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Four years ago, I graduated from the University of Richmond and moved to the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas as a Corps Member with Teach For America. Please help me raise money for the students of the Rio Grande Valley so that they will all be able to attain an excellent education.
Each $5,000 raised through this campaign also has the chance to be MATCHED not once - but TWICE! An anonymous national donor and a strong regional supporter will both match this campaign. That means your gift of $300 will equal $900, a gift of $1,000 will bring us $3,000 in support, and so forth!
We need your support - now, more than ever - this is a special opportunity to triple your contribution, and advance the work that our corps members, alumni, and staff are striving to do.
In the Rio Grande Valley, we aim to:
*Grow our corps size from 130 teachers this year to 140 next school year.
*By 2015, our goal is to have more than 200 corps members!
*Together, with our 160 alumni in the region, we reach nearly 29,000 students daily!
Our teachers are leading educational progress in over 43 regions nationwide. Our students have the potential to be the future leaders of this country.We believe that we have the capability to combat the achievement gap and have seen proven success and impact through our efforts. In order to do this, we need a greater number of corps members in our classrooms. You can help bring in the new corps of effective teachers to the most high-need classrooms in the Valley.
As a region that lies along the U.S.-Mexico border, our schools are faced with numerous challenges, but great opportunities. More than 30 percent of Texas border residents have incomes below the poverty level, compared to 12 percent nationwide. Our students, like those pictured above, are growing up in low-income communities which lack resources that allow them to be fully prepared to succeed in the increasingly challenging educational landscape.
* On average, students growing up in low-income communities in the Rio Grande Valley make roughly 0.3
to 0.5 years of growth each school year; for students, this means they are falling behind.
* In comparison, 61 percent of our corps members led their students to achieve 1.5 or more years of academic
growth and 83% of our corps members led their students to achieve at least 1 year of academic growth during
the 2009-10 year.
We know what is possible, yet we also know that half of the children in low-income communities will never graduate from high school. Even those who graduate will likely perform, on average, at the 8th grade level - making the challenge of escaping poverty a nearly insurmountable task.
With over twenty years operating across the Valley, we have seen significant progress, but have a long trek to ensure that one day, all children in the Rio Grande Valley will have the opportunity to attain an excellent education. Our corps members work across three counties, twelve school districts, and 47 schools in total - they recieve ongoing support and development to make certain student progress. We are 130 corps members and 160 local alumni strong - we are invested in educational progress in our community.
“Qualified, talented teachers are crucial to the continued improvement of America’s public schools. With this year’s class of excellent corps members, Teach For America will provide children in underserved public schools with high-quality classroom instruction and seed the growth of educational leadership in deep South Texas for many years to come.”
-Rep. Rubén Hinojosa, U.S. House of Representatives, D-TX