Getting Involved with Teach For America

By Krista Kay, Alpha Pi ’02, Director of Leadership Advancement

Throughout Phi Sigma Pi’s Teach For America Month kickoff webinar on October 1st, the importance of seeing educational inequity first-hand and impact that you have as Brothers when interacting with students were echoed by Brothers and corps members Katie Fenerty (Gamma Theta ’09), Bo Hilty (Gamma Phi ’03), and Amanda Wolfenberger (Gamma Psi ’11).

If you’re thinking about planning a classroom visit for your Chapter, keep in mind that classroom visits require a great deal of coordination. The more preparation you can do in advance, the easier it will be for everyone involved. To learn more about classroom visit opportunities, contact your nearest Teach For America region.

The Alternative Break Project is a great opportunity to “make an impact that will last a lifetime.” With two days in the classroom, three days working on a project for the school, and plenty of time to spend with Teach For America corps members and staff, you live the Tripod while learning more about educational inequity.

2010 Alternative Break Project corps member Jessica Thompson (Gamma Theta), shares “My favorite experience of Alternative Break Project 2010 in Atlanta was inside the classroom with the kids. I helped them with homework, answered questions, talked to the teachers, and made a connection with the kids.”

Stay tuned for the location of the 2013 Alternative Break Project!

Even if you can’t make it into a classroom, even being a pen-pal makes a great impact, since it serves as an opportunity for young students to interact with college students. Contact your nearest Teach For America Region asking them to put you in touch with any classrooms who would be willing to participate in a pen-pals program. For pen-pal tips, check out the Teach For America Project Opportunities page.

Whether you work with a Teach For America classroom, local at-risk classroom, or attend the Alternative Break Project, every event you do makes a difference. For more ideas, check out the wiki and be sure to submit your events for Phi Sigma Pi’s Teach For America Month!

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