Dear Austin Alumni,
Thank you for your continued support of Teach For America Austin. Your contributions to the first Teach For America alumni forward region have strengthened our network, built connections with community leaders, and continue to develop lifelong advocates in pursuit of educational equity for all students in Austin. By engaging and activating our alumni, you’ve invested in all Austin students by accelerating our alumni leadership and collective impact.
Launching our first year
You made it happen! In our first year as a formal Teach For America region, we accelerated our impact connecting with over 300 alumni, community members, and organizational leaders. Through individual conversations and community events our alumni engaged in deeper learning to understand the inequities impacting students in Central Texas. TFA Austin led conversations about:
- the Austin Independent School District school changes and closures;
- hosted professional development focused on restorative justice practices in schools, and
- invited alumni to participate in a two-part Excellent School Visits series to experience best practices in Austin Independent School District and local charter schools.
To accelerate our alumni leadership and career development, TFA partnered with Workmonger to provide resume and LinkedIn coaching services to alumni and Americorps members working in Austin. Through this partnership, we also offered a national webinar program to the entire TFA Network focused on career development.
Pivoting during COVID-19
As we transitioned to a virtual environment in March, TFA Austin continued to bring our community together and provide leadership support. You helped us continue to make an impact in a world turned upside down. We continued to rethink educational opportunities in Austin by:
- Introducing Texas Education Agency (TEA) to our network. TEA deputy commissioners and the TEA Executive Director of Organizational Development joined a conversation with the Austin community. Participants learned how TEA is supporting students during COVID-19, and about opportunities to work at TEA.
- In partnership with E4 Youth and the Institute of Urban Policy Research and Analysis, our community came together to discuss the digital divide and its impact on low income students throughout Texas during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- You also put books in students’ hands. Through TFA alumni and in partnership with Literati, an Austin based company providing children’s book box subscriptions, alumni in Austin ISD and Austin Achieve Public Schools received hundreds of books for their libraries. Specifically, our alumni network also helped Heather Stevens, librarian of McBee Elementary School, fill her book wish list to assist her in hosting read alouds for students and then sending books directly to her students to enjoy at home.
- Since March, our contribution and dedication to Austin students put books into the classrooms of over 2000 students and brought together district and charter network leaders impacting over 80,000 Austin area students.
Looking to the future
Our second year as a region kicks off with a recommitment to ensuring equity for all Austin area students and regrounding in Teach For America’s new 10 year goal:
By 2030, twice as many children in Central Texas will reach key educational milestones indicating they are on a path to economic mobility and a future filled with possibility.
To achieve our ambitious 10 year goal, Teach For America Austin will focus on four core strategies: cultivate leadership, drive local impact, attract future generations and activate network learning to ensure students in Austin are kindergarten ready, meet reading and math achievement in 3rd and 8th grade, and are college and career ready when graduating from high school. During this upcoming academic year, our programs will include:
- Designing and building a school leadership pipeline as well as developing a talent hub focused on matching alumni to key roles in Austin.
- Continuing our convening and learning series by focusing on 21st century learning, education policy in action, and defining educational excellence for Austin area students.
- Engaging our network to recruit more teachers to classrooms in Austin, and throughout Texas, who are committed to educational equity and meeting our 10 year goal.
Year two will be a growing year for Teach For America Austin as we begin to lay the foundation for systemic change and move closer to ONE DAY through alumni leadership, learning, and strengthening our collective impact. Thank you for being a critical partner of Teach For America Austin. I look forward to our continued partnership.
All my best,
Teach For America Austin