Friday, July 12, 2013

From Social Justice to Environmental Service-Learning Projects, Educators Work to Improve Student Learning

The NEA Foundation Awards 52 Grants to Support Educators’ Innovative Ideas

WASHINGTON, DC (July 12, 2013) — In Columbus, OH, Charles Steinbower will lead a civil rights and social justice unit at William K. Willis High School to teach students about the impact of the Civil Rights Movement on the southern United States and apartheid on past, present, and future South Africa using readings, panel discussions, and a traveling exhibit that will focus on the injustices of the landmark Emmett Till case. In Milton, VT, Courtney Reckord, an art teacher at Milton High School, will introduce “Art: A Common Language” to inspire communication between students in India and Milton, VT by sharing students’ original art on the Vermont Young Writer’s Project website. And in Richmond, VA, Brianne Gunn of Falling Creek Middle School will conduct a service-learning project that will teach students about clean-up efforts in the James River watershed, giving students the tools necessary to lead a community river clean-up day.

This is a small and very random sample of the innovative work the NEA Foundation is funding with its latest round of grants: awarded to 52 educators across 26 states for a total of $187,000, reaching a total of nearly 18,000 students and more than 1,800 educators.

“With these grants, we are supporting educator- driven solutions that contribute to improved student performance in public schools,” said Harriet Sanford, president and CEO of the NEA Foundation. “Our support enables educators to engage in a wide variety of innovative approaches to the benefit of students across the country.”  

The NEA Foundation awards two levels of funding, $2,000 or $5,000, for two primary categories of grants to public education professionals: Student Achievement Grants for initiatives to improve academic achievement, and Learning and Leadership Grants for high-quality professional development activities. Of these, thirteen have been awarded for literacy projects in collaboration with strategic Foundation partner Mazda.

A team of 20 educators, many former grantees, carefully reviewed all applications and evaluated each one against a set of criteria. Funded grants were selected for the quality of the proposed ideas and their potential for enhancing student achievement.

The NEA Foundation has invested more than $8.6 million in grants to support the work of almost 4,000 educators from every state in the country to help students succeed. Each year, the Foundation awards approximately 150 Student Achievement and Learning & Leadership Grants. To learn about these educators’ projects, visit our newly redesigned Grantee Archive, where you can search for grantees and projects by most recent, grade level, subject, state, or keyword.

The NEA Foundation awards its grants to educators three times a year. The next grant deadline is October 15, 2013. Application forms and a video with step-by-step instructions on how to apply can be found in the Grants to Educators section of our website.

 - - -

About The NEA Foundation
The NEA Foundation is a public charity supported by contributions from educators' dues, corporate sponsors, and others who support public education initiatives.We partner with education unions, districts, and communities to create powerful, sustainable improvements in teaching and learning. Visit for more information. Find us on Facebook and Twitter, and visit our blog.

‹‹ Back to News Releases