• St. Louis Public Schools and AFT St. Louis Local 420 Partnership Awarded
    Third Year Innovation Fund Grant

    For Further Information Contact:

    Byron Clemens (314) 280-7936


    Project Director AFT IF Grant - Early Childhood


    WASHINGTON—The American Federation of Teachers  announced a fifth round of investments by the AFT Innovation Fund, which solicits and supports ideas from on-the-ground educators to help improve public education. The Innovation Fund announced the renewal of a St. Louis grant as part of the TEACH conference in Washington D.C.


    ·  St. Louis Public Schools  and AFT St. Louis Local 420 (Missouri), have collaborated to design and continue to develop a high-quality, research-based district-wide professional development program for pre-K teachers and paraprofessionals that builds on the union's and district's  previous successful joint advocacy for an increase in pre-K seats in the public school system. The Union/District Leadership Team will work with the University of Michigan to provide training in developing oral language to early childhood educators.

    ·  To develop modules based on the training to post on ShareMyLesson.com, including classroom video and commentary by expert teachers.

    ·  To train St. Louis Public School early childhood teacher/leaders as coaches in how to develop children's oral literacy and support professional practices.

    ·  Renowned Early Childhood Education expert Professor Barbara Bowman Erikson Institute continues to serve as an adviser to the Union/District Leadership Team.


    The Innovation Fund runs a competitive annual grant program. Investments are for one year, and are renewable for two to three years based on grantees' demonstrated progress. The fund invests in great ideas for improving schools from those who know them best—educators and their unions. Since 2009, the Innovation Fund has run a competitive grant program to solicit, encourage, and refine exciting approaches to hot topics such as teacher evaluation, To date, the fund has made 30 grants to support groundbreaking work across the nation. The thread running through all of the projects is collaboration. “This is bottom-up reform at its best,” says AFT president Randi Weingarten.

    Support for the AFT Innovation Fund comes from the American Federation of Teachers itself and from private philanthropies, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust. Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, and Pew Charitable Trusts also have supported the fund.