Teach for America-Miami Receives $50,000 From Mendelson Family to Support STEM Education

$250,000 Five-Year Donation Will Support Teachers in Miami-Dade’s Highest-Need Elementary Schools

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Miami, March 22, 2016—Teach For America–Miami-Dade announced today that the organization received a $50,000 donation from long-time supporters of education and youth in Miami-Dade, Victor and Lisa Mendelson. The funds, part of a five-year $250,000 donation, will support the organization’s work to recruit, train, and support diverse leaders to teach STEM education in Miami’s highest-need elementary schools. This year, the donation will support the professional development of 12 educators teaching in 10 schools across five Miami-Dade neighborhoods.

“We’re incredibly grateful to the Mendelson family for their support,” said Samantha Hoare, executive director of Teach for America–Miami-Dade. “It’s crucial that we provide our students with the knowledge and tools they need in a world that is increasingly technological, and this support allows us to do our part in expanding educational opportunities that will prepare them to be the next generation of STEM leaders.”

The Mendelson family has supported Teach for America–Miami-Dade in their efforts to expand educational opportunities for students for many years. Lisa Mendelson serves on the organization’s advisory board, and this will be her eighth year volunteering in classrooms. Both Lisa and Victor serve as corps member mentors, and their daughter Lindsey, a sophomore at Colombia University, co-founded Kids Corps, an organization that brings educational resources and classroom support to Teach for America corps members. Daughter Nicole, a senior at Ransom Everglades High School, and son Alex, a freshman, are also active volunteers in Kids Corps.

“All children should have access to an excellent education, and that includes STEM,” said Lisa Mendelson, board member and donor. “Research has shown that early exposure to these subjects positively impacts the entire spectrum of learning for kids, and our schools need the knowledge and resources to focus on early STEM learning Our family is proud to support the positive impact Teach for America corps members are having in elementary classrooms throughout Miami-Dade.”

Teach For America has been a community partner in Miami and Dade County since 2003. This year, as Teach For America celebrates its 25th anniversary nationally, approximately 200 corps members teach in the region, and another 460 call Miami home and work from all sectors to expand opportunity for children growing up in low-income communities. Twelve corps members are currently leading elementary STEM classrooms in West Little River, Overtown, Liberty City, Little Haiti, and Homestead, reaching students in second through fifth grade. Of this group of elementary STEM teachers, nine identify as people of color, eight identify as coming from a low-income background, and half were the first in their family to go to college.

About Teach For America

Teach For America works in partnership with communities to expand educational opportunity for children facing the challenges of poverty. Founded in 1990, Teach For America recruits and develops a diverse corps of outstanding college graduates and professionals to make an initial two-year commitment to teach in high-need schools and become lifelong leaders in the effort to end educational inequity. Today, 8,600 corps members are teaching in 52 urban and rural regions across the country while more than 42,000 alumni work across sectors to ensure that all children have access to an excellent education. Teach For America is a proud member of the AmeriCorps national service network. For more information, visit www.teachforamerica.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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