Celebrating Portland Public Schools Teacher Innovations with Equity and Innovation Teacher Grant Awards

The Foundation for Portland Public Schools (FPPS) has just completed its 13th annual teacher grants program cycle. Sixty-six teachers, ed techs, librarians, and others have been awarded grants totaling $51,619. These grants will benefit thousands of students – from preK through Portland Adult Education – in 17 schools across the Portland Public Schools (PPS).

The Equity and Innovation Teachers Grants Program supports PPS staff in their efforts to enrich education, innovate in the classroom, and engage the community. Funded projects are selected based on their potential to inspire students and improve learning outcomes. This year, funding will support a wide range of projects, including expanding and diversifying classroom and school libraries; providing students with supplies, access to visiting artists, and tickets to performances to enhance art and music education; purchasing science and technological equipment; and expanding the range of social and emotional supports available in our schools.

Lisa Page, the FPPS board member who chairs the Teacher Grants committee, said, “This year’s round of proposals demonstrates the resilience, creativity, and dedication of Portland’s educators. Students at every level will feel their effects in all sorts of ways, from updated and expanded book collections to field trips, guest speakers, and special projects. Supporting one teacher enhances the experience of an entire classroom, often for years to come.”

Hannah Guillaume Chimenti, a teacher at Ocean Avenue Elementary School and grant recipient last year, shared her gratitude. “This program is empowering for teachers, students, and schools. Thank you for making it so simple. You are really making a positive impact on education!”

Support for the 2021 Equity and Innovation Teacher Grants Program came from the Cabin Foundation, EnviroLogix (via the Ensign Bickford Foundation), Coffee By Design, Town & Country Federal Credit Union, Saco & Biddeford Savings Charitable Foundation, and many individual contributors.