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North Carolina Association of Educators receives national grant

RALEIGH – Addressing issues that affect children’s ability to learn and the lack of educators of color in the classroom are the premises of a three-year grant that will assist the North Carolina Association of Educators in finding solutions to these problems.

The grant, titled “Empowering Instructional Leaders With Tools to Confront Barriers for Ensuring Student Success,” was awarded by the National Education Association’s Great Public Schools Fund. It focuses on two parts – establishing a team of professional development trainers across the state and creating an Educators of Color Academy. Both areas are open to any educator who is a member of NCAE.

Educators who join the professional development cadre will provide regional training on topics such as disrupting poverty, educator resilience, trauma-informed classroom practices, and cultural competency. They will also host a community film forum, where the documentaries “Resilience” or “Broken Places” will be shown, both of which are about childhood adversity.

Panel discussions will be hosted in communities that could include mental health professionals, educators, law enforcement officers, and county commissioners.

The goal of the Educators of Color Academy will be to recruit and retain educators of color.

The first year, participants will receive support and training on sound instructional practices. In the second year, they will co-present with trainers and conduct community film forums. In year three, they will begin training other educators and serve as mentors.

“These trainings and the academy will provide instructional strategies, support and action steps that can be practiced and implemented in any role educators have in the field,” said LaAlice Hopkins, instructional advocacy and policy specialist for the NCAE Center for Instructional Learning. “I am extremely excited about ways we will be engaging the community around issues affecting our students as well as putting a focus on recruiting and retaining educators of color. There has been such a need to have educators reflect the student body in schools.”

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