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Huntsville Mayor to Help Raise Awareness About Educational Inequity

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. Apr. 4, 2012 - Mayor Tommy Battle will serve as a guest teacher at Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School this Friday, April 6 during Teach For America Week, to be held in Alabama April 2 - April 9. Battle will draw upon his professional and personal experiences to bring real-world relevance to the classroom and inspire students to make the most of their education that can, in turn, enhance their life prospects.

"I want our students to dream big, set goals, and be equipped with a quality education that will result in life options and opportunities," said Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle. "It will take our whole community to create a culture of excellence and to set our youngest citizens on a path to success. Teach For America is part of our community plan to draw more leaders to Huntsville with passion and commitment to our community and to expanding educational opportunities in our high-need schools."

Teach For America Week brings together community leaders nationwide to support educational excellence for all children. The goal of the annual event is to engage community influencers and business leaders in the organization's mission to help ensure educational excellence and equity. It also helps raise awareness about the work of classroom teachers, the challenges their students face, and the incredible student progress and potential in Huntsville.

"Mayor Battle will have the opportunity to engage directly with students to make a lasting impression about the importance of education and the life-changing opportunities that come with it," said J.W. Carpenter, executive director of Teach For America - Alabama. "His participation will also help focus attention on the incredible potential of our students, the commitment of our dedicated educators city-wide, and the community effort it will take to support student success. We're thankful to Mayor Battle for his focus on education and his support of our program as one additional source of quality teachers."

A growing body of research demonstrates the effectiveness of Teach For America corps members. Recent studies from Louisiana, North Carolina and Tennessee found that corps members have a positive impact on student achievement. The most recent study, from Tennessee, identified Teach For America as the most effective of the state's 42 teacher-preparation programs for the second consecutive year. This year in Alabama, Teach For America has about 75 corps members teaching in high-need schools across 11 school districts in the state.

Media Availability:
Mayor Tommy Battle
Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School, April 6, 2012, 8:30-9:30 am
3112 Meridian Street
Huntsville, AL 35811
[NOTE: ETV will attend and provide access to video feed]

About Teach For America
Teach For America works in partnership with communities to expand educational opportunity for children facing the challenges of poverty. Founded in 1990, Teach For America recruits and develops a diverse corps of outstanding individuals of all academic disciplines to commit two years to teach in high-need schools and become lifelong leaders in the movement to end educational inequity. Today more than 9,000 corps members are teaching in 43 urban and rural regions across the country, while nearly 24,000 alumni are working across sectors to ensure that all children have access to an excellent education. For more information, visit www.teachforamerica.org and follow us on Facebook www.facebook.com/teachforamerica and Twitter http://twitter.com/teachforamerica.


Danielle Montoya
Teach For America

Rena Anderson
Huntsville City Schools

Kelly Cooper Schrimsher
Office of the Mayor, City of Huntsville


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