Thursday, July 31, 2008

Teach for America Goes Global


Last September Teach for America announced the launch of Teach for All, a new organization that will support entrepreneurs in other countries who are pursuing the development of the Teach For America model locally. Funded by the Clinton Global Initiative, the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, and the Amy and Larry Robins Foundation Teach for All is to be the international "franchise" of the TFA model. The basic model is for local organizations to channel the talent and energy of their countries’ top recent college graduates against educational disparities facing tens of thousands of children in their high-poverty communities. Initially Teach for All will support programs in India, South Africa, Estonia, Israel, and Germany. The program will raise $25 million over three years.

The Dell Foundation provided $2.5 million to support the initiative in India. According to Michael Dell, “India, with its 400 million children, stands to benefit greatly from the development and training of top leaders who can present the wonders and advantages education has to offer. We are pleased to support the international expansion of Teach For America, as its proven approach to placing effective teachers on the ground will ensure that more children in India are given the educational opportunities they deserve.” In addition to the support of these foundations, Teach for All is heavility supported by pro bono consulting from McKinsey & Company.

And the results of this effort are already being felt. Teach for India, in cooperation with the Times of India, is preparing a major roll-out this fall. According to the new Teach India website,

"Teach India is a nation-building initiative (or social initiative) from the Times of India that brings together children in need of education and people who can contribute a little time towards teaching them. It is based on one simple principle: If you have the desire to teach, we will put you in touch with underprivileged children who are willing to learn. With over sixty of India’s committed NGOs, corporates, schools and social organizations already supporting our cause, we now look for selfless individuals to come forward and help change the future of a child forever, by giving just a few hours a week to Teach India"

So far the program is proving to be wildly popular. A variety of companies have signed on as sponsors. The initiative is receiving virtually daily coverage in the Time of India. According to a report on July 31st, Teach India had over 55,000 volunteer applications--way above the 10,000 that were anticipated. So great has been the interest that Teach India has had to expand the program, seek new partners, and find new opportunities to involve volunteers.

Teach for All is an amazing initiative that ICP wholeheartedly embraces and supports. We have long known and seen the benefits of youth civic engagement and are happy that others in the field are taking an increasingly international approach. The time is right to invest in youth civic engagement in South Asia. That's why ICP is following Teach for All's example and launched our own South Asia program. Look for details in a future post!

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