Teach For America is a national corps of recent college graduates of all academic majors who commit to two years of teaching in urban and rural public schools. The organization’s mission is to eliminate educational inequity by enlisting some of the nation’s most promising future leaders in the effort.
Approximately 3,500 corps members are teaching in over 1,000 schools in 22 regions across the country. Teach For America (TFA) places corps members in regions most profoundly impacted by the gap in educational outcomes. More than 80 percent of the students they reach qualify for free or reduced-price lunch, and the overwhelming majority of the students (95 percent) are African-American or Latino. All of the districts that are served are classified as “high-need” local education agencies by the federal government.
One of the newest regions served by TFA is the Las Vegas Valley, where the program began just over a year ago, and has since placed over 100 teachers in local schools. It is on track to place nearly 200 more teachers during the 2006-2007 school year.
“Since our charter year in this region, we have achieved many milestones, including several corps members receiving nominations for New Teacher of the Year, as well as significant contributions from several corporations and foundations,” said Charles Salter, executive director for the Las Vegas Valley region.
Last year, seven TFA corps members were nominated for Clark County New Teacher of the Year in the categories of special education, elementary education, middle school and high school. One corps member was named the Elementary New Teacher of the Year and another was named the Nevada PTA/Cox Communication Outstanding Educator for 2005.
“Our Teach For America teachers have achieved tremendous results here in the Las Vegas Valley,” said Salter. “Numerous teachers have adcanced students more than a year ahead academically beyond the state standards.”
The Las Vegas Valley region has also seen some significant contributions from local corporations, individuals and foundations, including MGM Mirage, Station Casinos, the Perini Building Company, Caesars Entertainment, Harrah’s Entertainment, the Andre Agassi Charitable Foundation, the Greenspun Family Foundation, The Nevada Community Foundation and various other individuals and businesses.
What occurs after Teach For America corps members fulfill the two-year teaching requirement is perhaps one of the most impressive attributes of the program. More than 60 percent of Teach For America alumni choose to work full-time in education, including 39 percent who are teachers or administrators in K-12 schools and 9 percent who work at education-related non-profits organizations.
. Nearly 90 percent of alumni continue to positively impact the education system or low-income communities through their full-time or volunteer work. “As our region matures, we will recruit more corps members and hope to forge even more relationships with the local community,” Salter added.
The Las Vegas Valley region of Teach for America took steps to do just that last October by forming its own advisory board consisting of prominent members of the community, including former First Lady of Nevada Sandy Miller, State Assemblyman Chad Christensen, Executive Vice President of MGM Mirage Gary Jacobs, Vice President of Public and Government Affairs of Cox Communications Steve Schorr and several others.
Teach For America-Las Vegas Valley
Charles Salter, Executive Director
1785 East Sahara Ave. Suite 460
Las Vegas, Nevada 89104
Phone: (702) 696-9059 ext. 4
Fax: (702) 696-0907