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Professional Learning Grants to Benefit Educators and their Students

This marks the second year that union members in Norwalk Public Schools are participating in FFT, with 21 teachers awarded grants for 2016. They will be traveling to nine different countries on four continents, spanning from Alaska’s Denali National Park to Bora Bora to Japan.
Click here for press coverage announcing FFT grant winners in Norwalk.
“We rejoice at the talent, passion, and enthusiasm of Norwalk teachers, and at the generosity of the Fund for Teachers project,” said Mary Yordon, a French teacher at Ponus Ridge Middle School in Norwalk. “These innovative grants will allow teachers to embark on exciting and interesting projects, each one designed not only for teacher growth, but for what it will give back to the school community,” added Yordon, who serves as president of the Norwalk Federation of Teachers and on AFT Connecticut’s executive committee.
Yordon was part of the team that on the morning of April 5 made surprise classroom visits to congratulate local teachers on their selection as 2016 Fellows. She was joined by district administrators, Fund for Teachers’ Executive Director Karen Webb and Barbara Dalio, whose family foundation has partnered with FFT to expand the program here in Connecticut. 
“Many thanks to the Dalio Foundation and the Fund for Teachers for providing our teachers the opportunity to widen their horizons,” said Erin Benham (in photo above, far right), a literacy teacher at Lincoln Middle School in Meriden. “These proposals instill a love of learning that our district and students will benefit from; a win-win!” added Benham, who also serves as president of the Meriden Federation of Teachers and on AFT Connecticut’s executive committee.
Union members in Meriden Public Schools are first-time FFT participants and have 11 educators selected as Fellows for 2016. They will travel to six different countries on three continents, from San Francisco to Ghana.
Click here for photos of Meriden’s grant winners, who were also informed during surprise classroom visits.
In addition to Meriden and Norwalk, FFT grants were awarded to members of AFT Connecticut-affiliated unions in Colchester, Hartford, New Haven, North Branford and Wethersfield.
Click here for the full list of 46 AFT Connecticut-affiliated union members selected as FFT 2016 Fellows.
These teachers will return from their summer learning opportunities as powerful change agents with new insights, connections and tools to benefit their students, their schools and communities. They will inspire and challenge their students to apply their learning to real world issues, embrace perseverance, take ownership of their learning and build empathy for others.
This year, more than 200 Connecticut teachers applied for FFT grant funding. Connecticut’s Fellows were chosen by local selection committees comprised of teachers, administrators, union leaders, and community stakeholders. Through a rigorous process, every proposal was read three times and carefully reviewed against FFT’s objective rubric.
Click here to learn more about the Fund for Teachers program.

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