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NEA Foundation Looks To Reward Teaching Solutions

The NEA Foundation is calling on individuals to come up with creative solutions to classroom conundrums.

The organization, in partnership with the United States Department of Education, launched "Challenge to Innovate" (C2i) back in September in an effort to get educators to share some of their classroom-based instructional problems and then get their peers and other individuals to contribute ideas to help solve those problems.

At the conclusion of the first phase of the initiative, the foundation has selected four of the problems submitted by educators and is now offering cash rewards for viable solutions. The four problems currently on the table include:

  • How can educators help students learn and use fractions, ratios, and proportions?
  • How can classroom teachers/schools best facilitate positive parental involvement in their child’s learning?
  • How can educators help students without basic literacy skills achieve reading success?
  • How can educators better incorporate student voices in decision making?

Educators and others are now being asked to submit ideas, which will them be voted on by participants. Those who submit ideas that are selected as the "most responsive" solutions to the problems will receive cash awards of up to $2,500 apiece. Up to five winners will be chosen.

There are two requirements for the challenge: The solutions should cost no more than $500 to implement per classroom, and implementation should take no more than three to four months.

Once the winners are chosen, "educators nationwide will be encouraged to adopt these solutions in their classrooms," according to the foundation. As part of the initiative, the NEA Foundation partnered with DonorsChoose.org to allow teachers to "submit project requests for up to $500 in materials that bring these proposed solutions to life," according to organizers.

Further information on the awards and submission guidelines, as well as an instructional video, can be found on NEA's site here. Participants must register on the Department of Education's site here.

About the Author

David Nagel is the executive producer for 1105 Media's online K-12 and higher education publications and electronic newsletters. He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com. He can now be followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/THEJournalDave (K-12) or http://twitter.com/CampusTechDave (higher education). You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=10390192.

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