SOURCE: Fund for Teachers

May 06, 2008 10:30 ET

Opening a World of Inspiration -- National Foundation Fund for Teachers Awards Nearly $2 Million in Grants Nationwide

HOUSTON, TX--(Marketwire - May 6, 2008) - The inspiration of one can touch countless others -- hundreds of teachers across the country will expand their teaching acumen this summer through self-designed grants made possible by Fund for Teachers. Through these summer experiences, teachers will return to the classroom reinvigorated to motivate and enhance the education of thousands of children.

In April 2008, Fund for Teachers (FFT), a national education foundation based in Houston, awarded $1,954,406 in grants to 489 teachers. Through these grants, teachers pursue learning around the globe that is deemed to have the greatest impact in the classroom, in the academic lives of their students, and on their school communities.

Fund for Teachers expanded its reach this year, thanks to an anonymous donation, to partner with The Rural School and Community Trust. The Rural Trust is a non-profit organization recognized for addressing the crucial relationship between good schools and thriving rural communities. With this additional funding, Fund for Teachers will provide grants to teachers working in some of the poorest and most challenging rural communities in the country.

"Each FFT grant is an investment in the future. Teachers pass on knowledge and influence the lives of students on a daily basis by opening to them a world of possibilities," said Karen Kovach-Webb, executive director of Fund for Teachers. "Throughout their career, one teacher can impact as many as 3,000 students; and those students go on to influence countless others."

The teachers, named 2008 FFT fellows, receive individual grants of up to $5,000 and team grants up to $10,000, allowing them to travel, attend seminars and workshops, and acquire hands-on experience. This year's fellows are examining a wide variety of subjects that include traveling to Vietnam to study the history and effects of the Vietnam War; attending a conference for literacy educators in Australia and observing how their schools promote literacy for language-minority students; and visiting Italy to study Renaissance and Medieval art, just to name a few.

FFT fellows are teachers who work with students in grades pre-K-12, have a minimum of three years' teaching experience and spend at least 50 percent of their full-time schedule in a classroom setting. Selections are based on how the proposed summer activity will make the applicant a better teacher, how the knowledge acquired will be implemented in the classroom, and how the improved skills will benefit students, curricula and the school.

While describing his sabbatical to Iwo Jima in 2007, Jeff Walker, a high school history teacher, said, "While I expected the experience offered by the fellowship to be one of outstanding significance, I had little idea of the impact on my students' learning... I found that the most effective way to spark student interest was through a personal connection to the material."

"Fund for Teachers helped me bring that 'personal connection point' into sharp focus by giving students a concrete connection to the past," he continued. "Without a doubt, my Fund for Teachers trip was just as valuable to my students as it was for me."

Founded in 1998 by Apache Corporation Chairman, Raymond Plank, Fund for Teachers has provided funding for more than 3,000 fellows in 47 states and Puerto Rico. The program is made possible by the generous donations of sponsors including Baker Botts, Halliburton, NewsCorp, and Jones New York.

For more information about Fund for Teachers, visit

About Fund for Teachers (FFT)

FFT's mission is to enrich the personal and professional growth of teachers by recognizing and supporting them as they identify and pursue opportunities around the globe that will have the greatest impact on their practice, the academic lives of their students and on their school communities.

For the complete list of the FFT fellows, local market partners and donors, please contact Elmore Public Relations at

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