large enough for 15-20 family plots enabling students to make snacks and add homegrown food to student body lunches and enabling families on assistance to supplement their groceries during summer months. The program will help educate students about stewardship, responsibility, healthy eating and working with and for others.
  • Young Woman’s College Preparatory Academy, Houston: establish a functioning school library with grant funds going to secure current literary titles and diverse genres to give literary access to our students and to foster an invaluable connection with reading.
  • KIPP Strive Academy, Atlanta: establish a fully functioning, world-class science lab to enable students to conduct weekly labs for hands-on STEM, and to prepare our students for college and career opportunities that require lab science experience. 
  • PS/MS 188 The Island School, New York: establish a digital fabrication hub to build and develop a “Maker” cultural experience for classroom application and to enable kinesthetic learning opportunities.   

We believe that the grant in each of these schools could be game changing for their students and families and we thank FedEx and their customers, who have supported our teachers and students since 2007, for their generosity in creating the opportunity for the winner to receive $25,000, second place to receive $10,000, and the third place winner to receive $5,000.

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