Bank of Colorado Award for Innovation
Creativity Honors Will Go to ONE Outstanding Core Grant Applicant
An astonishing variety of grant requests land in the DFEE inbox. Books and a guest speaker for an entire school's "Common Read" program. Dictionaries for primary grades. Middle school Poetry Alive assemblies. Visiting professional artists. In the past year, we've even funded rocket launchers. Yes, rocket launchers. But also tablet computers. Resource books. Interactive classroom "Mimios." And a whole lot else.
Some of these are necessary, but routine: Books to enhance International Baccalaureate (IB) programs are a an example of what we consider "sturdy" grants. Good stuff to have, no doubt, but not... well, not precisely exciting. We will continue to fund sturdy grants when appropriate. We know many of them bring worthy enhancements to classrooms constrained by the regular--and necessarily tight--9-R budget. They are just not innovative.
Other grants have supported true innovation, and we confess these are our favorites: Those rocket launchers represent a pilot program to broaden a science curriculum into math and expository writing, as well as to develop teamwork skills and a habit of inquiry. Some of those tablet computers went to the Early Childhood Education teachers, so they could complete their student assessments in a way that led to authentic, immediate feedback. Good thinking on the part of the E.C.E. team, to come up with a solution that will save them valuable time and yield more helpful results.
We see that some innovation is about expanding the students' range of knowledge, and some innovation is about helping teachers work smarter. We like both kinds.
Because, at DFEE, encouraging innovation has been our stock in trade since before "innovation" became the popular buzzword it is today. And we intend to go on encouraging it.
The Bank of Colorado agrees with us.
So the bank is taking some welcome action: One DFEE Core Grant this spring will receive special recognition from the bank, which will not only fund it but follow up on it with the teacher and students. Plans are underway for student presentations, press coverage, perhaps even a party, to celebrate the creativity demonstrated in the grant and the excellence of its delivery. This grant will represent the kind of out-of-the-box thinking and planning that will lead education into new, effective realms in the 21st century.
Thank you, Bank of Colorado, for helping DFEE to recognize a teacher for this level of creativity and dedication. Your support will reach out and make a difference to a deserving teacher and many children.
Housekeeping note: The recipient for this award will be chosen from the field of Core Grant applicants whose paperwork is due no later than May 1 to DFEE. No extra paperwork is required. Visit our Grants page for more information about Core Grant criteria (and other DFEE grant programs).