AchieveMpls manages several grant funds that support Minneapolis Public Schools staff, classroom projects and field trips. This includes the Minneapolis Educator Leadership Awards (MELA), which recognize Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) teachers and staff who work regularly with students in Title I schools. Now in its fifth year, MELA provides up to $75,000 in total grants annually for projects that impact student achievement and improve our school communities. The awards are administered by AchieveMpls in partnership with the John & Denise Graves Foundation and Educators 4 Excellence.
MELA was created to provide opportunities for educators to recognize their peers, and the nomination and selection process is driven entirely by educators. Candidates are nominated by their colleagues, and finalists are selected by a committee of teachers, administrators and support staff who are actively working in MPS. In 2018, MELA provided funding to nine MPS staff for creative projects ranging from Si Se Puede: College Readiness for Latinx Students to Elevating Student Voice through Community Mural Making, and Closing the Digital Divide through Experiential Learning.
Nominations for the 2019 awards are now open until March 1. To nominate an educator, complete the online form on the MELA website. Among the questions on the form, you will be asked how the person you are nominating demonstrates leadership outside the classroom, how their work shows an emphasis on educational equity, and how they have demonstrated the ability to build relationships with others from diverse backgrounds.
Candidate finalists will be contacted in early April and asked to submit a project proposal. Final recipients will be notified in May, with a community celebration later that month. For more information, contact Angel Jennings at firstname.lastname@example.org or 612-455-1564.