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Business and education leaders join forces at upcoming education summit

Frankfort, KY – Kentucky’s Commissioner of Education Dr. Terry Holiday, Lt. Governor Jerry Abramson and long-time education advocate and accomplished businessman Billy Harper of Harper Enterprises will join forces at The Fund for Transforming Education in Kentucky’s upcoming education summit in Louisville, Kentucky. The summit, titled Innovate: Education, will bring business and education leaders together on February 25, 2015 to discuss innovation in public education, brainstorm ideas to resolve issues blocking that innovation and to create commitments to turn those ideas into action.

The Fund’s Executive Director, Barbara Bellissimo, said the concept of bringing these two groups isn’t a new one, but certainly one that can’t be left out of the equation when attempting to create a truly innovative public education system.

“What we’re doing here – bringing together business and education – isn’t a new idea, but it is a critical one. We need educators to hear first-hand where the real gaps are in our workforce. And likewise, we need business leaders to understand there is more to being involved with the schools in their community than just writing a check. These two groups are partners in the Commonwealth’s education system and have been working together for many years,” said Bellissimo. “But we think it’s time to come together as one large group and create a set of attainable goals and commitments that we’re all willing to work together on throughout the year.”

In addition to some of Kentucky’s great educators like Eminence Independent Schools Superintendent Buddy Berry, attendees will hear from nonprofit sector expert and social enterprise pioneer Dan Pallotta at lunch about his extensive and successful background as a champion for charity, and his belief that we must change the way we think about changing the world. Pallotta himself is no stranger to innovation having created the multi-day charitable event industry with PallottaTeamworks’ AIDS Rides and Breast Cancer 3-Days. Pallotta’s presentation will draw on his extensive background as a champion for charity and he will share with the audience his belief that we must change the way we think about changing the world.

For more information about Innovate: Education, please visit http://innovateeducation.eventbrite.com.

Nonprofit sector expert and social enterprise pioneer, Dan Pallotta, makes first-ever Kentucky appearance at Innovate: Education

Frankfort, KY – Dan Pallotta, nonprofit sector expert, social enterprise pioneer and charity defender, will be making his first-ever appearance in Kentucky on February 25, 2015 at The Fund for Transforming Education in Kentucky’s education summit in Louisville, Kentucky.

The summit, titled Innovate: Education, will bring business and education leaders together to discuss innovation in public education, brainstorm ideas to resolve issues blocking that innovation and to create commitments to turn those ideas into action. Pallotta, who is well-known for his iconic TED talk which has received more than 3.2 million views (among the top 50 most-viewed TED talks of all time), will deliver the luncheon keynote. Pallotta himself is no stranger to innovation having created the multi-day charitable event industry with PallottaTeamworks’ AIDS Rides and Breast Cancer 3-Days. These events altered the landscape of options for ordinary individuals seeking to make an extraordinary difference. Pallotta is also founder and President of Advertising for Humanity (www.advertisingforhumanity.com) and the Charity Defense Council (www.charitydefensecouncil.org).

Pallotta’s presentation draws on his extensive and successful background as a champion for charity. He will share with the audience his belief that we must change the way we think about changing the world.

“We are absolutely thrilled to have Dan at this year’s summit. He’s a brilliant public speaker with a background and style that’s truly inspirational. I’m confident he’ll provide just the right spark to motivate us all to collaborate on ways to reinvigorate public education,” said Barbara Bellissimo, Executive Director for The Fund.

For more information about Innovate: Education, visit http://innovateeducation.eventbrite.com.

About The Fund:

The Fund for Transforming Education in Kentucky (The Fund) inspires and scales innovation and excellence in Kentucky’s public schools, resulting in a better future for all of our children. In addition to the Innovation Initiative, The Fund leads cross-functional teams in Kentucky and nationally to create common units of study for teachers and to transform the teaching profession. For more information about The Fund, please visit www.www.thefundky.org.

The Fund for Transforming Education awards $100,000 to Kentucky teachers

FRANKFORT, KY – The Fund for Transforming Education in Kentucky (The Fund) has awarded nearly $100,000 in grants from its Innovation Fund to six innovative projects from across the Commonwealth.

The Innovation Fund was launched in April of 2014 to help Kentucky educators create a culture of innovation by investigating, testing and scaling new tools and practices. In its inaugural year, the Innovation Fund received just shy of fifty applications requesting more than two million dollars in support.

“We were thrilled with both the quality and quantity of the applications we received during our first grant cycle,” said Barbara Bellissimo, Executive Director of The Fund. “This experience has proven what we already suspected – Kentucky’s educators have some truly innovative ideas about how to breathe new life into our education system, but until now they have lacked the funds to test and scale those ideas. We’re really looking forward to what will come from this year’s projects and ramping up our efforts before next year’s grant cycle begins.”

Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday applauded the grant recipients for their efforts to create new models of teaching and learning that will prepare more students for the global competition they will face for jobs and careers.

