(6/20/11) Belk Foundation Awards CTI $50,000 Grant

CHARLOTTE —  June 20, 2011 — The Charlotte Teachers Institute (CTI) was recently awarded a $50,000 grant from The Belk Foundation to support the Institute’s work in providing and evaluating its innovative professional development program for teachers in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS). CTI is an educational partnership among the University of North Carolina Charlotte, Davidson College and CMS that offers CMS teachers the opportunity to engage in in-depth, long-term seminars with college faculty in a wide range of academic areas. Current seminars run the gamut from chemistry and physics to art, political science and philosophy.

The Belk Foundation grant will assist in funding CTI’s general programming and will also allow CTI to expand its comprehensive program evaluation project, which it piloted in 2010-11. Results of that initial study are currently being analyzed and compiled by CTI’s evaluation team at UNC Charlotte. The next stage of the program evaluation is a two-year, comprehensive, mixed-methods research study including seminar observations, teacher surveys and interviews, classroom observations, and teacher effectiveness measures. The Belk Foundation grant will help fund the evaluation project into 2013.

An affiliate of the Yale National Initiative at Yale University, CTI was established in 2009 as a local alliance designed to strengthen teaching in CMS by cultivating content-knowledge, creativity, leadership skills and collaboration within and among Charlotte’s public school teachers. Through seminars led by UNC Charlotte and Davidson College faculty, CMS teachers learn new content, work collaboratively with other teachers, and develop new curricula for their students. Presently, 98 teachers are enrolled in eight CTI seminars at UNC Charlotte, Davidson College, the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art and the Mint Museum. Fifty teachers were involved in CTI’s initial series of four seminars in 2009, and in 2010 CTI doubled its seminars and the number of teachers served.

CTI programs are made possible by a joint commitment of resources from all three Institute partners and through the generosity of private funding institutions such as The Belk Foundation. The Belk Foundation, a private family foundation based in Charlotte, has a mission to invest in schools and organizations that work aggressively to ensure all students graduate from high school and continue on an intentional path toward college, career and life. CTI Interim Director Robin Mara said CTI is grateful for The Belk Foundation’s continued commitment to the development of effective professional development for teachers. She said The Belk Foundation also supported CTI with a $20,000 grant in 2010.

For more information, please contact: CTI Interim Director Robin Mara at rmara@uncc.edu or 704-687-2049.


UNC Charlotte Public Relations contact, Buffie Stephens, 704-687-5830, BuffieStephens@uncc.edu