Monsanto Fund Donates $1 Million to Teach For America Math and Science Initiative In St. Louis

Partnership to Increase the Number of Local Teachers With Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Expertise

ST. LOUIS – Monsanto Fund announced today a $1 million investment in Teach For America’s local efforts to expand educational opportunity in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Teach For America recruits, prepares, and develops top recent college graduates and professionals to teach in high-need urban and rural public schools and become lifelong leaders in the pursuit of educational equity. This gift from the philanthropic arm of Monsanto Company will enable Teach For America to recruit a greater number of teachers with STEM expertise to St. Louis classrooms over the next four years and provide them with the support and resources needed to educate the next generation of scientists, mathematicians, and engineers.

The Monsanto Fund’s support will help Teach For America bring up to 270 teachers with STEM backgrounds to the region by 2016. Together, these teachers will reach more than 32,000 students.

“We’re deeply grateful for the Monsanto Fund’s support of our work, and for their unwavering commitment to educational excellence for all,” said Scott Baier, executive director of Teach For America in St. Louis.

“Together with the Monsanto Fund, we believe it is critical to give every child, regardless of their zip code or family income, the strong foundation in STEM subjects they’ll need to open the door to college and career success.”

This fall, 190 Teach For America corps members are teaching in high-need classrooms in St. Louis, reaching more than 13,000 students. Over 375 alumni of the program now lead and support efforts to ensure educational equity in the region. This $1 million investment brings Monsanto’s total giving to Teach For America to over $2.4 million. Since 2006, the support of the Monsanto Fund has helped Teach For America nearly double in size and impact in St. Louis.

“The challenge presented by educational inequality is significant and complex,” said Deborah Patterson, president of the Monsanto Fund. “Monsanto Fund is proud to partner with Teach for America in addressing the educational gaps in math and science. We know that great teachers are critical in sparking imagination and sustaining student curiosity. Teach For America’s corps members exemplify the attributes of great teachers by prioritizing high expectations, mastery of the subject matter, and the ability to engage and excite students.”

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.