Teach For America is expanding to Southwest Ohio, with plans to bring 30 top college graduates and professionals this fall to teach in some of the region's highest-need public schools, and at least 30 additional corps members in each of the following two years.
The organization launched its Southwest Ohio region based on support from school and district partners as well as civic and business leaders across Cincinnati, Dayton, and Covington, Ky.
Working in partnership with communities, Teach For America recruits, trains, and supports talented and diverse individuals from all backgrounds who commit two years to teach in high-need schools and become lifelong leaders in the movement to expand educational opportunity for children facing the challenges of poverty.
This year, more than 9,000 first and second year Teach For America corps members are teaching in low-income communities across 43 urban and rural regions nationwide. More than 450 of them grew up or attended school in Ohio.
Teach For America is in the process of selecting its 2012 teacher corps from a record applicant pool of more than 48,000. Among this year's applicants are nearly 1,200 Ohioans, including 70 applicants from the University of Cincinnati, nearly 175 from Miami University and nearly 350 from Ohio State.
"We're thrilled to expand Teach For America's impact to Southwest Ohio and to build on the region's strong commitment to closing the achievement gap," said Wendy Kopp, chief executive officer and founder of Teach For America. "We are also grateful for the leadership of Gov. Kasich and the generosity of all our community partners and supporters, whose efforts will enable us to strengthen the pipeline of leaders working across the region to ensure that every child receives an excellent education."
For the coming school year, Teach For America will partner with Cincinnati Public Schools, Covington Public Schools in Northern Kentucky, and public charter schools across Southwest Ohio, including Lighthouse Community School, P.A.C.E. High School, CSR Academy, Dayton Leadership Academy, the Dayton Early College Academy, and National Heritage Academies. Teach For America corps members will enter the candidate pool for open teaching positions in high-need schools and subject areas.
"We're pleased that Teach For America is bringing an additional source of teacher candidate options to Cincinnati Public Schools," said Eve Bolton, president of the board for Cincinnati Public Schools. "As we strive to provide every student with an excellent education, Teach For America offers one additional strategy for securing great teachers, particularly for our highest-need subject areas."
Teach For America also developed a partnership with the University of Cincinnati, where corps members will have the option to enroll in graduate-level coursework for additional professional development. Teach For America selected the University of Cincinnati based on its history of fostering innovation in education and its focus on preparing teachers for urban schools.
"We are excited to partner with Teacher For America and have an opportunity to work with the great people they recruit to be teachers," said Dr. Lawrence Johnson, dean of the University of Cincinnati College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services.