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Goizueta-Woodrow Wilson Enrichment Microgrants for WW Teaching Fellows Benefit Georgia Classrooms

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Laila Baicha, left, Michael Sanderson, Kendall Schlundt, and Genetta Reeves (facing away), work together during a recent microgrant workshop.

In 2015 the Goizueta Foundation of Atlanta made a three-year, $910,000 grant to provide professional enrichment for WW Georgia Teaching Fellows working in the metro Atlanta area. Grant recipients can choose to attend or present at conferences, buy teaching materials for their classrooms, or complete community-based service learning projects. The funding aims to benefit not only the Fellows, but also the schools and communities where they teach, their students, and the other educators with whom they work, providing rich opportunities unusual in high-need schools, even for veteran teachers.

Fellows are currently working on projects in schools in the Atlanta Public and Marietta City School districts as well as schools in Cobb, Henry, DeKalb, Gwinnett, and Fulton counties and have been able to bring materials like Chromebooks, 3D printers, and touchscreen digital microscopes into their classrooms. For example, funds from the grant have allowed Michael Fusia’s students at Wheeler High School to explore conductivity with Makey-Makey sets, while Derikson Rivera Rios’ biology students at Meadowcreek High School now work with virtual reality headsets and phones to get up-close-and-personal with the inside of a cell (see photo gallery above).

The funding also makes possible a series of workshops for all the Fellows who receive microgrants. Throughout the year, Fellows report back to other Fellows on what they learn or accomplish. At a recent Goizueta-funded workshop on assessment and assessment tools (pictured above), Fellows worked in groups to come up with strategies to measure student engagement and learning over the course of their projects.

Tyler Kinner is in his first year of teaching. Through a portion of his microgrant, he purchased lab equipment for his science class at Meadowcreek. When the students began working with the equipment during labs, “it was exciting to have something that was given to them that was unique and for them to use,” says Mr. Kinner. “Seeing their engagement when they realized that there are people who want them to be successful in science and math and to have cool stuff to help do it, versus just a worksheet, was really great.”


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