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Communities Foundation of Texas

November, 2015

Communities Foundation of Texas (CFT) announces a red carpet launch party featuring short films from a recent partnership with Educate Texas and Teaching Channel from 4:30 to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 18, at CFT, 5500 Caruth Haven Lane, Dallas.  The videos – which feature outstanding middle school teachers from Dallas area schools – will help educate and inspire other teachers around Texas and the nation.

“Partnering with Teaching Channel is a strong step toward our goal of revolutionizing how Texas teachers learn so they can improve student outcomes,” said John Fitzpatrick, executive director of Educate Texas. “By giving teachers a platform to collaborate with and learn from one another, we hope to elevate and inspire teachers and ultimately create a meaningful change for Texas students.”

A leading catalyst for progress, Educate Texas is a public-private initiative of CFT that aims to improve the public education system so every Texas student is prepared for success in school, in the workforce, and in life.  Beginning in 2013, CFT and Educate Texas began partnering with Teaching Channel, a nonprofit online community where teachers can watch, share, and learn diverse techniques to help every student grow. Educate Texas is Teaching Channel’s first partnership in Texas.

The Nov. 18 launch event will premiere the second series of short films from Educate Texas highlighting best practices in teaching for middle school students. The videos star local teachers and school leaders who were funded through CFT’s Community Impact grants to benefit teachers serving local at-risk middle school youth. The videos were made for the series “Creating Success in Middle School” and are available online at the Teaching Channel website as a professional development resource for teachers across the country. 

Dallas area teachers featured in the short films include Daniel Knoll and Brittany Williams of KIPP Truth Academy in Oak Cliff, Anne Mechler of Momentous Institute in Oak Cliff, Edgar Vazquez and Jeremy Yager of Uplift Grand Preparatory in Grand Prairie, Barbara McCoy of Webb Middle School in Garland (a recipient of a CFT grant to UTeach Dallas), and Adriane Davis of Dallas Environmental Science Academy in West Dallas (a recipient of a CFT grant to the National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity Education Foundation, or NAPE).

“These videos showcase how Dallas teachers are creating cultures of success in their classrooms,” said Brent Christopher, president and CEO of Communities Foundation of Texas. “CFT and Educate Texas are proud to team up with Teaching Channel to connect teachers with their colleagues across Texas and the nation in order to improve opportunities for teacher learning and student success.”

Texas is home to more than 300,000 teachers, with more than 5,000 in the Educate Texas college-ready network.  Each year, over 28,000 new teachers are trained to teach in Texas schools, with a disproportionate number employed at schools with the highest concentration of at-risk students. 

By working with Teaching Channel, Educate Texas is now able to individualize the professional development teachers receive based on subject, grade level, and years of experience regardless of geographical location. One of the unique aspects of Teaching Channel is the ability for teachers to film themselves, then share videos with colleagues and mentors who can annotate videos with personalized feedback for improving teaching practices.

Teaching Channel – building on its online library of more than 700 videos – created Teaching Channel Teams, an innovative professional development platform for schools, districts and states where teachers and leaders can work together to improve learning outcomes and increase student achievement. Educate Texas is the first organization in Texas to take advantage of the Teams platform to connect educators across rural and urban districts throughout the state.

Teaching Channel is a video showcase—on the Internet and TV— that showcases the most effective teaching practices in America's schools.  This rapidly-growing community of teachers trades ideas and shares inspiration online at and through a weekly program on PBS. 

The Nov. 18 premiere event is free and open to the public, but registration is required via this link by November 11. 


About Educate Texas
Educate Texas, a public-private initiative of Communities Foundation of Texas, is dedicated to strengthening the public education system so that every Texas student is prepared for educational and workforce success. By strategically connecting the diverse groups committed to this cause — from legislators and funders to business and civic groups to school administrators and teachers — Educate Texas is leveraging the power of collaboration, bringing together resources and expertise. It’s a unique approach. And it’s already generating remarkable results for Texas. For more information, visit


About Communities Foundation of Texas

Communities Foundation of Texas (CFT) works with families, companies and nonprofits to strengthen our community through a variety of charitable funds and strategic grant making initiatives. The foundation professionally manages more than 900 charitable funds and has awarded more than $1.5 billion in grants since its founding in 1953.

About Teaching Channel

Teaching Channel is a video showcase—on the Internet and TV— that showcases the most effective teaching practices in America's schools.  This rapidly-growing community of teachers trades ideas and shares inspiration online at and through a weekly program on PBS.


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