Teach For America–South Dakota Offers First-Ever Native Alliance Grants to Eligible Corps Members

Competitive Grant Aims To Support New Corps Members with Significant Experience in Native Communities


Mission, S.D., November 1, 2016—Teach For America–South Dakota today announced that it will launch its first-ever competitive Native Alliance grant process for incoming 2017 corps members. Eight grants of up to $5,000 will be awarded to eligible applicants that meet the following criteria:

  • Demonstrated experience with Native families, cultures and/or working in Native communities for 10 or more years.
  • Significant experience building relationships in Native communities.

Teach For America–South Dakota will award grants to matriculating corps members starting in the 2017-2018 school year. Native Alliance grant recipients can use the awards to help offset the cost of moving to South Dakota or transitioning into their new roles. Similar grant programs will be offered in Teach For America–Hawai’i and Teach For America–New Mexico.

“As an organization, we aim to provide leadership opportunities for Native and non-Native college students and professionals and who want to make a difference in South Dakota’s Native communities,” said Jim Curran, executive director of Teach For America in South Dakota. “We believe teachers that have knowledge of and experience in a particular community and Tribal nation can be a huge asset when seeking to impact students’ lives. The Native Alliance Grant is a great way for eligible new corps members to gain additional support as they start their teaching journey here in South Dakota.”

Teach For America recruits and prepares top college graduates and professionals to teach for at least two years in urban and rural communities, making an immediate impact in the classroom, and develops these new corps members as life-long leaders in education and other fields. The organization’s Native Alliance Initiative works hand-in-hand with tribes and Native communities to expand educational opportunities for their students in South Dakota, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Minnesota, Hawai’i and Washington.

“Teach For America’s Native Alliance Initiative strives to increase, support, and strengthen the inherent sovereignty of American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian students through education,” said senior managing director of Teach For America’s Native Alliance Initiative Robert Cook. "It’s important that we recruit and acknowledge emerging leaders that have a deep understanding of various Native cultures and histories to serve in indigenous communities throughout the country.”

Teach For America joined the South Dakota education community in 2004 with 17 corps members teaching on the Rosebud and Pine Ridge Reservations. This school year, more than 100 corps members and alumni remain steadfast in their commitment to expand educational opportunities across sovereign Lakota Nations that often face extreme teacher shortages. The organization aims to support its tribal partners in providing a high-quality education that equips students with the skills necessary to reach their full potential and help cultivate the next generation of community and tribal leaders. To do so, Teach For America – South Dakota plans to recruit more corps members that identify as Native so that, by 2020, a third are South Dakota tribal members. To advance this goal, the organization has forged formal partnerships with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Rosebud Sioux Tribe and Red Cloud Indian School.

Those interested in applying to Teach For America, can find more at teachforamerica.org. The next application deadline is December 9, 2016. To learn more information about the Native Alliance Grant, please contact Marion Katz at marion.katz@teachforamerica.org.

About Teach For America

Teach For America works in partnership with communities to expand educational opportunity for children facing the challenges of poverty. Founded in 1990, Teach For America recruits and develops a diverse corps of outstanding college graduates and professionals to make an initial two-year commitment to teach in high-need schools and become lifelong leaders in the effort to end educational inequity. Corps members are teaching today in 53 urban and rural regions across the country. They join more than 12,000 alumni educators in a teaching force of 19,000 and an overall community that is 53,000 strong, working across every sector to ensure that all children have access to an excellent education. Teach For America is a proud member of the AmeriCorps national service network. For more information, visit www.teachforamerica.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.