Outreach to Educators Event Grants

5th Annual Outreach to Educators Events (OEE) Grants 2016

A Joint Initiative between AFS-USA’s School Outreach and Educational Partnerships SOEP) Unit and the Outreach to Educators Advisory Group Outreach to Educators Advisory Group (OEAG).

Foster Outreach to Educators Events (OEE) in your community through targeted, global learning outreach or hosting a workshop/seminar on global competency through intercultural learning (ICL) for educators and administrators! The overarching goal this year is to focus on the important link between global learning and cultural exchange. 

Grant proposals will be accepted that demonstrate how to foster closer connections directly with educators through ICL in all its forms. Applicants are encouraged to work with their local AFS area teams on developing a plan. The suggested topics for 2016 are
Service Learning, Global Education, ICL through Arts and Technology, Human Rights & Cultural Understanding and Experiential Learning (others are welcomed). Applicants are encouraged to highlight the critical link between cultural exchange and 21st century skills in their proposals. The primary audience for these workshops are professional teachers, educational administrators, and guidance counselors. Applicants are encouraged to host and facilitate workshops and other professional development sessions that promote intercultural learning in the classroom and beyond.


Grant Highlights

Accepted applicants will:

  • Be awarded a grant of $500 - $1,500 for their event
  • Host their events in September-November2016 to lead up to International Education Week 2016 ( November 14-18, 2016)
  • Focus on promoting AFS intercultural programs and ICL through events with educators
  • Encourage teachers to explore the AFS Programs and intercultural learning resources (s), including the new Scholastic partnership and raise awareness of AFS’ connection to global competence through intercultural learning
  • Promote their events through social media, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram or even in local newspapers, community centers, and schools – SOEP and the Marketing and Communications teams will work with grant recipients on developing a marketing plan (at least 6-8 weeks before the scheduled event takes place)
  • Events should highlight the Institute of International Education’s (IIE’s) Generation Study Abroad Teacher Campaign

 Accepted applicants will be included in an exciting grant contest - applicants that get an educator to sign up for an AFS Group Program will be provided a membership to iEARN Collaboration Center!

Timeline

Step 1 - OEE Application Open January 11, 2016
Step 2 - Submit Materials to the School Outreach and Educational Partnerships Unit April 4, 2016 to April 18, 2016
Earliest Announcement of Grant Award or Rejection May 2, 2016
General Announcement of Grant Award or Rejection May 16, 2016

Who can Apply

AFS-USA encourages educators, graduate students, AFS volunteers and anyone with a strong passion for intercultural learning in the K-12 classroom and beyond to apply! See past successful events here.

Background/Objective

Based on the enthusiasm and feedback from AFS volunteers who attended the Outreach to Educators Conference in Kansas City in October 2011, survey data from the past three years, as well as the success of the OEE grants from 2012-2015, AFS-USA’s Outreach to Educators Advisory Group (OEAG) and School Outreach and Educational Partnerships (SOEP) unit has secured additional funding in 2016 for volunteer teams interested in formalizing more outreach to educators in their teams. This could be in the form of organizing gatherings and activities related to AFS-USA’s programs or hosting a seminar/workshop with and for educators and administrators in their respective team areas (or with multiple teams in a relatively close geographic area).
 
The objective of arranging these varying types of outreach activities is to raise the profile of AFS as a relevant and valuable global learning/intercultural education resource and to improve relationships with educators and administrators. OEAG/SOEP recognizes that, due to the decentralized education systems and varying levels and types of relationships that AFS volunteers have with educators across the country, one approach will not work across the country – as evidenced in previous events, that ranged from student presentations, teacher professional development workshops to tabling at targeted educator events. Therefore, we are encouraging volunteer teams to come forward with creative and innovative suggestions for what would work and what could be helpful to their outreach efforts in their respective teams.

Process

Interested applicants can either contact one of the SOEP staff listed below to brainstorm on ideas for their team, or can directly submit a proposal (application form found here) to OEAG/SOEP no later than Monday, April 18, 2016.
 
