Achieve Supports the Work of Teachers and Administrators
The Achieve Foundation values its collaboration with all educators in the School District of South Orange & Maplewood. Each year, Achieve awards Teacher Grants, Administrator Grants, and Riecke Teaching Fellowships to worthy applicants. Funding requests we receive from educators inform our program development and fundraising to best serve our mission of maximizing teaching and learning. Teachers may also request Achieve Volunteer Tutors for struggling students, lead tutor training sessions, serve as school tutoring sight supervisors, or participate in planning events such as Maker Madness. Achieve welcomes you and your ideas!
Teacher and Administrator Grants
The Deborah Prinz Administrator Grants: Renamed in 2018 to honor Achieve founder Deborah Prinz upon her retirement from the organization, these grants are awarded to district administrators for special projects that benefit a school, grade level or department. Funds may be used for staff development, student enrichment or remediation and educational materials.
Administrators may apply in mid-March with an April 14 deadline. Monies will be awarded in early May.
Teacher Grants: Achieve’s hallmark program inspires teachers to propose innovative projects that will have an impact on the learning experience for their students. Some grants have been catalysts for innovation in the academic program. Any educator in the district may apply for any amount in October. Team and interdisciplinary projects are welcome. Proposals are reviewed by Achieve’s grants committee, and awards are made in December to be used in the spring or -the following fall.
See a list of all 2018-19 Teacher Grants HERE.
Achieve’s grant applications are easy to complete, and help and advice are available. All proposals must be approved by the applicant’s principal or supervisor and received by the deadline to be considered. Educators may apply as often as they wish, evaluations of prior grants must be submitted before new applications are considered.
DIRECT FUNDING OF TEACHER GRANTS: After Achieve allocates its funds for Teacher Grant awards in the fall, the community is invited to increase that amount. Throughout the month of January, donors can choose from the list of approved grants that need additional funding and contribute toward them in any amount. In 2017-18, Direct Grant Funding added $34,140, bringing the total amount of Teacher Grant funding to $102,517. Generous contributions from PTAs and the community have supported Teacher Grants for technology, science labs, musical instruments, school gardens, “maker spaces,” and much more.
Thank you to everyone in the community who contributed nearly $10,000 in additional funding toward teacher grant requests during the month of January!
Honor Your Teacher Tributes: This spring campaign enables families to order cards printed with their student’s words of thanks for teachers and other staff members. Achieve will print and deliver to staffers at the end of the school year (or at any time of year!).
Summer Professional Development – Riecke Teaching Fellowship
The Riecke Fellowship program supports educators in the SO/M school district who seek to enhance their teaching abilities by funding professional development experiences over the summer which introduce new knowledge to use in traditional classroom settings and beyond. Riecke Fellows begin the school year with new skills that lead to improvements in practice, curriculum and student achievement. To maximize the impact of the fellowship, Riecke Fellows are required to share what they have learned with their colleagues at the conclusion of the learning experience. The program has provided nearly $70,000 in fellowships since 2004. The Riecke Fellowship aims to:
- Nurture the passion for learning among SO/M educators.
- Inspire innovative and creative teaching practices in the classroom setting and beyond.
- Encourage the exchange of new ideas, strategies and materials among educators to maximize the benefit to students.
Fellowships are awarded to individuals (up to $3,000) and teaching teams (up to $5,000). The number of grants and total amount awarded is determined each year based on the merits of the proposals and the availability of funds.
Note new grant cycle dates for 2019! The Riecke Fellowship application closed February 20. Awards to be announced March 15, 2019.
Administrator Grants Awarded:
for 23 grants since 2004
Teacher Grants Awarded:
for 940 grants since 1999
for 53 teachers since 2004
Achieve Volunteer Tutor Program
Achieve’s acclaimed tutoring program improves the academic performance of children who are struggling with their schoolwork, by pairing them with adult and peer volunteers. Begun in 1997, the initiative based on the notion that free tutoring, offered by trained volunteers, might help many children, who otherwise would not be able to afford this service, to advance toward their full academic potential. District teachers refer students, who they believe would benefit from the help of a volunteer tutor. Each year, about 200 tutors — 50 adults and 150 students — are trained to assist 250-300 students in kindergarten through twelfth grade. Achieve’s tutors help students overcome academic challenges and gain confidence. Moreover, the students who serve as Achieve tutors reinforce their own learning and develop leadership skills. Achieve’s Volunteer Tutor Program coordinator manages the program and arranges tutor-tutee matches. Teachers in the school district lead required training workshops and supervise tutoring sites in district schools.
“There are these special moments, when working with young kids, when their faces suddenly light up, like something finally clicked.”
Zoë Crutcher, student tutor in the Achieve Volunteer Tutor Program
“What makes me happy is that, no matter the party, I have received a flood of messages from guests and hosts saying how they truly had such a terrific evening.”
Lindsay Scott, 2014 coordinator of the annual Night of 100 Dinners fundraising event and member of the Achieve Board of Trustees
“Yet again, Achieve has proven what a valuable organization it is to teachers and students alike.”
Susan Brody, fourth-grade teacher at Seth Boyden Elementary School and an Achieve Teacher Grant recipient
“This is one of very few courses that allow kids to build things, to become focused on the stuff of the modern world. Without Achieve, these students would not have this opportunity. You can see it—kids love being in this class and that is a lasting legacy of Achieve’s support.”
Allan Tumolillo, founder of the Robotics Club at Columbia High School that led to the addition of robotics classes at the high school, and a member of the Achieve Board of Trustees
“Achieve tutors and students make miracles happen together by reading one sentence at a time and solving one math problem at a time, week in and week out.”
Sonoko Setaishi, adult tutor in the Achieve Volunteer Tutor Program