Cherokee Nation recognized for support of teachers fund

06/06/2019 04:00 PM
TULSA – Twenty-seven Oklahoma educators will embark on career-changing professional development experiences this summer, thanks in part to a new Tribal Alliance comprised of the Chickasaw Nation, Cherokee Nation, Citizen Potawatomi Nation, the Ponca Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma and the Muscogee (Creek) Nation.

The Tribal Alliance is helping support 2019 Oklahoma Fund for Teachers grants, which provide self-designed summer learning experiences for Oklahoma teachers in the United States and throughout the world. Tribal Alliance members were recognized at a recent reception hosted by the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence, the national Fund for Teachers and the Tulsa Community Foundation, which partner to administer Oklahoma Fund for Teachers grants.

“The Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence recognizes the tremendous positive influence Native American tribes are to our state’s educational endeavors,” said OFE President Cathryn Render, explaining that the foundation reached out to tribes with the goal of encouraging teachers with Native American tribal citizenship to apply for Fund for Teachers fellowships. “We are very proud of these five founding members for stepping up to recognize the value of the amazing Fund for Teachers program. And of course, we are delighted that over 23 percent of the fellows selected this year were indeed tribal members.”

Since 2002, more than 1,000 Oklahoma teachers have received Fund for Teachers grants totaling over $3.6 million. In 2006, Oklahoma became the first state in the nation to offer grants to educators statewide when the OFE joined the national Fund for Teachers and the Tulsa Community Foundation as state partners. Fund for Teachers fellowships empower teachers to explore their academic passions, deepen their scholarship and enhance their craft, said Karen Webb, executive director of the national Fund for Teachers.

“Through experiential learning, bold experimentation and the realization of personal ambition, teachers are better equipped to impart tools and skills which serve their students far beyond the boundaries of the classroom,” Webb said. “Fund for Teachers knows that good teachers become great teachers when they have the resources to explore their subject matter in the real world and translate it to their students and communities.”

For information on the 2019 Oklahoma Fund for Teachers fellows, visit


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