Norwalk Teachers Awarded "Golden Ticket" for Summer Learning

Norwalk Teachers Awarded "Golden Ticket" for Summer Learning
Posted on 04/02/2015
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Today, in partnership with Norwalk Public Schools, the Norwalk Federation of Teachers, and the Dalio Foundation, Fund for Teachers announced eight Norwalk teachers as recipients of grants totaling more than $34,000.

‚ÄčThese teachers will embark on summer odysseys spanning North America, South America and Europe.  Topics range from researching zero gravity at Cape Canaveral to examining special education and science instruction in Colombia. The following teachers are the 2015 Norwalk Fellows:

Andrew Pearce, Columbus Magnet Elementary: Participate in NASA's zero-gravity workshop at Cape Canaveral to enhance current Young Astronauts curriculum and inspire a new generation of students to embrace STEM principles.

Melissa Giandurco, Wolfpit:
Explore the Hawaiian Islands' historical and cultural traditions and incorporate findings into current study of myths and folklore to develop vocabulary and story writing skills with mainstream, special education and ELL students.

Louis Schede, Norwalk High School: Participate in a month-long NOLS Wilderness course in the North Cascades Mountains of the Pacific Northwest, using new skills to establish a Wilderness Club that fosters students' perseverance, teamwork and leadership.

Susan Quatrella, Kelsey Murphy and Joseph LaPrad, Brien McMahon High School: Study in Colombia methods of special education and science instruction (course progression, student-centered learning activities, inquiry-based learning) to better help students transition into the school system and facilitate correct course placement with necessary resources.

Diana Manousos, Brien McMahon High School: Attend Taft Educational Center's AP Art History workshop in Watertown, CT, followed by an independent study tour of masterpieces throughout Italy, to teach a new course on the 250 works of art students need to know.

Smith Mowry, Columbus Magnet Elementary: Train with world-class athletes at the Triathlon School for Beginners in Hawaii, gaining a better understanding of kinesiology, training and healthy habits to combat childhood obesity and develop life-long strategies for elementary school students.

Fund for Teachers annually awards grants to preK-12 educators who address professional learning gaps through self-designed summer fellowships.  This year, more than 40 Connecticut teachers applied to Fund for Teachers for grant funding to pursue their passions and professional interests. 19 of the applications were from teachers educating students in Norwalk Public Schools. 

Fund for Teachers is one of the largest funders of teacher learning in the country, investing $24 million in more than 6,500 teachers. This marks the first year that the national not-for-profit collaborated with the Dalio Foundation to bring these grants to Connecticut teachers.  For more information about the application process, grant winners or student outcomes, visit‚Äč

“This is a unique and extraordinary opportunity that recognizes the excellence of Norwalk Public School teachers and will benefit students now and in the future,” stated Bruce LeVine Mellion, President of the Norwalk Federation of Teachers.

“With the support of Fund for Teachers and the Dalio Foundation, these Norwalk teachers have the opportunity to actively participate in their own professional growth,” said James A. Connelly, Interim Superintendent, Norwalk Public Schools.  “We look forward to hearing about their adventures when they return next fall, and to supporting these creative and motivated educators as they bring their experiences back to the classroom.”

The Dalio Foundation is a local family foundation committed to collaborating with students, parents, educators, leaders and community stakeholders to close achievement and opportunity gaps for low-income students. “The Dalio Foundation is truly fortunate to partner with Norwalk’s teachers. We believe deeply in them because we recognize they are the largest in-school factor impacting student achievement, and because we have witnessed the difference they can make in the lives of students,” said Barbara Dalio. “This year’s grant recipients are pioneers who will do amazing things, and they will hopefully encourage even more teachers to apply next year.”