Tuesday, June 19, 2012

What iPads, Turtles, and New Teachers have in Common

The NEA Foundation Awards 60 Grants to Support Educators’ Innovative Ideas


WASHINGTON, DC (June 19, 2012) — In South Holland, IL, Michele Liberio’s non-verbal students will use iPads to become members of a highly social technological environment as they learn how to communicate in class more efficiently. In Hudson, MA, Elizabeth Joki’s students will collaborate with wildlife biologists to care for, study, release, and track endangered turtles, learning about scientific research methods, turtle ecology and biology, and the complexities of species conservation. In Norfolk, VA, Dr. Angela Eckhoff will guide a teacher learning community of recent graduates as they navigate their first teaching year in a primary grades classroom.


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 60 educators in 28 states, for a total of $216,000.


“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 primary categories of grants to public education professionals: Student Achievement Grants for initiatives to improve academic achievement, and Learning & Leadership Grants for high-quality professional development activities. Of these, four are the NEA Foundation– EarthEcho Water Planet Challenge Grants, which support service-learning programs that improve the health of our water planet.


A team of 20 educators, many of whom are 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 latest grants were awarded to educators in 28 different states. 


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.


The NEA Foundation awards its grants to educators three times a year. The next grant deadline is October 15, 2012. Links to the application, and grant guidelines, including a video with step by step instructions on how to apply, can be found at neafoundation.org.


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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 www.neafoundation.org for more information. Find us on Facebook and Twitter, and visit our blog.

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