Exploring the EL Education Curriculum? Register now for summer Professional Development.

Fund for Teachers

Every April since 2004, it has been our great pleasure and pride to announce the new class of EL Education Fund for Teachers Fellows. Fund for Teachers (FFT) awards grants for self-designed summer professional development for teachers to help them grow in and out of the classroom.

EL Education teachers have won over 500 fellowships since 2004, and these teachers have become leaders in the network and beyond. Among their number are four Klingenstein Teaching Award winners, multiple state Teacher of the Year honorees, and many who have eventually become EL Education staff.

Each Fund for Teachers fellowship is as unique as the teacher who designed it, and since 2001, approximately 5,000 teachers have been awarded $17.8 million in Fund for Teachers grants-up to $5,000 for individuals, or $10,000 for teams. Fund for Teachers fellowships have taken place in 124 countries on every continent, empowering teachers to explore new ideas, new cultures, and new ways to make a difference.

EL Education’s 2018 Fund for Teachers Fellows

  • Rachel Brill, Washington Heights Expeditionary Learning School: Embark on a four-week language and cultural immersion in Nicaragua and Costa Rica in order to strengthen family relationships, increase student achievement, and cultivate a strong school community.
  • Jill Padfield and Carly Connor, Franklin School of Innovation: Our team will visit Wellington, NZ, Melbourne, AU, and Singapore to conduct interviews and collect data about biophilic and sustainable design in architecture and in schools. Using this data, our 10th grade English and Math students will write a math-driven proposal for a sustainable, biophilic addition to our new school building.
  • Linda Vaglia, Amana Academy: Enroll in a Spanish immersion program at the Gaia Amazon Spanish School in Ecuador in order to learn Spanish, improve communication with my students and their Spanish speaking families, and help the students improve their English language skills while gaining an understanding of the unique ecosystems and animals of the Amazon rainforest.
  • Rebecca Friedland, Lighthouse Community Charter School: Experience Biology field work firsthand by volunteering with Marine Biologists who study and restore coral reefs. This experience will help me create meaningful Biology curriculum that anchors our learning in coral reef case studies, establish a culture of environmental activism in my classroom, and increase my Spanish fluency.
  • Angela Ackerman, Christa McAuliffe Regional Charter Public School: Study photojournalism and storytelling with expert photojournalist Stella Johnson in Chania, Crete while documenting the personal stories and daily life in Nea Chora to create a documentary narrative of compelling images that tell a story.
  • Regena Pauketat and Lily Carey, Lighthouse Community Charter School: By taking Spanish language immersion classes and exploring indigenous and Spanish culture in Oaxaca, Mexico, we will build a culturally relevant curriculum to engage students in core classes, serve English Language Learners, focus on the intersection of art and activism, and extend communication and relationships with Spanish-speaking families.
  • Elizabeth Schibuk and Chris Schroeder, Conservatory Lab Charter School: Create a self-directed short summer residency to study Hurricane Maria, and use it as a proxy for better understanding the human impact of an increasingly warming planet. We will use our experience to write an 8th grade STEAM learning expedition.
  • Ryan Pleune, Pacific Heritage Academy: Investigate language, culture and ecology intertwined in Gaelic to develop a unit for my curriculum and to better relate to, engage, teach and understand language and cultural minority students and families. Immerse in minority language revitalization to uncover implicit biases as a white teacher and unconscious oppressor in a monolingual culture.
  • Ed Yoo, Codman Academy Charter Public School: Enhance my science course curriculum by establishing a permanent educational partnership with the Utila Dive Center (UDC) and Whaleshark and Oceanic Research Center (WSORC) in Utila, Honduras and receive training to lead “Discover Scuba” Classes through our local YMCA Community Pool.
  • Meaghan McKinnon and Christina Caceres, Harvey Elementary: Visit civil and human rights museums in Atlanta and Washington, D.C. to explore historical changemakers, meet with grassroots organizers in D.C., and then connect this learning to the structure of the federal government to learn the process by which individuals can make a difference in order to cultivate a mindset of change in our students.
  • Jessica Cimini-Samuels, Marsh Avenue Expeditionary Learning School: Attend the Space Port Area Conference for K-12 Educators at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida where I will network with NASA scientists, engineers, astronauts and educators from the around the country. After the conference I will tour the Space Center and experience the Astronaut Training Experience exhibit.
  • Rebecca Wenstrom, Two Rivers Public Charter School: Research the evidence and impact of climate change on the wetlands near Churchill, Manitoba with the Churchill Northern Studies Centre (CNSC), in order to learn the skills and methods of scientific field research and develop an authentic fieldwork component on for our 6th grade earth science curriculum.
  • Tracy Wu, Brooklyn School for Collaborative Studies: Conduct interviews and observations of models of schools that have successfully implemented systems of restorative practices in New Zealand; Bethlehem, PA; Oakland, CA; and Santa Cruz, CA. Learn restorative discipline best practices from experts and school sites in order to strengthen my school’s restorative discipline system.
  • Layne Rose, Atwater Elementary: Attend the Space Port Conference for Educators at the Kennedy Space Center to enhance the current space colonization unit I have created. This 5th grade student led unit focuses on problem solving, is inquiry based and includes numerous subject areas to create a unique and engaging learning experience for all.
  • Eric Levine, Springfield Renaissance School: Participate in the CDC’s Science Ambassador Fellowship program. This fellowship will begin with a five-day residency at the CDC in Atlanta, and continue as a remote curriculum development collaboration between fellows and CDC scientists.

Past Winners

Bethany Hobbs
Bethany Hobbs
Sara Boeck
Sara Boeck
Erin Thesing
Erin Thesing
John Lydon
John Lydon
Simon Farrell
Simon Farrell

Read about how these winners used their funds:

February to March 2019

Application review

April 2019

Winners announced