Follow AAE on:

Press Release



June 24, 2020
Contact: Christina Mazzanti

Association of American Educators Foundation COVID-19 Relief Scholarship and Grant Program Generates High Impact for Educators in Need


Alexandria, VA – The Association of American Educators Foundation (AAEF), a 501(c)(3) organization supporting the mission of the Association of American Educators (AAE), a national professional association serving educators in all fifty states, announces recipients of a special cycle of Teacher Scholarships and Classroom Grants created to support educators impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic.


The AAE Foundation National Teacher Scholarship and Classroom Grant Program is an annual competitive program open to all full-time educators, awarding scholarships and grants twice a year, in the spring and the fall. However, shortly after nationwide school closures, AAEF launched a special COVID-19 Relief cycle in response to educators’ unprecedented needs. Individual scholarships and grants for up to $500 supported projects, curriculum development, and new training to improve the distance learning experience for students. Areas of funding included immediate needs as well as those associated with the reopening of schools in the new school year.


“This scholarship and grant program was very well received by educators nationwide,” said AAE Foundation Executive Director Colin Sharkey. “It was apparent that we would have to extend the program to respond to the outpouring of need and the broad array of training requests that we received from subject areas, to technology skills, to trauma informed education practices.”


AAE Foundation COVID-19 Relief funds in action:


Mr. David Dillard, an elementary educator in Colorado Springs, Colorado, has purchased a complete set of video recording equipment to record lessons and tutorials for educators at all grade levels at the school.

Ms. Kelly Cadman, a mathematics educator in Douglasville, Georgia, has purchased technology-based mathematics programing and materials.

Ms. LeAnn Helms, a high school principal in Manila, Arkansas, is creating a Back-to-School event for the senior class of 2021.

Ms. Alexis Engelken, a music educator in Chase, Kansas, is purchasing instruments so her students can continue their music instruction despite a spending freeze at the school.

Ms. Sarah Sandberg, an art educator in Trafalgar, Indiana, is purchasing art supplies for her entire middle school art program.

Ms. Melissa Hunt, an English language educator in Blackfoot, Idaho, is purchasing materials to assemble grab-and-go book bags to provide at-home and grade appropriate reading materials for rural students who do not have access to digital or printed books.

Ms. Sucahda Thepchatri, a mathematics educator in Brookhaven, Georgia, purchased twenty-five Chromebook cases.
Ms. Jamie Yung, an arts drama, and music educator in Independence, Missouri, purchased power tools for her school's scenic shop.

Ms. Krista Palmer, a mathematics educator in Paterson, New Jersey, will apply her scholarship funds toward attending the Ron Clark Academy professional development program: Math and Science Day at RCA.
Ms. Regina Sackman, an elementary school principal in Mansfield, Ohio, is creating an all-staff professional development program and supporting curriculum to address trauma in students.


AAE Foundation is accepting contributions from grant-making organizations to extend the scholarship and grant program to serve as many educators as possible.


“We are so pleased to make this special program available and congratulate all the recipients,” added Melissa Pratt, Senior Professional Programs Manager, who oversees the National Teacher Scholarship and Classroom Grant Program. “There has never been a more important time to be responsive to the changing needs of professional educators and the entire education community.”

The Association of American Educators (AAE) is the largest national, nonunion, professional educator organization, advancing the profession by offering a modern approach to educator empowerment and advocacy—promoting professionalism, collaboration, and excellence without a partisan agenda. AAE is committed to a teaching profession that is student oriented, well respected, and personally fulfilling. AAE serves members in all fifty states and welcomes professionals from all education entities. Membership is $16.50 per month and includes $2 million professional liability insurance, employment rights coverage, professional resources, and many other benefits. Classroom teachers, paraprofessionals, administrators, student teachers, university professors, and supporters can learn more at