McCarthey Dressman Foundation: Grants for K-12 Education

OVERVIEW: The McCarthey Dressman Education Foundation supports individual teachers and teacher teams in projects that enhance instruction and learning in K-12 education. The foundation is especially interested in projects aimed at improving educational outcomes for underprivileged students

IP TAKE: The McCarthey Dressman Education Foundation provides support for teachers who aim to improve their practice and expertise through the development and articulation of best practices with an emphasis on underprivileged students.  This foundation maintains an open application process for teachers and teacher teams.

PROFILE: The McCarthey Dressman Education Foundation was founded by Sarah McCarthey and Mark Dressman, education professors at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, the foundation aims to “serve as a catalyst in maximizing the skills and creativity of educators at the K-12 levels and cultivating pioneering approaches to teaching that result in dynamic student learning.” It pursues this through three funding initiatives: academic enrichment, teacher development and student teaching.

McCarthey Dressman’s academic enrichment grants aim to support programs that “nurture the intellectual, artistic and creative abilities of children from low-income households.” Grants are awarded to individuals who are teachers or employees of non-profit organizations and have extensive expertise and experience working with low-income K-12 populations. One recipient, Sister Sarah Heger of Marian Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri, used a grant to develop Quest, a weekly program that requires students to use academic and practical knowledge to solve real-life problems. The foundation’s teacher development program is aimed teams of education professionals who are interested in developing best practices and observing the effects of these practices on student learning. In Bozeman, Montana, a team developed the Academic Literacy Institute, through which teachers adapted curricula to help improve the oral and written language skills of low-income and low-literacy students. For its student teaching initiative, McCarthey Dressman provides scholarships and mentoring to candidates in the student teaching phase of their education.

McCarthey Dressman academic enrichment and teacher development grants range from $10,000 to $30,000 per year for up to three years. Student teaching scholarships are awarded in the amount of $6,000 to student teachers enrolled in programs at select universities in California, New Mexico and Texas. The foundation’s website provides descriptions of recently funded projects.

The McCarthey Dressman Foundation maintains an open online application process and provides application materials for each program on its website.

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