Two years teaching: program sends students to schools



By Amanda Powell

Teach For America is a program that turns students into leaders.

On Thursday night Teach For America representative Colleen Crawford will give a presentation to show UK students what the program can do for them and what they can do for students in America.

Teach For America recruits students from around the nation to dedicate two years of their lives to teaching students in under privileged communities.

“We take individuals from all backgrounds,” Crawford said, “and less than five percent are education majors.”

Crawford said participants have to be  120 percent committed to educational reform, but they do not have to have the desire to teach for the rest of their lives.

“Corps members are now senators, advisers on Capitol Hill, and some people have gone on to become the CEOs of Google,” Crawford said.

This event comes to UK during the premiere week of a highly anticipated documentary called “Waiting For ‘Superman.” The film goes behind the scenes of the American education system by following five children from across the country as they and their parents search for better education opportunities.

That is exactly what Teach For America is striving to do:  provide more chances for children to receive better education. Teach for America hopes a good education will improve their chances to attend college and further their studies.

According to, by fourth grade, children in low-income communities are three grade levels behind those in high-income communities. Thirteen million children are growing up in poverty, and only 1 in 10 of those children will attend college.

The Teach For America program allows participants to teach in 39 different regions of the country, from California to New York, grades kindergarten through 12.

The event on Thursday will include a PowerPoint presentation, an information session and a video.

“The information session is my favorite,” Crawford said.

There will also be a panel of Teach For America alumni who are now attending graduate school at UK. They will discuss their experiences in the program and what it meant for them to be a leader.

The event is open to all colleges and grade levels at UK. Although students cannot apply until they are seniors, Crawford said that she encourages everyone to come so they can discover what opportunities Teach For America has to offer.

Crawford also said that students may request a personal meeting with her by sending her an e-mail at [email protected] with their resume attached.

Teach For America will be in room 230 at the Student Center at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday. Pizza and beverages will also be provided.