McALLEN, TexasThe Robert J. Kleberg, Jr. and Helen C. Kleberg Foundation announced plans to invest $1 million over three years in Teach For America–Rio Grande Valley. The new three-year grant will support teacher recruitment, training, and support.  The Kleberg Foundation has been an ongoing partner to Teach For America in the Valley, with this being their third grant to the organization. 

Teach For America, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, recruits a diverse group of our nation’s most promising leaders to make an enduring commitment to educational equity, beginning with teaching for at least two years in high-need urban and rural schools. The organization has been a part of the Rio Grande Valley educational fabric since 1991, partnering with Valley district and charter public schools to provide candidates for open teaching positions in underserved communities. A national survey by the RAND Corporation found that 88 percent of principals, including those in the Rio Grande Valley, who worked with Teach For America teachers believe those teachers had a positive impact, and 95 percent of principals in the Rio Grande Valley stated they would hire another Teach For America teacher in the future.

“We are honored to be awarded the Kleberg Foundation grant because it will bring much-needed resources into our community,” said Dr. Paula Garcia, executive director of Teach For America in the Rio Grande Valley. “We fundraise the majority of our operating expenses locally, and this support will help us ensure that more students throughout the Valley receive access to an excellent education.” 

“The Foundation is pleased to continue its partnership with Teach For America–Rio Grande Valley with a renewed three-year commitment to further the education of children in some of the Valley’s lowest-income communities. Education is key to improving the quality of life in South Texas communities, which is one of the aims of the Foundation,” said Helen K. Groves, president of the Robert J. Kleberg, Jr. and Helen C. Kleberg Foundation.

This year, some 125 Teach For America teachers, also known as corps members, are leading local classrooms, while an additional 170 Teach For America alumni are working from all sectors to expand educational opportunity in the Rio Grande Valley. Among that alumni leadership force, 97 percent work in roles impacting education or low-income communities and more than half are classroom teachers.

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. Today, 8,600 corps members are teaching in 52 urban and rural regions across the country while more than 42,000 alumni work across sectors 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.

About The Kleberg Foundation: The Robert J. Kleberg, Jr. and Helen C. Kleberg Foundation is committed to supporting and improving the quality of life in South Texas communities, investing in scientific research and innovation, and wildlife and habitat stewardship. Robert and Helen Kleberg founded this private, family foundation in 1950 in Kingsville, Texas.  To date, the Foundation has awarded over $266 million and continues to take pride in the vision of its founders and the accomplishments of the Foundation’s grant recipients.