Arkansas Teacher Corps was awarded a grant totaling $205,800 by the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) in August 2022. Grant funds will provide additional supports for fellows in the areas of teacher licensure, wraparound support, and educator wellness for the 2022-23 school year .
Fellows are able to earn a $500 bonus for meeting all the requirements for a provisional license by the end of the school year. Grant funds will also cover the costs of Praxis test registration fees and and provide test prep support through Study.com for current and incoming fellows.
Incoming fellows in the 2023 cohort are able to apply for microgrants, in addition to the stipend, depending on their individual needs during the summer institute. Fellows will be able to apply for up to $500 for mental health services or technology needs and up to $1000 for moving expenses or childcare services. Requests will be approved based on need and the availability of funding.
Grant funding will support a partnership with the non-profit organization edwell to provide personalized wellness coaching for all ATC fellows and staff members during the 2022-23 school year. ATC fellows and staff members will also be able to participate in a year-long professional development course to learn more about teaching that is trauma-informed, brain-based, and healing-centered.
An edwell coach will provide 50-minute one-on-one coaching sessions for all interested fellows and staff over Zoom, aligned with the edwell coaching framework. Wellness coaches are all current or former teachers, and care deeply about supporting the wellbeing of their peers. After opting in, participants have the opportunity to select one of over 60 wellness coaches based on their personal needs and preferences. In wellness coaching, educators talk about work, personal lives, emotions, stress, and everything in between! With their coach, they’ll set goals and track progress towards holistic wellbeing. Coaches are trained by wellness experts and are supervised by one of edwell’s licensed therapists.
An edwell facilitator will lead a cohort of up to 18 Arkansas Teacher Corps staff members and fellows through the year-long brain-based teaching course. The cohort will meet weekly for an hour-long seminar and quarterly with the cohort facilitator to coach and develop the theories that they are learning into tangible practices. The PD sequence includes four modules: (1) Understanding the Brain, (2) Understanding Ourselves, (3) Classroom Implementation, and (4) Prioritizing Wellbeing. Additionally, edwell staff will facilitate a shorter four-part series summarizing these modules for all ATC fellows.