MADISON, Wis. (6/30/14)--Education in Madison, Wis., just received a hefty boost thanks to CUNA Mutual Group, which recently donated $1.2 million to the Madison School District and the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Education to cultivate a program that will train, keep and develop new teachers.
The donation, which was the largest ever made by CUNA Mutual's foundation, was announced Thursday at Wright Middle School in Madison.
"This is also the largest opportunity we'll ever have to make a difference in the future trajectory of our community and especially the young people who live here," Steve Goldberg, CUNA Mutual Foundation director, told the Wisconsin State Journal (June 26).
The program, "Forward Madison," will pair mentors and coaches with new teachers to enrich their professional development. It also establishes a program that will pave the way for district students to become teachers in Madison themselves.
Organizers hope the program will broaden ties between the university's education program and the local school district as well.
CUNA Mutual's donation, which will fund the mentoring component of the program, will cover 150 new teachers for the next three school years, with the hope that by the end of the three-year period a sustainable model for the program will have been carved out, according to district spokeswoman Rachel Strauch-Nelson (Wisconsin State Journal).
The school district and the university also will each contribute nearly $500,000 to the program.
"We liked the idea of helping students succeed by helping their teachers succeed," Goldberg told the Journal. "This will also attract a workforce that reflects more completely the demographics of the students they are teaching."