For Immediate Release
In support of transformational experiences in teacher preparation, the Associated Professional Educators of Louisiana (A+PEL), has announced a dedication of 50,000 dollars for pre-service teachers in rural areas. A+PEL, a 501c3 charitable foundation, made this announcement of support, as the non-profit organization continues to grow and expand its operations. For decades, A+PEL has maintained a robust support program for pre-service teachers, annually supporting over 1,000 pre-service members.
As a statewide non-profit association for teachers, A+PEL has a substantial portion of its membership within rural parishes and is dedicated to supporting the needs of rural educators. Often times, rural schools are unable to attract pre-service teachers into their classrooms due to their geographical distance from major universities and teacher preparation programs.
Recently, the Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE), with support from the Louisiana Board of Regents (BOR), has been piloting programs which would allow pre-service teachers to go from “student teaching” for a semester to serving as “teachers in residence” for their entire senior year of college. The LDOE was also the recipient of additional federal funds to provide for supplemental stipends for resident teachers and their mentors. Recently, this program was highlighted at a forum of pre-service teachers, their mentor teachers, and university officials hosted by US Secretary of Education, Dr. John King.
Dr. Keith Courville, Executive Director of A+PEL, praised these changes and provided further details regarding A+PEL’s efforts: “These policies provide pre-service teachers an entire school year of classroom experience, a stipend for their service, and a mentor teacher to support their professional transition. This is a major step forward in preparing educators for our profession. This designation of funds from A+PEL will be used to reward those young teachers that go the literal “extra-mile” to teach in a high-need location. Any rural district that is willing to work with our association is eligible, and we look forward to working together to support the next generation of classroom teachers.”
Dr. Holly Boffy, Vice-President of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) and a former Professional Development and University Programs Director for A+PEL also noted her support for the initiative: “Investing in attracting teachers to high-need areas and preparing them to be learner-ready on day one will pay off for students and the teaching profession. I applaud A+PEL for supporting this important work.”
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