Applicants submitting the grant request should be prepared for a phone conversation with an OEAG/SOEP member to discuss the application’s purpose and intended impact. Grant applications will be approved by  Monday, May 16th, by OEAG/SOEP. Grant-funded activities are expected to take place sometime in the fall of 2016 to gear up for International Education Week (November 14-18, 2016).
 
As it is currently the time of year to be planning for school related outreach for 2016-2017, with school calendars now being formed, we recommend that interested applicants start considering ideas and dates as soon as possible. Please consider utilizing the monthly calendars distributed by the SOEP department (available upon request) highlighting various educational conferences and events taking place within your community. We suggest that applicants involve an educator or administrator in the planning of their outreach activity/event, as having an educator with connections and an understanding of how things really work inside the school/district could be very helpful in getting ownership and attracting participation.
 
We encourage the idea of linking outreach activities to existing events or special dates that are already established and recognized in schools, such as International Education Week, International Days, Global Youth Service Day, Teacher Appreciation Days like World Teacher Day, etc. It is also recommended that teams look into already scheduled teacher professional development or education workshops, and teacher training/in-service activities.
 
Applicants are encouraged to reach out to the assigned Team Development Specialist in their area to collaborate and develop a proposal. To find the Team Development Specialist in your area, click here. School Outreach staff in New York are available to work with applicants to develop seminar session content reflective of the teams' specific needs (including resources and suggested ICL curricula).

Criteria

Content of outreach proposals should reflect an integrated message, illustrating the important link between cultural exchange and the development of global competency.  Workshops/seminars are expected to provide content including components of teacher appreciation and exposure to AFS-developed global learning/intercultural education materials available through the Teacher’s Toolbox, such as the Scholastic resources and the Culture Trek: Classroom Connection Course. These gatherings should also provide the opportunity to have a two-way dialogue as to how AFS can support teachers in their efforts to achieve global competency in 21st Century education and address the Common Core State Standards, and to better understand the needs and realities of educators and administrators.
If applicants are interested in organizing a workshop, they could consider identifying and involving a keynote speaker who would be attractive to educators and/or administrators from an educational view – who must address the relevancy of AFS’s mission to education. School Outreach staff can potentially help with identifying a speaker. Proposals are expected to reflect a description of the desired target audience, potential speakers from AFS volunteer base and/or from educators and administrators, and the proposed topics to be addressed.
Grant recipients from 2012-2015 are welcome to re-apply, but special consideration will be given to new grant applications – especially educator-led.

Funding

Grants ranging in funding from $500 to $1500 will be accepted and considered (although more or less may be accepted, based on the needs of the Area Team). Teams desiring to work with other teams (in geographic proximity) are encouraged to apply jointly and thus a larger funding amount may be considered. Funding is to be used for marketing of the seminar or event, and costs for space rental, meals, material preparation, keynote speaker, reimbursement for educators’ travel costs (mileage and parking only, as needed), and tokens of appreciation for educators and administrators for their support of AFS will be reimbursed. However, as per AFS policies, no funds may be used to purchase alcohol for the event.
 
Volunteer teams should determine an activity and estimated date that works most effectively in their respective environments, but funding is to be used primarily in the 2016 fall quarter. Any exceptions must be cleared with SOEP staff. A report reflecting the results of the funding is to be provided to the Outreach to Educators Advisory Group and SOEP within a month of the seminar/event taking place.

The School Outreach and Educational Partnerships Unit has developed some helpful resources to help guide you through the OEE process. To access these resources, please click here.
 
Questions can be directed to staff working on School Outreach:
Tara Hofmann, Executive Team (after contacting SOEP staff first) thofmann@afsusa.org
Sarah Lorya, School Relations Specialist, slorya@afsusa.org

The benefits of study abroad are almost endless. First of all, it's going to make you much more marketable here in the United States, because more and more companies are realizing that they need people with experiences around the world, who can speak different languages, who can transition easily into other cultures and people who bring to their jobs a sensibility and a sensitivity for other people.- First Lady Michelle Obama