Teach for America (TFA) has been bringing trained teachers into urban, impoverished areas for 25 years. This year, the organization is partnering with the Foundations of East Chicago (FEC) to help local students, but not necessarily by bringing new teachers to the area.
One of the main goals of the TFA/FEC partnership is to connect FEC scholarship recipients to an organization that is willing to employ them after graduation.
TFA would like to reach out to FEC scholarship recipients who are in their final two years of school to give them jobs teaching in the Northwest Indiana area. This would allow the FEC students to get work experience and to give back to the communities in which they grew up.
TFA believes it is important to try to work with teachers who have a personal connection to the communities they serve. Not only will this benefit the teachers, but the students typically relate better to people who understand where and how they live. This makes for better focus and learning in the classroom.
The Northwest Indiana school corporations that will be participating in the TFA program are Lighthouse Charter Network, School City of East Chicago, School City of Hammond, Gary Community School Corporation, Aspire Charter Academy and 21st Century Charter School. All of the FEC scholarship recipients that TFA will be working to recruit come from East Chicago, meaning they have lived and gone to school in the same areas as the students. This helps in forming bonds and building trust.
TFA hopes that at least 25% of the teachers they have serving the Northwest Indiana area will have current or previous personal connections to the area. FEC hopes that they can continue to help their scholarship recipients after graduation by introducing them to the opportunities presented by the TFA program.
For more information on the TFA/FEC collaboration, visit foundationsec.org.