ETA hand2mind and Joe Dombrowski Partner to Award Inaugural First-Year Teacher Scholarship to Florida Educator
Broward County teacher Stephanye Ramjohn won the award designed to equip new teachers with crucial resources to help them excel in the classroom and inspire students to do the same
(Pembroke Pines, FL) April 2, 2019 – According to studies from the Alliance for Excellent Education, nearly half a million U.S. teachers either move or leave the profession each year. Causes of teacher attrition within the first five years include lack of resources and the support to teach to their fullest potential. In an effort to curb this trend, teacher and comedian Joe Dombrowski partnered with leading educational company hand2mind to develop the Mr. Dombrowski First-Year Teacher Scholarship.
After his April Fool’s Day prank on his 4th-grade class went viral with more than 20 million views online, Dombrowski appeared on national TV shows such as “Good Morning America” and “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” Dombrowski said he wants to use his platform to “inspire students and teachers to make school a place where people want to be, versus where they have to be.” The scholarship was created as an extension of that mission to provide new teachers with assistance and decrease the burden that comes with working in a historically low-paying profession.
The 2019 scholarship was awarded to 8th-grade language arts teacher Stephanye Ramjohn of Pines Middle School in Pembroke Pines, Florida, who embodied a shared passion to motivate youth.
“I really believe in engaging students in their own education,” Ramjohn said in her award video submission . “We have limited what learning should look like, we have limited what education should look like. We have put it in a very tiny little box, and that box not only limits teachers and how they teach, but it really hinders students who don’t fit within that box. We should be all working together as a community to figure out how we can enlarge the horizon for our students.”
The award package consists of a one-hour digital consultation with Joe Dombrowski and a monetary award matched by hand2mind to total $4,000. Ramjohn plans to use the scholarship resources for culturally relevant books for her classroom, flexible seating so students won’t be confined to a desk, and supplies for students who can’t otherwise afford them. In addition, hand2mind made the commitment to provide personalized classroom materials, as well as offer continued support by working directly with her to align additional resources for her school.
“At hand2mind we are honored to contribute to such a well-deserving new teacher not only through this scholarship but also through our educational mission,” said Rick Woldenberg, CEO of hand2mind. “We are so impressed with the support she received from her school leaders and peer teachers. Like Stephanye, we have a passion for the journey to learning and are excited to provide new hands-on resources and tools to enhance her students' classroom experience."
With more than 50 years of experience in education, hand2mind provides interactive, hands-on resources for math, science, STEM, and literacy. Our mission is to support teachers, inspire students, engage parents, and champion learning by doing. A family-owned company, hand2mind is based in Vernon Hills, Illinois. For more information, please visit hand2mind.com.
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