Announcing Teach For America-Delaware

June 16th, 2011

Category: Policy and Practice

Guest blog by Joe Moorman, founding director of Teach For America- Delaware.

This is the second in a three-part series related to Teach for America Delaware. This series was prompted by the recent establishment of TFA Delaware, a hub for corps members that is distinctly focused on The First State. Part one discussed the path to the establishment of the office.

When I was a middle school teacher in Philadelphia, few moments struck me more than the day I fully grasped how my students had been impacted by the “achievement gap.”  My students came to my classroom performing far below grade level; yet they were smart and capable and deserved an education that would allow them to achieve their full potential.   

Through our three challenging years together, as my students’ incredibly hard work led to impressive achievement, I gained an unflinching conviction that the achievement gap that exists in our country’s impoverished communities can and must be solved. My deep belief that a student’s zip code should not determine his or her academic and life opportunities is what fueled my work with my students in Philadelphia, and it’s what drives the hope I have for kids here in Delaware today.  

I’m joined in Delaware by nearly 40 Teach For America teachers who have worked tirelessly in schools across Wilmington over the past two years. Yesterday, we were excited to officially announce the launch of our new Teach For America-Delaware region.  While our work in the state was previously part of our Mid-Atlantic region, now we have a permanent local presence and a full staff right here in Wilmington.  As the new executive director of Teach For America-Delaware, I’m thrilled to lead the efforts of our outstanding teachers and team here, and I’m deeply humbled by the overwhelming hospitality and generosity of the Wilmington community.

We also announced yesterday that Teach For America will bring nearly 30 new teachers to Wilmington-area schools this fall.  These individuals are excited to roll up their sleeves in partnership with their colleagues this fall and do whatever it takes to help their students get a great education.  Additionally, as our first group of Teach For America teachers in Wilmington fulfill their Teach For America commitments this spring, they will join the ranks of more than 20,000 Teach For America alumni—two-thirds of whom continue to work full-time in the field of education.

We are eager to continue to work alongside other exceptional educators and leaders across our city and state to ensure that all kids growing up in Delaware have the opportunity to attain an excellent education.  The work of closing our state’s achievement gap will be challenging, and the stakes for our students are undoubtedly high.  However, the students I meet in classrooms across the New Castle County community continue to confirm my belief that the achievement gap is truly a solvable problem.  Delaware is the place – and now is the time – for all of us to make history as the first state to ensure educational equity for all kids.  Teach For America-Delaware is honored to partner in this effort on behalf of our students.

Part 3 in the series will feature a guest blog from a TFA corps member teaching in a Delaware school.

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Rodel Foundation of Delaware



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