VAN BUREN INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL DISTRICT AWARDED $5.8 MILLION ROUND 2 GROW YOUR OWN (GYO) SCHOOL STAFF GRANT
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Van Buren Intermediate School District Awarded $5.8 Million Round 2 Grow Your Own (GYO) School Staff Grant
February 27, 2024 - The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) announced a grant award of $5,800,000 to the Van Buren Intermediate School District (VBISD) as part of the Future Proud Michigan Educator Grow Your Own (GYO) staff grants. This new round of funding is in addition to a $9.1 million grant awarded to the VBISD in May 2023.
MDE announced the 96 grantees of the second round of Section 27b GYO School Staff grants in a press release dated December 20, 2023. These grant funds will be used to cover costs associated with educator preparation on behalf of school staff wishing to pursue initial certification or additional endorsements, thereby addressing staffing needs and reducing areas of teacher shortage. Costs may include tuition and fees associated with their program, required textbooks, application fees, transcript fees, Michigan Test of Teacher Certification (MTTC) fees, and Michigan Online Education Certification (MOECS) fees for initial licensure.
VBISD, in collaboration with their local school districts, Calhoun ISD, Western Michigan University (WMU), Grand Valley State University (GVSU), Michigan Teachers of Tomorrow, and #T.E.A.C.H. successfully applied for the Round 2 GYO staff grant. As a result of these additional funds, the VBISD will accommodate an additional 85 candidates from Van Buren and Calhoun counties seeking initial teaching certification or additional endorsements. These 85 new candidates will join the 157 candidates already enrolled in the program attending WMU, and GVSU.
The VBISD team has worked closely with faculty and staff at both universities since the summer and have developed an excellent partnership with one goal: support our candidates and help them succeed. The VBISD holds regular collaborative meetings with WMU and GVSU and weekly meetings as a VBISD GYO staff to continuously improve the experience for all candidates. Here are a few of the successes candidates have experienced so far:
“I’ve had my career, but ultimately, I knew I wanted to be a teacher. It wouldn't be possible without the Grow Your Own program. I'd tried to figure out a way to make it happen on my own, but it seemed impossible while also having to support myself. GYO took care of everything.”
“The first thing that absolutely must be mentioned is how in awe I am of the support, forethought, consideration, and general awesomeness that has been shown and given by the ISD. From the creation of the program itself to the help along the way, it is remarkable. Absolutely remarkable. This has been such an affirming experience.“
“I have been a long-term and building substitute teacher for around five years, after I left my previous career path in college sports. I fell in love with teaching and this is a wonderful path that allows me to become a full-time teacher without having to put myself into debt or leave my current position.”
“My experience so far has been wonderful. What I like the most is the continuous support given. Everyone involved in this Grant and to make it happen has been more than helpful and willing to do what it takes to help me be successful, and for that I am forever grateful for this opportunity.”
The next step for VBISD and the collaborating districts involves the careful review of applications and the selection of candidates for the program. Successful applicants will have the opportunity to attend either WMU, GVSU, #T.E.A.C.H. or Michigan Teachers of Tomorrow further enriching the talent pool of the teaching profession in Michigan.
Dave Manson and/or Melissa Corona
email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
269-539-5200 and 269-539-5421
Van Buren County Schools Awarded $9.1 Million Grant for Teacher Development
May 25, 2023 – The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) today announced a grant award of $9,133,691 to the Van Buren Intermediate School District (VBISD) as part of the Future Proud Michigan Educator Grow Your Own (GYO) staff grants. This significant allocation is part of a larger initiative led by the State of Michigan, aimed at developing more teachers from within local school districts.
The GYO staff grants are designed to combat teacher shortages by supporting school employees in obtaining initial certification or additional endorsements. The grant will serve to substantially expand GYO programs across the state, ensuring every student has access to high-quality instruction.
VBISD, in collaboration with their local school districts, Western Michigan University and Grand Valley State University successfully applied for the GYO staff grant. The significant role of these collaborations in the application process speaks to the spirit of unity and commitment to improving education within our communities. As a result of this grant, about 200 future educators will be able to access funds for their professional development.
State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice expressed his enthusiasm about the program, stating, "Grow Your Own programs provide a pathway for school support staff to benefit from their successful experiences working with children, to become teachers, and to fill crucial staffing needs. We are excited that schools and districts across the state are collaborating significantly with our teacher preparation programs to increase access to this proud and important profession in support of children.”
Cheryl-Marie Manson, Director of Instructional Services at VBISD, played a crucial role in conceptualizing the grant application. As a first-generation college student herself, Manson brought a deep understanding of the challenges faced by individuals seeking to balance work with higher education. Over 380 teachers within Van Buren County have expressed interest in the grant, indicating a high demand and great potential impact of this initiative.
The next step for VBISD and the collaborating districts involves the careful review of applications and the selection of candidates for the program. Successful applicants will have the opportunity to attend either Western Michigan University or Grand Valley State University, further enriching the talent pool of the teaching profession in Michigan.
"Grow Your Own" Grant
Future Proud Michigan Educator Grow Your Own (GYO) Programs School Personnel Grant The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) is continuing the Future Proud Michigan Educator (Future PME) initiative with a new grant opportunity for districts to support K-12 school personnel.
This grant is an extension of Michigan’s efforts to grow and diversify
the educator workforce and reduce educator shortages through the Future PME initiative.