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Christel House Academy Wins 2011 NAESP/MetLife Sharing the Dream Grant

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    Ben Smith

Expeditionary Learning Principal of Christel House Academy Wins NAESP Foundation and MetLife Foundation Community Engagement Grant

Christel House Academy will use the Sharing the Dream grant of $5,000 to promote global awareness.

Indianapolis, Indiana—12/15/11—Christel House Academy, a public charter school authorized by the Mayor of Indianapolis, has won a 2011 Sharing the Dream grant from the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) Foundation and MetLife Foundation. The $5,000 grant is to help principals build closer relationships between schools and communities. Mr. Carey Dahncke is among 25 principals from across the nation who have each been awarded the grant to strengthen parent and community engagement and to create opportunities for students to gain the global perspective necessary for success in the 21st century.

The grants will support educators’ efforts to create globally oriented schools and international learning communities, and to engage students in transformative, multidisciplinary experiences and service learning projects that will help them succeed in the interconnected world of the 21st century.

This grant will enable the school’s middle school teachers to engage in an “Indy to Africa” AIDS awareness project. The middle school teachers will be using Expeditionary Learning principles to construct a multidisciplinary, project based learning program that will help students understand the global impact of HIV/AIDS, as it relates to the United Nations Millennium Development goals.

“Sharing the Dream grants encourage the innovative development of learning communities that is the hallmark of effective principal leadership,” said NAESP Foundation CEO Ernest J. Mannino. “We are excited to be able to directly impact the important work that principals do to enhance communication and build capacity within school communities.”

This year’s grant-winning principals were carefully selected for the distinctive, but practical, programs they created to improve communications within their communities and better prepare students to succeed in a global environment. Recipient schools represent rural, urban, small, and large, elementary and middle schools. Awards were based on need, the creativity of the plan, and the commitment to program evaluation.

“We are pleased to join with NAESP in encouraging school leaders committed to engaging their communities and in supporting collaboration to increase student knowledge of the world,” said Dennis White, president and CEO of MetLife Foundation.

To view the list of 2011 Sharing the Dream grant recipients, visit


Christel House Academy is a public charter school located in Indianapolis, Indiana. It was established in 2002 and is authorized by the Mayor of Indianapolis. Christel House Academy is an award winning school, recognized for closing the achievement gap with low-income students in inter-city Indianapolis.

Christel House Academy is a part of the Christel House International network of schools. Christel House International is a global nonprofit organization supporting five schools around the world educating children living in poverty. More information can be found at

Established in 1921, the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) serves elementary and middle school principals in the United States, Canada, and overseas. NAESP leads in the advocacy and support for elementary and middle-level principals and other education leaders in their commitment to all children. The NAESP Foundation, founded in 1982, is the charitable arm of NAESP and is dedicated to securing and stewarding private gifts and grants that benefit the National Association of Elementary School Principals.

MetLife Foundation is committed to building a secure future for individuals and communities worldwide, through a focus on empowering older adults, preparing young people and building livable communities. In education, it seeks to strengthen public schools through effective teaching and collaborative leadership, and to prepare students for access to and success in higher education, particularly during the crucial first year. The Foundation’s grantmaking is informed by findings from the annual MetLife Survey of the American Teacher. More information is available at