Thursday, February 09, 2006

MetLife Foundation Bridge Builders Grant

Building better relationships among adults and children

The MetLife Foundation Bridge Builders Grant Program and The National Association of Secondary School Principals are inviting proposals from public middle schools and high schools serving large numbers of low-income students. Schools meeting this criteria may apply for a grant to implement a special initiative aimed at building better relationships among adults and students.

The program emphasizes building relationships to personalize the educational experience for each student is fundamental to student success. A component of personalization is understanding and appreciating the student’s role in the larger context of the family and community.

Based on the MetLife Survey of the American Teacher, teachers and students alike reported that teachers in their schools have very little understanding of their students’ neighborhoods and communities, knowledge which can help teachers reach their students more effectively. This lack of understanding is more acute in low-income, urban neighborhoods with high proportions of minority students. Principals set the tone and establish priorities for their schools, and can therefore build bridges between school and community.

Maximum award: $5,000. Eligibility: Middle school and high school principals in public schools in the U.S. that serve large numbers of low-income children and/or large numbers of minority students (more than 40% of the student body) . Deadline: April 17, 2006. More information:

Tags: , , , , Education,


Rose said...

I think this is a good idea. However most teachers do not have time to learn about their students neighborhoods, particulary in more urban areas. Schools do not have home visiting programs.

Deb Sistrunk said...

Rose: You are right. Schools do not have home visiting programs. However, one of the things schools can do is build partnerships/relationships with businesses and community organizations that serve neighborhood families.

In addition, a program like this one can help close the divide that continues to exist between schools and parents. When schools get more creative about parent engagement, more parents become involved in school activities. That translates to improved student achievement. It's a win-win situation.

MetLife has been working for a few years to bring together educators, parents, and community leaders to work together to improve public school education. This particular program is definitely a step in the right direction.

SAHM of Color said...

McDonalds and other child friendly restaurants does this. Many times they will have a dedicated night for a specific school and they will either donate a percentage of that day's sales to the school or offer a discount to the students.

As a way to get the students and parents to participate they will sometimes get a few of the teachers and administration to come and help "serve" that day.

It's pretty easy to set up, all you need to do is contact the establishment and make the suggestion.

DCS said...

SAHM: Great tip! You are so right! I am sure many teachers, parents and students appreciate this heads up.

BTW, welcome to the blogosphere! Your blog is off to a good start, and I love your website. I hope readers here will check you out!

jazeGma2 said...

This sounds like a great program. I do agree with Rose on teachers do not have time to learn about their students neighborhoods, particulary in the urban areas.

One thought for this would be possibly considering covering urban area life styles in the teachers Curriculum of study.

Building relationships, and understanding our children's family life styles is the key connection to their learning experience. We must make that connection for all of our children to be successful in education.

DCS said...

Jazegma2: Great idea about making the study of urban lifestyles a part of teacher training. And you are so right about the imporance of relationship building. I think your ideas are right on target.