Training grants assist Palm Seaside County lecturers make a significant distinction
PALM BEACH COUNTY, Florida – Thousands of dollars in grant money are now available to local teachers they may not even know about.
Palm Beach County’s Education Foundation is accepting applications for their GoTeach! Classroom Grant Program, which awarded more than $ 116,000 to educators last year alone.
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The Lake Worth Community High School Band marches to a new beat, one full of emotion, strength and awareness.
“We really noticed that our students were struggling with mental health throughout the virtual time and distance from all of our friends,” said band director Tiffany Cox.
Because of this, Cox applied to the Palm Beach County Education Foundation for a grant to purchase yoga mats for their nearly 100 band members.
Through stretching and breathing exercises, the students began to integrate yoga and mindfulness into their music.
“The change was honestly almost instant,” said Cox. “We saw such an improvement in the way they interacted with each other, how they performed academically, how they played their instruments.”
For students like Jeilyn Sevilla, the movement completely changed their mood.
“I feel that this yoga has helped us relax. It has helped us a lot because a lot of us are going through things, not just at school but at home too. And it was so difficult,” said Sevilla .
Sevilla added that she was grateful that her teacher shed a bright light on the needs of the students.
“I owe her my mental health as I am fine at the moment,” said Sevilla. “Because without the yoga that she would do with us, I wouldn’t be where I am now.”
Lake Worth Community High School band director Tiffany Cox will guide students through yoga on June 22, 2021.
At Riviera Beach Preparatory and Achievement Academy, teacher Toshimi Abe-Janiga said current events motivated her scholarship application to help her students learn about the past.
“The death of George Floyd sparked a lot of national protests,” Abe-Janiga said. “And then I thought, how many students know about your history?”
Abe-Janiga’s grant money was used to buy copies of “Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You” by Jason Reynolds and Dr. Ibram X. Kendi to buy t-shirts and to fund an excursion to Sugarhill Cemetery Memorial Park, a local historical fund cemetery.
“The whole school read this book together every day for more than 40 days,” said Abe-Janiga. “It’s important for them to know who they are and the scholarship has really helped them and the faculty a lot.”
Copies of Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You in a classroom at Riviera Beach Preparatory and Achievement Academy on June 22, 2021.
“Of all the things we do at the Education Foundation, what we enjoy most is giving money to teachers,” said James Gavrilos, CEO of the Palm Beach County Education Foundation.
Gavrilos said any teacher can apply for the $ 1,000-5,000 grants. All they need is a unique, innovative idea to improve their classroom.
“You can’t keep a good teacher down,” said Gavrilos. “Illness, pandemic, global closures. Palm Beach County’s public school teachers are going to find a way to make it work, and I think the GoTeach!
Gavrilos said a jury will review every grant application. You are looking for innovative and creative ideas.
“The judges aren’t really looking for, oh, I have to buy this book for this class I teach,” said Gavrilos. “We had teachers who used ukuleles to teach music to children with special needs. We had teachers doing plays ‘The Little Mermaid’ for English learners. Think about your budget and let us take care of it. Get it working. “
LEARN ABOUT THE GRANT PROGRAM:
Interview with the CEO of the Education Foundation of Palm Beach County
Last year, Palm Beach County’s Education Foundation awarded more than 70 scholarships to teachers. To find out more about the recipients and their projects, click here.
This year’s applications are possible until July 16 at 5 p.m. To apply for a GoTeach! Classroom Grant, click here.