Nearly 130 Indiana teachers will have great stories to tell their students in answer to the age old school question, "what did you do this summer."
Hoosier teachers spent time in places from Uganda to the Arctic working on projects from their Teacher Creativity Fellowships from the Lilly Endowment Teacher Creativity Fellowship Program.
Teachers went to extreme-sports camps in Romania, took dance lessons on Broadway, constructed handcrafted art books, went fly-fishing in Montana, took broadcasting classes in Los Angeles, learned woodcarving and blacksmithing, studied piano in the Czech Republic and Australia, wrote and recorded rock songs and learned to make Islamic tiles.
These same experiences will occur next summer as well. The 2009 Teacher Creativity Fellowship Program will offer up to 120 awards of $8,000 each for kindergarten-12 grade licensed teachers, principals and assistant principals, guidance counselors and librarians/media specialist to support the six-week long projects.
A second level of funding is available for "distinguished fellows." These grants offer up to $25,000 per individual and will support projects that will improve teachers' work with students by enhancing their knowledge and rekindling their dedication to the teaching profession.
If these "fellows" need to leave their classrooms or schools for a period of time, the Endowment may award an additional $25,000 directly to the school district to cover all or part of the costs of a replacement teacher. Up to 10 fellows and 10 school districts may receive these grants.
Activities may take place anytime between June 1, 2009 and Aug. 31, 2010. Those receiving the $8,000 grants must complete their projects by Aug. 31, 2009 but the grant period will run through May 31, 2010, so recipients will be able to report how the grant activities have influenced their work in the classroom.
"The best teachers know that learning never ends," said Sara B. Cobb, Endowment vice president for education.
"These teachers are curious. They are articulate and enthusiastic. They are eager to share.
All applicants must have at least three years of professional experience to be eligible for this competitive program. Former Teacher Creativity fellows who received their award before 2002 are eligible to apply for a second award in the 2009 program.
Applications for either level of the Teacher Creativity Fellowship Program must be postmarked by Nov. 9. Notification of grant awards will be made by Feb. 27, 2009 and grant payments will be made after March 15.
For specific questions about the program, application procedures or grant-writing tips, contact the Endowment by e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org. or consult the Endowment's Web site www.lillyyendowment.org. and click on Education, then on Teacher Creativity.