Teach for America
Teach for America
Teach for America (TFA) works to expand opportunity for children by finding, developing, and supporting a diverse network of leaders in classrooms, school, and every sector of the field that shapes how schools operate. Since entering Colorado in 2007, TFA has grown from 150 corps members to more than 1,700, and there are more than 650 new and experienced TFA teachers directly impacting more than 35,000 students across the state, the majority of whom qualify for free and reduced lunch. Through our investment, Gary Community Investments is providing startup capital to support TFA in launching a two-year pilot program to place corps members in community-based early care and education (ECE) classrooms in Colorado, helping to address the strong need for highly qualified teachers in community classrooms while laying the foundation for TFA to expand its successful teacher placement and leadership model within the ECE sector.
Why We Invested:
This investment contributes to GCI’s long-term school readiness goals by building a pipeline of future ECE leaders who are focused on serving low-income students. Early care and education teachers are the the most essential ingredient to learning in child care and preschool classrooms. While Colorado has made great strides in developing its teacher credentials, coursework and its teacher data system, it faces a shortage of qualified teachers, particularly in community-based settings. Through this pilot, TFA will be establishing new partnerships outside the K-12 system, recruiting from applicants who have a strong interest in being placed in ECE classrooms, and leveraging learnings from other regions that are already placing corps members in ECE settings.
Our funding will be used to recruit, train and place corps members in community-based ECE settings during the 2018-2019 school year, develop partnerships with community providers for placement, and work with the Colorado Department of Education to ensure smooth licensure of ECE corps members. Over the next two years, we expect TFA to help alleviate Colorado’s ECE workforce challenges by increasing the supply of quality ECE educators serving low-income families. In addition, we anticipate that ECE will become a fully-integrated component in TFA’s ongoing regional programs, and that TFA will contribute its political capital to help solve systems-level ECE workforce challenges.