I first learned about Fund for Teachers (FFT) at a CMEA (Connecticut Music Educator's Association) event. A fellow music teacher in the district was a recipient the previous summer and raved about how awesome the organization is. I put it on my radar, and had to wait months until the application came out. During that time, I started to think about what my project would be. Here's the basics of how FFT works:
1. You get to design your own professional development. It has to take place during the summer.
2. You can work by yourself or with a group. Individuals can win up to $5,000 and groups up to $10,000.
3. There are a number of questions on the application regarding how the grant will benefit you and your students. Therefore, your project should have a strong purpose and be something that will clearly and directly benefit everyone.
4. All of your costs have to outlined exactly. The amount you are awarded is the amount you request. For example, if your project will cost you $3,357 that is how much you would be given.
5. FFT has an AWESOME pre-screening program that allows you to submit your application early and be read by one of their readers. During that time you receive feedback and ideas to help make your grant even better.
FFT is a National Organization and awards grants to teachers all over the coutry. However, it has a larger amount of recipients in certain areas on the country, based on local funding. Connecticut just happens to be one of the strongest programs, with funding from Barbara Dalio and the Dalio Foundation. With that being said, there are grant recipients from all over!
This is an incredible organization that does such wonderful things for teachers. If you are a teacher, APPLY FOR THIS GRANT. You can literally do anything you have been wanting to do professionally-- attend a conference, take classes, travel to a place your students come from-- the possibilities are endless.
I am honored to have been selected as a 2018 Fund for Teachers Fellowship Recipient. Through this grant I will travel to Nairobi, Kenya to work the the El Sistema based music program, Ghetto Classics. This blog will share information and stories about my first journey to Africa.