Celebrating the fifth consecutive year of its grant program supporting nationwide Educator for a Day events, The Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership at Walden University today announced the five preK–12 schools that will receive $5,000 grants to enhance their classroom education, provide educational technology or supplies, or sponsor special educational activities.
"For the past five years, this grant program has allowed Walden to spotlight the work of our nation's teachers and administrators and illustrate the profound and lasting difference they make in the lives of our children every day," said Dr. Kate Steffens, dean of the Riley College of Education and Leadership. "From the Pacific Northwest to New England, the Gulf Cost and Puerto Rico, thousands of educators and students have benefited from these grants to help improve teaching and learning in their schools."
Grants were awarded based on teachers' and administrators' answers to essay questions about what noneducators should know about the school, what makes the school unique and how the school would use the grant money. Applicants also shared their ideas for hosting at least one aspiring educator who will shadow a teacher during Educator for a Day on Thursday, Nov. 17. Educator for a Day events are part of the National Education Association's (NEA) 90th anniversary celebration of American Education Week.
The 2011 Educator for a Day grant recipients are:
- Crocker Arts and Technology School, New Orleans, La.—An elementary school providing well-rounded, arts-integrated education for students—including those from areas hit hardest by Hurricane Katrina—Crocker Arts and Technology School will use the funds to cover the cost of essential classroom materials that often run out mid-year and purchase instruments for the school's violin program. The school will host guest artists, including a filmmaker, graphic artist, and jazz and bluegrass singers, to shadow teachers during Educator for a Day and share their talents with students.
- Film and Theatre Arts Charter High School, Los Angeles, Calif.—Located in South Central Los Angeles, the school will use the grant money to purchase materials, especially for math and physics students, and to provide access to an online library for all students. The school, which was founded by teachers who use project-based learning to drive academic achievement, has invited local community leaders and professionals from the entertainment industry to offer real-world perspectives to students on Nov. 17.
- Klein Forest High School, Houston, Texas—A public high school in Harris County, Texas, with a diverse student population, Klein Forest High School will use the grant to provide field trips and school activities for young men in the Student Ambassador Club who "chose to make a change for the better." The money will also be used for community projects, such as improving landscaping and removing gang graffiti, with the goal of teaching students the importance of goodwill and community involvement. Its Educator for a Day event will host a fourth-grade student who wants to be a teacher, along with several local college students.
- Nicholson Elementary School, Marietta, Ga.—With test scores that continue to climb, the school is proud of its ongoing programs such as the M.O.D. (Men On Duty) Squad team of volunteer fathers, grandfathers and uncles assisting at the school. The school will use the grant to add hands-on math and science centers to the playground and gym areas so it can strengthen academics in a safe, fun setting. Its Educator for a Day event will invite clients of the local battered women's shelter to introduce them to possible future careers in teaching.
- Oakcrest Elementary School, Landover, Md.—A talented and gifted magnet school where at least 80% of students perform at or above grade level in both reading and mathematics, Oakcrest Elementary will use the grant to implement an enrichment/intervention program for the remaining 20%. The school plans to team up with Andrews Air Force Base and others from the armed forces so that members of the military can shadow educators to demonstrate their partnership with the community.
"A main thrust of our educational approach at FTA centers on placing students in situations that facilitate their interaction with professionals in various fields. Our Educator for A Day event perpetuates that focus. We're extremely grateful to Walden University for this grant which provides financial resources to greatly enhance what we do on a daily basis," said Steve Bachrach, executive director of Film & Theatre Arts Charter High School.
Walden's 40-year history of educating educators has created a community of more than 50,000 students and alumni who are leaders in their classrooms and schools. As a leading provider of online education degrees, the Riley College of Education and Leadership is dedicated to increasing teacher effectiveness and student achievement by connecting its students with nationally recognized education experts, researchers and scholars. Walden's programs, while strongly grounded in theory, emphasize practical skills and analytical tools that educators can immediately use to enhance student learning and outcomes.
Walden's Riley College of Education and Leadership became a proud partner of the NEA Academy in October 2010. For more information about The Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership at Walden University, visit www.WaldenU.edu/education.