A Look Back at This Year’s Educator Grants

A Look Back at This Year’s Educator Grants

by January 2, 2018

We’re proud of the projects we’ve helped support this year. Read all about them and get inspired—and apply for your own grant!


Throughout fall 2017, the Teaching Tolerance Educator Grants program helped innovative projects across the country take flight as anti-bias educators embedded inclusive, affirming and just practices into teaching and learning at their schools.

You can read about some of the initiatives we’ve supported in the past on our Grants page, where you can also explore the story behind our featured grantee project and peruse the winning projects in the “Select Grant Award Winners” section.

Here’s a look at a few of projects we’ve supported this fall.

 

Playing Together

In August, we interviewed special educator Fran Krackow, a 44-year veteran teacher of students with profound disabilities. Krackow’s students, all in wheelchairs, were unable to enjoy their recess due to a wheelchair-inaccessible playground.

Krackow used the grant to buy playground equipment that her students could use with their peers. “Right now, my kids are just sitting and watching in a wheelchair,” she told us when she received the grant. “Soon they’ll be able to play with other kids, literally, on inclusive playground equipment.”

 

Cultural Inclusivity in the Kitchen

In Portland, Oregon, Caty Marshall imagined the benefits of a culturally inclusive cooking club. With many immigrant and refugee families at her school, she wanted to build a sense of cohesive community and unify the school’s disparate groups. She turned to the Grants program to transform her vision into reality.

“Who doesn’t like to eat?” she asked us. “Just get people together.”

Marshall organized parents to take turns teaching the group how to cook a meal from their home countries. With the grant’s help, she was able to provide each participant with a $50 gift card to cover their recipe’s ingredients.

The dinners fostered a sense of belonging for families uncomfortable walking into their school building or asking for help. “We want to make this school a welcoming, fun place where families want to be,” Marshall said.

Learn more about the Teaching Tolerance Educator Grants program and apply for your own grant here!

Strengthening DeafBlind Identities

At a school for the Deaf in the Midwest, educator Wendy Harris saw her DeafBlind students exhibiting internalized bias about their identities. Many did not want to be seen with a cane, Harris told us, and some felt embarrassed to ask for accommodations.

She applied for a Teaching Tolerance grant to help put her students into contact with successful, thriving DeafBlind adults. Students’ interactions with local accountants and politicians were organized to build positive student identity, strengthen their capacity to navigate independently in their daily lives and educate school staff to interact more respectfully with the DeafBlind youth.

“We want to be more inclusive and ensure that our DeafBlind students feel welcomed as fully valued members of the community,” recalled Harris. “To achieve this, we need to expand our limited experience and knowledge.”

What’s New With the Grantee Community?

In addition to managing their individual projects, the recipients of our Educator Grants cultivate their own supportive community—sharing project pictures, exchanging feedback and brainstorming future ideas—in an online forum.

Last month, grantees gathered in a video meeting to hear TT Advisory Board member and Education Professor Amber Makaiau speak about how she and her colleagues at the University of Hawaii at Manoa are integrating TT’s Social Justice Standards into their curriculum. The team is also using the standards to redesign their teacher education program.

We anticipate an inspiring, engaging year ahead for our grantee community and for their schools, and we look forward to supporting more projects to serve students around the country.

Grant applications are accepted on a rolling basis and reviewed at the first of each month. Apply now to be considered in the next round!

Ehrenhalt is the school-based programming and grants manager with Teaching Tolerance.

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