California Educator

August 2015

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The IFT Grant Selection Commit- tee reviewed nearly 100 applications. Proposals were evaluated through IFT's Strength-Based Matrix for Creating a Culture of Success, based on seven factors: • Focusing on the Future • Strengthening the Work Ethic • Expanding Family-School Relations • Strengthening the Social Ethic • Valuing Child Rearing Practices • Encouraging System-Wide Thinking • Moving to a Learning-Centered Environment Liane Cismowski, IFT board and committee member, says that proposals have become more refined each year as awareness and understanding of the matrix have increased. IFT grants up to $5,000 for individual or $20,000 for group projects. In six years it has awarded 167 grants totaling almost $1.8 million. Congratulations to the winners! For more on IFT and to apply for a grant, see Winning Ideas Institute for Teaching recognizes innovative initiatives C T A ' S I N S T I T U T E F O R T E A C H I N G ( I F T ) has announced 2015-16 grants to educators for 39 projects that help cre- ate a school/community culture of success. The awards total $493,910 — the largest single-year total since the grant program began six years ago. Through various ways, the winning projects focus on how teacher-driven, strength-based change can improve the teaching and learning process. Nearly one quarter of the winning projects involve older students working directly with younger students. For example, Moreno Valley middle school teacher Deepika Srivastava and her colleagues created a program that allows their students (pictured at the 2015 Moreno Valley Math Finals) to not only learn, but also serve as math ambassadors to young students. Similarly, the Dance Collaborative created by Fontana high school teacher Nicole Robinson (pictured with some of her students) not only supported the growth of her school's dance program but also strengthened commu- nity connections, since her students work with elementary school students. Fontana High School teacher Nicole Robinson, pictured (third from right) with some of her students, created The Dance Collaborative, a winning grant project. Moreno Valley Math League, another grant winner, held its math finals earlier this year. 52 CTA & You

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