Northeastern Oklahoma teachers are encouraged to apply now for customized Fund for Teachers professional development grants made possible in part through an Oklahoma Tribal Alliance. The grant application process is open online at www.fundforteachers.org and will close Jan. 30.

The Fund for Teachers grant program awards fellowships of up to $5,000 for individuals and up to $10,000 for teams of teachers for self-designed professional development experiences to take place anywhere in the world during the summer. The grants are offered through a partnership with the national nonprofit Fund for Teachers, the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence, the Tulsa Community Foundation, and Oklahoma Tribal Alliance.

"With so many Native American tribes in northeast Oklahoma and the generous sponsorship of Tribal Alliance supporters, we want to encourage all teachers, including those of Native American heritage to apply," said Emily Stratton, executive director of the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence.

Applicants must have at least three years of teaching experience, be full-time employees, and spend 50 percent or more of their time in a classroom setting. In addition, applicants must have the intention of returning to their school and-or district following their summer professional development. School administrators are not eligible for the grants.

This summer, 28 teachers from Oklahoma returned from odysseys in Europe, Japan, South America and North America. Fellows ignited passions for learning as they ventured through diverse ecosystems, toured historical locations, observed professionals, experimented with new technology, and more. Chelsea Archie, Cherokee tribal member, journeyed to Eastern Australia to investigate the effects of climate change on the country's ocean and land ecosystems to develop an inquiry-based unit that engages students in local and global conservation efforts. For more information or to apply, visit www.fundforteachers.org, contact Sara Wilson at swilson@ofe.org or call 405-236-0006, ext. 12.

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