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Outstanding Educator Award

Awards to Tennessee Teachers to Recognize and
Support Excellence in Humanities Education

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Humanities Tennessee

LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

01/31/18 Postmarked


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Awards providing fellowships of $2,000 and grants of $1,500 to Tennessee teachers of grades 3-12 to recognize and support excellence in teaching humanities disciplines. Nominators are strongly encouraged to submit a nomination draft by December 31. The fellowship is intended to further the teacher’s professional development. The awardee's school will also receive a cash grant to purchase humanities instructional materials or support student humanities projects.

Teachers of English, foreign language, history and social studies are eligible, as are teachers of art, drama and music, provided they employ a solid humanities approach to these subjects through emphasis on the history, theory, and criticism of the arts. In 2018, at least one award will be reserved for an outstanding school librarian who teaches humanities content.

In addition to being skillful and dedicated teachers who possess an expansive and in-depth knowledge of the humanities subject they teach, nominees should have the respect of students, parents and co-workers, as well as a record of active involvement in community activities and professional organizations, particularly those activities and organizations which involve promoting an understanding of the humanities.

Fellowship funds can be used:
-To cover tuition, travel and living expenses for attending humanities workshops, seminars, and conferences;
-To cover tuition, travel and living expenses for graduate course work in the humanities, if the usefulness of the graduate work is clearly shown;
-To cover expenses for individual research projects in the humanities. This might involve using funds in support of living and travel expenses for conducting research in the special collections of libraries, museums, institutes, colleges and universities;
-In support of travel and living expenses for an individual learning plan in the humanities. This might involve travel to a variety of museums, historic sites, and other cultural institutions, either in the United States or abroad, which would be of direct benefit to improving the teacher's knowledge of the humanities subjects he or she teaches. (This option requires inclusion of a plan of study and a statement of how travel will promote education in the humanities.)

School Grant funds can be used for:
-The purchase of humanities instructional materials (specifically, books and films)
-School humanities projects (ie: oral histories, school-wide research projects, lecture series)

Below is a small sampling of past projects for both the fellowship and school awards. Although this list highlights exemplary projects that have been funded in the past, it is not intended to set limits on possible project ideas. The Statements of the Use of Funds are critical parts of the nomination packet, and competitive nominations will include original and thought provoking project ideas.

Fellowship Projects:
-A fellow attended a five-day advanced summer institute focused on the content and methods of teaching issues surrounding the Holocaust. Funds were used for registration and travel costs.
-A fellow traveled to Italy to research Latin and European history. The fellow visited the museums at the Vatican and explored the Roman Forum and the ruins of Herculaneum. The fellow used the research gathered from the trip to aid in his teaching of AP Latin, European History, and Ancient and Medieval History.
-A fellow traveled to Ravenna and Croatia to study and compare five Basilicas in order to explore the narratives in the mosaics of San Marco, Euphrasius, St. George Greek Orthodox and others. The fellow’s students used her documentation to work in smalls groups to research and compare basilicas.
-A fellow traveled to Vietnam to study and visit sites related to the French colonization of Indochina and the Vietnamese independence struggle. The fellow also collected items en route for use in the classroom study of Buddhism, Confusianism and French Indochina.
-A fellow traveled to villages, museums, studios, and archaeological sites in Mexico to study historic and contemporary art and artists. She used the experience to create enhanced art units that appeal to both Hispanic and non-Hispanic students focusing on the history and culture of Mexico and its contemporary crafts.

School Projects:
-An elementary school purchased instructional materials, enlisted guest speakers, and provided docent training for teachers in preparation for an exhibit entitled "The Imperial Tombs of China." The school purchased items such as the book "Eyewitness History of the World," and the "Tennessee Biographical Dictionary." In addition, the teachers and parents created and distributed student packets that contain text and illustrations regarding Chinese tomb architecture, Chinese art forms, and other text on Chinese writing and calligraphy.
-A school purchased humanities materials including French language videos, French language storybooks, songbooks and reproducible activity books. These materials enabled the French III grade-schoolers to make a presentation of conversation, songs, and games completely in French for the Memphis City and Shelby County school system.

Note for Teachers of Art, Music, and Drama:
Competitive nominations will focus on the interpretation and analysis of the arts rather than “doing” the arts. In other words, if you are talking about the arts you are doing the humanities. If you are doing the arts you are performing. Humanities Tennessee does not fund projects that are primarily the performing arts.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 177008

Number of Grants:

Awards are available for up to six teachers.

Estimated Size of Grant:

Each award recipient will receive a $2,000 fellowship to further their professional development in the humanities. The award recipient's school will also receive a $1,500 grant to be used for the purchase of humanities instructional materials or for student humanities projects.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Qualifications of Nominees:
-Nominees must be full-time public or private 3rd - 12th grade school teachers in Tennessee.
-Teachers of English, foreign languages, history, social studies, and school librarians are eligible for nomination. Teachers of art, drama, and music are eligible for nomination if they emphasize the history, criticism, and theory of the arts.
-Nominees should be exceptionally skillful and dedicated teachers who possess an expansive and profound knowledge of the humanities subject(s) they teach.
-Nominees should have the respect and admiration of students, parents, and co-workers.
-Nominees should have a record of active involvement in community activities and professional organizations, particularly those activities and organizations that involve promoting an understanding and use of the humanities.
-Previous award winners are ineligible to apply for the award again.

Fellowship funds cannot be used:
-In support of dissertation credit hours;
-To support the publication of books, monographs, and booklets resulting from research;
-To support education in disciplines other than the humanities.

School Grant funds cannot be used for:
-The purchase of equipment including audio/visual, computers, and other equipment not deemed necessary in carrying out humanities programming.
-School projects (and supplies for such) in an academic discipline other than the humanities (i.e.: plays, art shows, music concerts etc).

Pre-Application Information:

Since the nominee plays a critical role in the preparation of the application, anyone interested in nominating a teacher for this award must first contact him or her and receive permission to do so.

The deadline to submit a draft nomination is December 31, 2017. Draft Nominations are strongly encouraged.

The nomination postmark deadline is January 31, 2018. Award recipients will be announced in April 2018, and fellowship funds will be available in May 2018.

Nomination Regulations:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Paul McCoy, Program Officer

Humanities Tennessee
807 Main St, Ste B
Nashville, TN 37206

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Tennessee