December 16 2019

Application for MELA education leadership awards now open

MELA award recipients

AchieveMpls manages several grant funds that support Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) staff, classroom projects and field trips. This includes the Minneapolis Educator Leadership Awards (MELA), which recognize MPS teachers and staff who work regularly with students in Title I schools. Now in its sixth 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.

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 2019, MELA provided funding to nine MPS staff for creative projects that ranged from a speaker series on human trafficking to the creation of an alumni career and college readiness mentoring program, a project focused on regaining food sovereignty and a civil rights heritage tour. 

Nominations for the 2020 awards are now open until January 24. To nominate an educator, complete this online form on the MELA website. You'll 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 demonstrate the ability to build relationships with others from diverse backgrounds.

Candidate finalists will be contacted in mid-February and asked to submit a project proposal. Final recipients will be notified in mid-March, with a community celebration later that month. For more information, contact Angel Jennings at or 612-455-1564.