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Press Release



October 16, 2020
Contact: Christina Mazzanti

Association of American Educators Foundation Expands Impact of COVID-19 Relief Scholarship and Grant Program


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 extension of its COVID-19 Relief Scholarship and Grant Program. This additional cycle of funding awards was created in response to the unprecedented number of educators impacted by the coronavirus pandemic-related school closures and projected district budget reductions.


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. Nationwide school closures in the spring prompted an urgent response by AAEF to support educators during their transition to emergency distance learning through additional funding awards. The COVID-19 Relief Program was extended to meet the needs educators continue to face as a new school year begins during the ongoing national health crisis.


“Distance learning, hybrid lessons, and in-person instruction, as well as new health and safety guidelines have demanded even more of our nation’s educators to meet the learning goals of their students,” said AAE Foundation Executive Director Colin Sharkey. “This complex learning environment has required additional lesson design, professional development, technology training, wellness and emotional supports, and much more for every professional educator. We support our resilient, creative educators for their continued efforts to meet these new challenges and congratulate our scholarship and grant recipients.”


AAE Foundation COVID-19 Relief funds in action:

  • Ms. Angela Amos, a business and marketing educator with Siloam Springs High School in Siloam Springs, Arkansas, purchased an MBA Learning Center master license to provide a rich, engaging curriculum for all students taking entrepreneurship, small business, and marketing courses and ensuring a seamless transition between online and in-person instruction.
  • Ms. Christina Bartlett, a band director with Morrilton High School in Morrilton, Arkansas, purchased Smart Music software subscriptions for the school’s three band directors and for 115 students, allowing them to incorporate at-home practice and assessment.
  • Ms. Regina Belcher, a mathematics educator with Polo Park Middle School in Wellington, Florida, is using her grant award funding to purchase individual Wipebook Workbooks as a safe alternative to previously shared workbooks or whiteboards.
  • Ms. Gaye Callich, a high school educator in Lyons, Kansas, created a Job Olympics, providing a competitive opportunity for students with special needs to receive feedback from business leaders on their job skills.
  • Ms. Sarah Forbes, an elementary educator with Sanderson Academy in Ashfield, Massachusetts, is purchasing software and extended licensing to create portable lessons on DVDs for students who lack at-home internet access.
  • Mr. Lucas Galan, a physics educator in Covina, California, is purchasing an X-Pen Artist Monitor and drawing software to facilitate all levels of remote physics instruction for his Northview High School students.
  • Ms. Miriam Martinez, an elementary educator with Emerson Elementary School in Albuquerque, New Mexico, is purchasing new flexible furniture in response to physical distancing requirements as well as to allow students to easily experience outside learning activities.
  • Ms. Cynthia McKinney, a second-grade educator with Eagle Charter School in Salem, Oregon, has used her grant to purchase a water bottle filling station for the school as part of her school's reopening plan.
  • Ms. Julie Olson, an educator with the Woodrow Cummings Elementary School in Conway, Arkansas, is using her grant award to purchase enough robotic kits, including coding software, for her kindergarten through second-grade students so they can maintain social distance while teachers work with them this fall.
  • Mr. Stephen Parce, the principal of Denver Justice High School in Denver, Colorado, is using his scholarship funds to participate in the Mental Health Changemaker Fellowship, which will provide new tools and resources to catalyze mental wellness in his educational community.
  • Ms. Marla Rickard, a science educator with Walnut High School in Walnut, California, is using her grant funds to build a hope pond for the school’s Wellness Center, which will support students’ emotional well-being when they return to in-person instruction.


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


Melissa Pratt, Senior Professional Programs Manager who oversees the National Teacher Scholarship and Classroom Grant Program noted, “As educators continue to rise to the demands of rapidly changing school and learning environments, AAE Foundation will continue to support their excellence, professionalism, and dedication to our nation’s children.”


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