Grants Award More Than $100,000 for Ideas

GoTeach! Grants Award More Than $100,000 for Innovative Classroom Ideas
Posted on 10/09/2020
Ed Foundation Grants

On October 8, the Education Foundation of Palm Beach County celebrated innovative teachers throughout Palm Beach County, by awarding $116,000 in grants through the Foundation’s GoTeach! Classroom Grant Awards program.

Due to COVID-19, the annual celebration was taken online, but that didn’t stop members of the Foundation’s board and School Board members Chuck Shaw, Marcia Andrews, Erica Whitfield, and Karen Brill from surprising several recipients at their homes with oversized checks and balloons.

The GoTeach! Grants are awarded in the categories of elementary, middle, and high schools as well as special needs. The direct-to-classroom grants focus on priority areas of literacy, STEM, career readiness, increasing graduation rates, supporting under-performing students, and social-emotional learning. Individual teachers are eligible to submit an application requesting up to $1,000 and a team of teachers can submit an application requesting up to $1,500 in funding support.

This year, a new grant category called GoReach! Grants awarded $3,000 to teachers and administrators, allowing them to take their innovative ideas beyond their classroom and reach additional students in the same priority areas.

The beginning teacher and mentor teachers of the year, as well as the District’s Teacher of the Year Syndie White, also received a GoTeach! Classroom grant award to be used for innovative programs in their classroom. In total, 73 grants were awarded.

“This year, we were simply overwhelmed by the zeal, dedication, and innovative thinking shown by our public school teachers. Their passion for education and their love for their students as well as for their profession was palpable in every grant proposal we reviewed and scored,” said James Gavrilos, president and CEO of the Education Foundation.

Riviera Beach Preparatory & Achievement Academy principal Mark Simmonds surprised one of his teachers Toshimi Abe-Janiga at her Wellington home, presenting her with a $1,500 grant. The funds will go toward a program at Riviera Beach Prep. that is designed to incorporate a school-wide reading initiative while teaching African American history and ways to dismantle systematic racism in American society.

As part of the project, students will participate in a local Black cemetery preservation project to clean up the Sugarhill Cemetery Memorial Park.

“What a night! Surprise, surprise, and tears.” Abe-Janiga said. “Your organization truly motivates me to do more for our students.”

Other grants will help teachers incorporate robotics and virtual reality in their classrooms, introduce culturally diverse books to enhance reading comprehension, teach students about scientific inquiry through gardening, and supporting the needs of band students who struggle with anxiety and depression due to traumatic home lives.

To view the program of the event, including a complete list of the winners and their grant-winning projects, click here. For more information on the Education Foundation of Palm Beach County, click here.


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