Three Kansas City Public Schools educators presented their creative classroom ideas to a panel of local celebrity judges and hundreds of spectators at the annual Teach for America Shark Tank event on Monday, Oct. 16. Judges award the teachers a combined total of $12,000 to fund their school dream projects.
Teachers Juan Carlos Lara and Morgan McPartland from Carver Dual Language School competed together, presenting their idea to help improve Spanish bi-literacy. Their proposal included purchasing age-appropriate books natively written in Spanish. The concept was born out of Lara’s experiences from when he immigrated to the United States. Their presentation earned Carver a $7,000 grant for new books.
Central Middle School math teacher Arjun Ravindran also competed in this year’s Shark Tank. His proposal sought support to start a National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) at his school. Established to recognize outstanding middle level students, NJHS is more than just an honor roll. Starting the organization to Central Middle will encourage students to develop leadership skills, take greater interest in their academic success and become active in the betterment of their community. Ravindran’s presentation earned Central Middle a $5,000 grant to launch NJHS.