John Kannofsky, a teacher at Animo Venice Charter High School in Westchester, is one of 15 Los Angeles-area teachers who were awarded a summer sabbatical to a foreign country this year through a fellowship granted by Fund for Teachers.

“Teachers have the power to transform the world through their direct, daily contact with our future generations,” said Karen Kovach Webb, executive director for Fund for Teachers. “Thanks to our community partners and generous donors, we offer educators the opportunity to pursue areas of personal and professional interests and bring their experiences and energy back to the classroom.”

This summer more than 500 teachers from across the country “embarked on their own personal odysseys around the world,” says a fund spokesman.

Kannofsky said that during his sabbatical to Germany, he explored the roots of the country’s modern art movement to learn its creative methods for art education and production.

Unlike other educational grants, Fund for Teachers gives teachers the freedom to design an experience that will most impact their lives, their profession and their community, according to Fund for Teachers. Applicants document their vision in a proposal detailing how their summer fellowship will make them a better teacher, in addition to ways their experience will impact their curricula.

These proposals are then evaluated by a diverse selection committee comprised of community members, donors, local educators and past Fellows. Fund for Teachers Fellow Grants are open to teachers who:

work with students in pre-K through 12th grade;

have three or more years teaching experience; and

teach in an eligible Los Angeles-area school district (for eligibility requirements, see www .fundforteachers.org/apply.html/.

Applications for individual grants of $5,000 and team grants of up to $10,000 for next year are available at www.fundfor teachers.org/. The deadline for submission is January 30th. Winners will be notified by April.

The Fund for Teachers is a national donor-supported organization that awards fellowships for self-designed professional growth to teachers who recognize the value of inquiry, the power of knowledge and their ability to make a difference.

Since its inception in 1988 by Apache Corporation chairman Raymond Plank, Fund for Teachers has awarded more than $10.5 million in fellowships to 3,000 of America’s top educators.

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