“We have raised the bar for all educators and students and with that we need to change the way we teach and learn in Kentucky. We need innovative strategies and creative and collaborative solutions, and that is why we helped launch The Fund for Transforming Education in Kentucky in 2013,” Holliday said. “These grants represent an important step in developing and scaling promising practices that will help all students achieve college- and career-readiness by the time they graduate from high school. I look forward to monitoring these recipients’ progress, and I am grateful to the business community for supporting this effort to find new and innovative ways to prepare our students for the 21st century.”

All applications underwent a rigorous, three-phase review process by a committee of experts including staff and board members from The Fund, education experts and leadership from the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE). The grants included three tiers of support:  research grants to support the research and investigation of practices, pilot grants to allow grantees to test innovative tools and scaling grants to support scaling of innovative tools and practices to a larger audience.

2014 Innovation Fund Grant Awardees:

Boone County High School (Tricia Shelton) for The ART of video: A Novel Use of Technology to Teach Critical Thinking

Collaborative for Teaching and Learning (Dr. Deborah Walker) for Innovation through Project-based Learning:  Collaborating to Innovate/Mary Todd Elementary

Eastern Kentucky University – College of Education (April Blakely) for eCoaching Next Generation Professionals:  From the Sidelines to the Practice

Eminence Independent Schools (Buddy Berry) for Competencies Collector App:  A Digital Portfolio to Monitor and Track Which Standards Students Have Met

Fayette County Public Schools (Leanna Prater) for Can You Create a Game: Using Student Authored Games for Assessment

Fayette PASTR (Scott Diamond) for Partnership for Authentic Student Teaching and Research: Treating the At-Risk as Gifted

The Fund continues celebrating teachers through regional ECET2 convenings

Teachers from across the Commonwealth are partnering with The Fund for Transforming Education in Kentucky (The Fund) to inspire and celebrate talented and dedicated educators at their upcoming Elevating and Celebrating Effective Teaching and Teachers (ECET2 KY) convenings.

ECET2 provides a forum for exceptional teachers to learn from each other and celebrate the teaching profession. These events are designed, led, and facilitated by teachers for teachers.

In Kentucky, five regional events, along with one statewide event, are planned to provide educators with opportunities to build each other’s leadership skills while learning from one another. Teachers will have the opportunity to gain resources, feel energized about the profession, be a part of a network and support system beyond the conference, and leave with a sense of inspiration and appreciation for the work they do.

For information about an ECET2 KY event in your region, or how you can help sponsor a convening in your area, contact Karen Handlos here.

The Fund for Transforming Education makes grant money available to Kentucky educators

Frankfort, Kentucky – Today, the Fund for Transforming Education in Kentucky (The Fund) announced its newest initiative to help Kentucky educators create a culture of innovation in the Commonwealth. The Fund’s Innovation Initiative will include training, consulting and other supports; however the main component of the initiative will be the Innovation Fund. The Innovation Fund will provide grants to public school teachers, administrators and others to encourage the investigation, testing and scaling innovative practices to improve results for all of Kentucky’s students.

“Kentucky is lucky to have some of the most creative and forward-thinking minds in the education arena, but often our educators find their creativity stifled by budgetary constraints,” said The Fund’s Executive Director Barbara Bellissimo. “Our goal with the development of this Innovation Fund is to not only provide the financial means necessary for teachers to implement new practices within their classrooms, but to help them find a way to do so on a larger scale – ultimately breathing new life into the way we educate our children.”

The Innovation Fund will include three tiers of support:

  • Research grants: the smallest in size, these grants will support research and investigation of innovative tools and practices that the grantee may want to move into a pilot stage.
  • Pilot grants: small to mid-size grants that would allow the grantee to test innovative tools and practices.
  • Scaling grants: the largest and most infrequent grant awards, these grants will support the scaling of innovative tools and/or practices.

In May 2014, Kentucky public school teachers and administrators will be invited to apply for grants. A Review Committee, made up of staff and board members from The Fund, education experts and leadership from the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) will review the applications and together create the list of final recipients.

Chairman of The Fund’s Board of Directors, Billy Harper of Harper Enterprises, expressed his appreciation for the many members of the business community who stepped up to make the Innovation Fund possible.

“Thanks to some very generous donors, we now have a real opportunity to help educators, administrators and other officials understand how bringing innovative practices to our classrooms can help improve outcomes for all Kentucky students.”

About The Fund for Transforming Education in Kentucky

Founded in April 2013, The Fund for Transforming Education in Kentucky recruits, coordinates and supports expertise and resources to inspire and scale innovation and excellence in Kentucky’s public schools, resulting in a better future for all of our children.

For more information on The Fund for Transforming Education in Kentucky or the Innovation Fund, visit The Fund’s website at www.www.thefundky.org.

Teachers Gather to Network, Celebrate Profession

The Fund for Transforming Education in Kentucky recently recognized scores of educators at its Elevating and Celebrating Effective Teaching and Teachers (ECET2 KY) conference in Lexington, including 11 from Fayette County Public Schools. The event gave them opportunities to share and learn from colleagues, get connected and gain resources, feel energized about their profession, and leave with a sense of inspiration and appreciation for the work they do.

Read Fayette County’s entire press release here.