Teach for America affiliate receives $1 million grant

McALLEN — Teach for America’s local affiliate received a $1 million grant from the Robert J. Kleberg Jr. and Helen C. Kleberg Foundation to train a new crop of educators and provide assistance to ones already in the classroom.

The grant will be disbursed over three years, said Robert Carreon, executive director of Teach for America’s Rio Grande Valley operations.

Teach for America is a national corps of top college graduates who commit to teaching in schools in urban and rural areas for two years. The organization started its Valley operations in 1991. Since then, Teach for America has trained about 900 teachers in the region, with about 120 of them staying in area schools.

This year, there are 193 teachers from the corps working in Valley schools, Carreon said. Next school year, Teach for America plans to have more than 200 in the Valley and expand its work into San Antonio.

The Valley affiliate is responsible for raising 72 percent of its operating budget this year. That budget provides money for training new teachers and professional development for those already in the program, Carreon said.

“This grant helps make a significant jump in the amount of money we raise locally,” he said.