The Cotsen Foundation for the ART of TEACHING has awarded over $193,000 in grants to participating schools and teachers in order to facilitate teacher collaboration, professional learning and parent involvement for the 2016 – 2017 school year.
Each year the foundation offers several categories of grants to support participants’ continuous professional growth. The categories include Parent Involvement, Alumni Group, and Strategic Opportunity. This year, the foundation added a fourth category, the Alumni Conference Grant.
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’s funded projects include Family Literacy Night, Family Math Night, Non-Fiction Reading Strategies for Parents, and Creating an Effective Parent-School Partnership, 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 Integrated Technology in the Classroom, Reading Workshop, Using Mentor Text to Teach Writing, and Minding Mindset: Avenues to New Growth in Mathematics.
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.
This year, Cotsen has invested over $142,000 in Strategic Opportunity Grants for schools in northern and southern California.
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. This year’s eligible conferences or institutes included:
Teachers College – Qualities of Powerful Nonfiction Writing Institute, Grades 2-8, Teachers College – Leadership Institute: Supporting Whole School, Whole District Reform in Literacy, 2016 California Science Education Conference, Teachers College – 16th Annual Coaching Institute, 57th CMC-South Annual Mathematics Conference – Sparking Deeper Understanding, Teachers College – The Social Studies Institute, Grades 3-8, National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Annual Convention, Teachers College – Writing Toolkit Institute, CUE 2017 National Conference.
The Cotsen Foundation views the awarding of grants as a critical component of the 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.