Pikes Peak Education Association receives grant for teacher training

A $100,000 grant from the National Education Association’s Great Public Schools Fund is helping create a first-of-its-kind teacher training center in Colorado Springs.

“We’re thrilled beyond belief,” said Phyllis Robinette, a second-grade teacher at Palmer Lake Elementary School in Lewis-Palmer School District 38 and unit president of the Pikes Peak Education Association.

About 1,450 educators from many Pikes Peak region school districts belong to the association, the local affiliate of the Colorado Education Association, the state’s largest teachers union.

The Pikes Peak Center for Teaching, Learning and Public Education officially will launch in September and be located at the association’s offices at 2520 N. Tejon St.

Up to 10 support courses, trainings and workshops are being planned for the fall.

About 40 teachers from around the region attended a preliminary training on stress reduction – dubbed “mind and body recess” on Friday.

“Many rural districts want to offer great trainings but don’t have the time and money; we’ll be answering that call,” Robinette said.

The instruction is free or low cost.

Sessions also will be taken on the road, to reach outlying districts, said Melissa Longuil, director of the Unified Staff Service Program.

The center also will provide educator-led and -developed leadership training, for educators to train others.

“We really want to do what’s best for kids, and no one knows that better than educators,” Robinette said.

Teachers have requested a wide range of topics for professional development, including helping students advance their literacy, math and technology skills.

The association received the grant because the center focuses on developing successful students, accomplished professionals, dynamic collaboration and empowered leaders, according to Longuil.

The association has applied for another $100,000 grant funding to continue developing the training center, she said.

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