Academy allows Lilly grant awardees to show their projects

October 8 2008

Alisa Isaacs-Bailey of Center Grove Middle School in Greenwood worked steadily setting up her booth presentation of "Fairytales in the Classroom" for a Teachers Academy presentation at Indiana State University.

"I've always been interested in teaching European fairytales," said Bailey. "It was an amazing opportunity."

In 2005, Bailey applied for a Lilly Fellowship grant that allowed her to travel to Europe for a month where she studied European fairytales and did creative writing of her own.

In order to obtain the grant, Bailey had to write an essay explaining what she wanted to do with the grant money and why it would be beneficial to her teaching in the classroom. The purpose of the Lilly Teaching Endowment is to extend teacher creativity within the classroom. To qualify for the grant, one must be a teacher for at least three years and looking to get a teacher license renewal, which allows teachers to continue their careers, and must plan on teaching after the project is complete for at least another three years.

Out of 120 teachers nationwide who were awarded the Lilly Grant, six were in Indiana. The academy, which took place Sept. 29 in the ISU College of Education, was a chance for the Indiana winners to share their creative projects with teacher education faculty and pre-service teachers from around the area.

The academy has been an annual event since spring 2005. Aside from the academy, these six teachers went to different classes throughout the week to present their projects to education students at Indiana State, according to Susan Powers, project director and associate dean of the College of Education,

Michelle Barnes, a teacher at Fall Creek Middle School in Indianapolis, was awarded the Lilly Endowment Grant in 2003.

"I spent a summer in Louisiana studying Cajun music," said Barnes. "The cultural differences helped me relate to students from other cultures."

Barnes, whose presentation was entitled, "They still need to play, sing and dance: The elements of Orff Schulwerk in Middle School," dealt with the Orff Approach, which is a developmental approach to music education for children. Originally developed by Carl Orff, a German composer, this style of teaching has become extremely popular in classrooms alike.

"I definitely recommend other teachers apply for this grant," said Barnes. "It's a wonderful way to combine creativity and education in the classroom."

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Writer: Jennifer Spector, Indiana State University, media relations intern, at 812-237-3773 or jspector@mymail.indstate.edu

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Story Highlights

The Teachers Academy, which took place Sept. 29 in the ISU College of Education, was a chance for the Indiana Lilly Teaching Endowment winners to share their creative projects with teacher education faculty and pre-service teachers from around the area.

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