March 22, 2019

Education Awareness Week Brings Focus on RI's Highest Need Classrooms and Need for Investment in Schools

Posted by TeachForAmericaRI

Education Awareness Week, hosted by Teach For America (TFA) and Junior Achievement (JA), will be held April 9-13. The week will begin at the State House, where students from Mount Pleasant High School will participate in job shadow opportunities, and Lieutenant Governor McKee will officially proclaim the week Education Awareness Week alongside other state leaders, including Secretary of State Gorbea, Treasurer Magaziner, and Representative Hull.

Education Awareness Week highlights the incredible work being done by educators who lead Rhode Island’s classrooms and schools; the potential that every student possesses for success in school and career; and the opportunity that all children deserve to realize their potential. The week brings leaders from across the state to serve as guest teachers who will lead lessons on their areas of expertise offering additional real-world relevance to the classroom. The sixth annual celebration of Education Awareness Week will focus on the need for investment in Rhode Island’s public schools, and will include a school tour and panel discussion with Education Commissioner Ken Wagner.

“The recent conversation around investing in Rhode Island’s schools has largely been focused on school infrastructure and how the state will afford these needed facility updates. We are excited about this important conversation, and our students certainly deserve safe and modern spaces in which to learn,” said Lee Lewis, president of Junior Achievement of Rhode Island. “Alongside this conversation, we should be sure to keep focus on what is happening inside our state’s schools right now as well. During this year’s Education Awareness Week, we think it is important to bring a focus to how each of us can make a personal investment with a big impact, by working and volunteering in our local schools.”

Kristine Frech, executive director of Teach For America – Rhode Island, added, “The change that is needed in our public schools is complex and no one person can solve it alone. This is the work of communities, not individual heroes, and the bold, sustained change that our schools need requires the collective effort of a broad coalition of people working together. We are thrilled to work with so many people across the state who are investing in Rhode Island’s students and supporting them as they prove that potential does not discriminate along lines of race and class, and opportunity shouldn’t either.”

Junior Achievement and Teach For America collaborate on national and regional initiatives to partner with communities and increase opportunities for students, and Education Awareness Week is one example of this collaboration. Over the last ninety-seven years, Junior Achievement of Rhode Island has reached more than 400,000 K-12 students, with nearly 7,800 students reached last year. JA prepares young people to succeed in a global economy through experiential programs focusing on financial literacy, entrepreneurship, and work readiness. Since 2010, TFA has brought to Rhode Island a network of over 200 people, all of whom began by teaching in some of the state’s highest need schools, and who have collectively reached more than 20,000 students. TFA – Rhode Island’s more than 200 alumni, who are classroom, school and district leaders, policy makers, founders of advocacy organizations, social entrepreneurs, and business, philanthropic, and civic leaders, are working together and with other members of their communities to shape the context and conditions in which schools operate.

About Teach For America
Teach For America works in partnership with urban and rural communities in 53 regions across the country to expand educational opportunity for children. Founded in 1990, Teach For America recruits and develops a diverse corps of outstanding leaders to make an initial two-year commitment to teach in high-need schools and become lifelong leaders in the effort to end educational inequity. Today Teach For America is a force of 56,000 alumni and corps members committed to profound systemic change. From classrooms to districts to state houses across America, they’re imagining education to realize the day when every child has an equal opportunity to learn, to grow, to influence and to lead. Teach For America is a proud member of the AmeriCorps national service network. For more information, visit

About Junior Achievement of Rhode Island
Junior Achievement is the state's largest organization dedicated to giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their future, and make smart academic and economic choices. JA programs are delivered by corporate and community volunteers and provide relevant, hands-on experiences that give students from kindergarten through high school knowledge and skills in financial literacy, workforce readiness and entrepreneurship. Today, JA reaches more than 7 percent of the Rhode Island student population per year in more than 26 communities across Rhode Island. Visit for more information.


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