The Cotsen Foundation for the ART of TEACHING has awarded over $211,000 in grants to alumni schools and teachers in order to support teacher collaboration, professional learning and parent involvement for the 2017 – 2018 school year.
Each year the foundation offers several categories of grants to support its participants’ continued professional growth. The categories include Parent Involvement, Alumni Group, Alumni Conference, and Strategic Opportunity.
Cotsen Parent Involvement Grant
The purpose of the Parent Involvement Grant is to help parents better understand the ART of TEACHING classroom curriculum, and learn ways to assist their children in their academic studies at home. The grant is made available to Cotsen alumni, and current fellows who are in the second year of their fellowship cycle. Grant funds are used to provide meeting materials, refreshments, books, classroom resources, and limited additional items directly related to the grant plan.
Each year, teachers create unique and meaningful ways to engage parents in their children’s education utilizing parent involvement grant monies. This year some of the funded projects included: Giving Parents a Window to Understanding Common Core Math in Kindergarten, Family Literacy Night, Parent Support on Foundational Reading Skills for Students, CGI Parent Night – Creating a CGI Community, What is My Child Doing in Math and What Can I Do to Help: A CGI Math Workshop Series, and STEAM Family Night, among many others.
Cotsen Alumni Group Grant
The purpose of this grant is to support ongoing teacher collaboration designed to improve student learning. This category of grants is available to small groups of ART of TEACHING teachers in a Cotsen-affiliated district, and may also include non-Cotsen teachers. Teachers who receive this grant form study or inquiry groups that focus on content such as lesson development, standards mapping, differentiating instruction, or coaching colleagues by observing and giving feedback.
Some of this year’s funded inquiry groups will concentrate their efforts on Reader’s Workshop with Lucy Calkins: Instilling a Love of Reading with Reader’s Workshop, Creating Mathematical Scholars Using CGI Strategies, Breathing Life Into Non-fiction, and Effective Intervention Through the Workshop Model.
Cotsen Strategic Opportunity Grant
The purpose of the Strategic Opportunity Grant is to strengthen and improve teacher practice at one or more schools in a district through Professional Learning Communities work. Strategic Opportunity Grant funds may be used to provide release time for classroom observations, planning, materials and resources. Money may also provide for funding to support further professional development for content area experts.
This year, Cotsen has invested over $137,000 in Strategic Opportunity Grants for schools in northern and southern California. Some of this year’s funded projects included: Balanced Literacy: Guided Reading & Independent Reading Components, Upper Grade Lab Days to Deepen CGI Instructional Understanding, Strategies and Structures for Teaching Reading and Writing, and Build a STEAM Team to Grow Capacity and Expertise in Teachers.
Cotsen Alumni Conference Grant
The purpose of this grant is to provide support to alumni teachers attending outside professional development to further the work started during their ART of TEACHING experience. Grant funds are used to reimburse the recipient’s cost of registration or travel expenses (airfare or accommodation) to an eligible conference or institute. Some of this year’s eligible conferences or institutes included:
Teachers College – August Writing Institute Institute, Teachers College – August Reading Institute Institute, Teachers College – Qualities of Powerful Essay Writing Institute, Grades 3-5, Teachers College — Teaching Nonfiction Reading Skills and Strategies in a Way That Gives Kids Wings and Roots, 58th CMC-South Annual Mathematics Conference –Growing Powerful Students: Mathematics as a GPS to Empower All, CUE 2018 National Conference, and the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Annual Convention.
The Cotsen Foundation views the awarding of grants as a critical component of the support for ongoing professional growth support of ART of TEACHING participants. Congratulations to this year’s grant recipients; the foundation is pleased to fund your work to enhance your instructional practice.