The Foundation for Portland Public Schools (FPPS) has completed its twelfth annual fall teacher grants program cycle. Sixty-one teachers have been awarded grants totaling $48,595, impacting over 8,000 students at all grade levels in 16 schools across the district.
The Equity and Innovation Teachers Grants Program supports PPS teachers in their efforts to enrich education, innovate in the classroom, and engage the community. FPPS grant programming recognizes and supports teachers’ work to inspire students and improve learning outcomes. This fall, with students in hybrid and remote learning in the Portland School District, 2020’s funded projects were especially innovative in the ways teachers addressed adapting to educating students during a pandemic. The funding will cover such items and initiatives as kits of materials for students to use at home during remote learning; remote visits from artists, authors, and community activists; community partnerships to start affinity groups for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) middle school students; resources for a mental health bookclub and more.
Mike Bove, the FPPS board member who chairs the Teacher Grants committee, said, “It’s crucial to support our teachers in addressing the challenges of education in such difficult times. We’re moved by their dedication to enhancing and enriching the student experience, both in-person and remotely. This year’s awards represent heartfelt gratitude from FPPS to Portland’s educators.”
Matt Bernstein, a teacher at Casco Bay High School and grant recipient both last year and this year, shared his gratitude. “The FPPS Grants Program is instrumental to my practice. I am extremely grateful for the support and the opportunity to bring in experts and engage students in varied ways of learning. The application process is also user friendly and I appreciate how responsive FPPS is to questions about applications and projects. Thank you for everything!”
Support for the 2020 Equity and Innovation Teacher Grants Program came from the Lennox Foundation, Portland Pottery, J.B. Brown & Sons, Clark Insurance, Duckfat, Capozza Tile and Floor Covering Center, Maine Yacht Center, Maine Orthodontics, Green Clean Maine, Benchmark Real Estate, Town and Country Credit Union and many individual contributors.