The Foundation for Orange County Public Schools has been working for more than 25 years to support innovative teachers through classroom grants and other programs.
Teacher Grants – Last year, the Foundation has awarded $152,000 to 355 teachers in 144 schools for innovative projects, equipment and supplies in key areas such as math, science, literacy, civics and arts education. Since the Teacher Grant Initiative began in 1996, the Foundation has awarded $2.2 million to more than 4,100 teachers.
Read2Succeed – This mentoring program matches volunteers with 1st and 2nd graders who are struggling readers. Read2Succeed 2nd Grade Fluency Program uses a research-based program called The Six-Minute Solution which quickly builds fluency through interactive repeated readings of high interest, targeted passages. The Read2Succeed First Grade Vocabulary Program uses a multi-pronged approach to increase vocabulary acquisition and enhancement. During the 2012-2013 school year, over 100 mentors and reading tutors worked with more than 500 students in 49 schools.
Middle School Book Clubs – This program works to strengthen the literacy skills of middle school students and encourage reading for enjoyment. Students meet with a facilitator once a week before school begins to discuss the book the group is reading. Each group has up to 15 students. 52% of the participants ended the 2012-13 school year reading at grade level, earning a 3 or better on the 2013 FCAT Reading. Half of those reading below grade level demonstrated learning gains. Students also improved their communication skills, learned to respect their peers' opinions and became more confident.
Teach-In – Each year on a single day in November, thousands of adults go back into the classrooms to share their knowledge and experience with students in every grade. In 2012, 3,755 volunteers where in 156 schools and spent more than 7,200 hours making presentations sharing their knowledge and experiences. This year, Teach-In is November 20, 2013.
School & District Funds – The Foundation provides district and school support by matching teacher and school needs with investors who want to make a sustainable difference. The Foundation also manages funds for district programs and individual schools. During the 2012-2013 school year, it managed more than $1.4 million for 55 district and school funds.