While Fund for Teachers has invested $30 million in teacher grants for summer fellowships since 2001, this marks only the second year that we’ve awarded Innovation Circle Grants. To extend the value of our traditional summer fellowships, we created this space for FFT Fellows to connect and collaborate around key priorities in education. Fellows propose innovative inquiries into a predetermined set of topics and, through a selective process, receive up to $1,500 to individually pursue summer learning experiences and then convene virtually with other Fellows to reflect and implement their learning in the classroom. Today’s podcast is specifically about Innovation Circle Grants – what they are and what they can do – for teachers and their students.
Today we’re learning from FFT Fellow Pooja Bhaskar. In 2016, Pooja taught at the International High School for Health Sciences in Queens and used a Fund for Teachers’ grant to achieve intermediate proficiency in the Hindi language in Bombay, India, to better support students and their families emigrating from Tibet, India and Bangladesh. Last summer, with an Innovation Circle Grant, they researched the art, agriculture and history of Guatemala's indigenous groups to incorporate authentic, interdisciplinary artifacts into science curricula for recently immigrated students at the Bronx School for Law, Government and Justice.
Download Pooja's curriculum created on Food Activism and Plant Medicine with their grant here.