Talent Initiative to Provide Professional Development Grants

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
June 23, 2010

Talent Initiative Announces Availability of $2.3 Million in Professional Development Grants

Fort Wayne, IN, June 23, 2010- Today the Talent Initiative released the guidelines and application for $2.3 million of Talent Initiative Professional Development Grants. The Talent Initiative is a regional program that was established last year by a $20 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. Of the $20 million, $2.3 million was earmarked for professional development efforts centered on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) curricula and project-based learning (PBL) in public and private schools in 11 Northeast Indiana counties.

"The Talent Initiative is focused on accelerating education and training initiatives in STEM-based curricula and project-based learning, and we are excited about being able to offer this opportunity to Northeast Indiana educators," said Talent Initiative Director Leonard Helfrich. "We've already invested in developing a regional network of New Tech High Schools, and now this initiative aims to offer the same opportunities in STEM and PBL throughout the entire region, not just at the New Tech High Schools."

The Talent Initiative Professional Development Grants are intended to increase teacher content knowledge in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM); improve teacher skills in delivery of STEM-related curricula; and increase the use of project-based learning (PBL) to instill rigorous content knowledge in students.

These professional development grants support public and private K-12 school teachers and administrators and/or faculty and staff in institutions of higher education in one of the following categories:

  • Regionally Coordinated Initiatives: Non-school based organizations may submit requests for funds to support regional professional development in implementation of STEM and/or advanced methodologies including PBL. Applicants may include non-profit organizations affiliated with STEM or PBL and may be partnered with one another or school affiliates.
  • School/District Change Initiatives: Schools and school districts may submit requests for funds to support local professional development and implementation in STEM and PBL. Applicants may include entire schools, teams within schools, school districts, or a consortium of any of those listed.

All professional development must improve practice and curriculum to enhance student achievement in PBL. Priority will be given to initiatives which exhibit a focus on STEM-curriculum. Recipients are expected to exercise professional leadership by sharing their new learning with their colleagues.

School corporations, individual schools, colleges and universities, and nonprofits are eligible to receive funding. Grants to individuals are not permitted. Entities from or serving the following counties are eligible to apply for funding: Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Grant, Huntington, LaGrange, Noble, Steuben, Wabash, Wells, and Whitley.

The Talent Initiative expects to award grants through two grant cycles. The deadline for the first cycle of grant applications is December 1, 2010. The governing board will make a final decision by mid-March 2011. All applicants will be notified of the decision by mid-March 2011.

Grant awards will be made commensurate with the expanse and impact of their intended outcomes; innovative ideas that meet the grant criteria in unique ways are encouraged.

For additional information on the grant process or to request the guidelines and application, please contact Talent Initiative Director Leonard Helfrich at (260) 469-3472.

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About the Talent Initiative:  The Talent Initiative, established by a $20 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc., is a 10-county regional program focused on accelerating education and training initiatives in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The primary goals of the Talent Initiative are to increase the base of highly skilled workers to meet the needs of the defense/aerospace and advanced manufacturing industries, while increasing job quality and reversing the current decline in regional per capita income. The program receives financial oversight from Community Partnerships, Inc., a supporting organization of the Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne and operational oversight from the Northeast Indiana Fund, a supporting organization of the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Courtney Tritch
Director of Marketing
Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership
260.469.3460
courtney@NEIndiana.com