The Communities Foundation of Texas has announced eight grants totaling more than $2 million to seven nonprofits working to improve middle school education in the Dallas area.
Awarded through the foundation's community impact funds, the grants will support efforts to recruit and train high-quality teachers and administrators to serve in at-risk middle schools across North Texas. Grant recipients include the University of Texas at Dallas, which was awarded $500,000 over three years to actively recruit, through its UTeach Dallas program, STEM majors to teach in high-need urban middle school math and science classrooms; Teach for America, which received $350,000 over two years to implement an innovative Middle School Partnership Plan at the new Ann Richards Middle School in Pleasant Grove; and Big Thought, which was awarded $225,000 to create and implement the High Impact Learning Institute, a year-long professional development program for Dallas Independent School District teachers and community educators that aims to improve how classroom material is introduced, presented, applied, and evaluated across thirty-eight DISD campuses.
In addition, the foundation awarded two grants to Teaching Trust, including $500,000 over years for Aspiring Principals, a two-year master's program that includes a clinical residency at a designated DISD school, and an additional $250,000 in support of its Professional Development Institute, which provides a high-impact multi-phase workshop series for principals and school leadership teams from DISD and Uplift Education.
"The grants [will help] make a measurable improvement in education by investing in at-risk middle school youth," said CFT president and CEO Brent Christopher. "This entire community has so much riding on education. Our work as a foundation reflects that, with over one quarter of our foundation's total annual grants made in education — from the Educate Texas program [and] the W.W. Caruth, Jr. Foundation at CFT, donor-advised funds, and now our community impact funds."