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Many teachers dream of having the opportunity to travel to other countries to get firsthand experiences that can educate their students. These teachers want to learn about other cultures but they may not have the funds to travel, so they may use multiple forms of media, such as books or videos, to teach their students. Fortunately, the Juan J. and Rudee Rodríguez Teacher Travel Fellowship Fund held at the Harrison County Community Foundation (HCCF) is a valuable resource that can enable Harrison County teachers to go on educational fellowships to other countries.
Marjie Vertrees, a teacher at North Harrison Elementary School, was able to take an educational trip to Australia, funded in part with money awarded from the Juan J. and Rudee Rodríguez Teacher Travel Fellowship Fund. Vertrees explored the Great Barrier Reef; viewed penguins, koalas, sea lions and other wildlife; and was able to experience different cultures in Australia. As a result of her experiences, she was able to bring back knowledge and cultural artifacts to teach her students about the country that is also a continent.
The Juan J. and Rudee Rodríguez Teacher Travel Fellowship Fund can help Harrison County teachers grow personally and professionally by having experiences in other cultures like Vertrees did. The fund is designed to reduce travel costs for the fellowship recipients, causing it to be easier for teachers to experience other parts of the world to benefit their instruction.
The 2020 Juan J. and Rudee Rodríguez Teacher Travel Fellowship Fund application is on hccfindiana.org on the Scholarships page in the Our Work tab. Applications must be submitted online by Thursday, Oct. 31 at 4 p.m. to be considered.
Eligible applicants must be certified educators teaching full time in a Harrison County public school. The educators must be members of a teacher’s union and they must have at least three years of teaching experience.
The intent of the Juan J. and Rudee Rodríguez Teacher Travel Fellowship Fund is that educators will be able to explore and experience other cultures, with strong preference given to inland Latin American, Asian or non-Western European areas. The fund can cover transportation, lodging and meals, and may also be used to purchase artifacts and teaching materials that the educator will use in the classroom.
“By going on this trip, which [HCCF] and they [the Rodríguezes] helped me to go on, I am able to bring the other side of the world into my classroom…I know that so many of them will never get the opportunity to go, or even travel outside of the U.S,” Vertrees said. “But getting that knowledge on how other cultures live is so important.”
For more information about the Juan J. and Rudee Rodríguez Teacher Travel Fellowship Fund, contact Heather Stafford, Director of Programs, at 812-738-6668 or email@example.com.
July 8, 2022