As our local and state communities are responding to COVID-19 and this unprecedented moment, we are seeing the Teach For America Rio Grande Valley network step up for students and schools in ways that reflect the true character of our RGV community: hard-working, perseverant and innovative. 

From classroom teachers making a switch to virtual instruction, to specialists planning to support students with special needs, from community leaders sending messages of hope to their neighbors, to non-profit leaders delivering resources to facilitate learning, we are sharing a small glimpse of the Teach For America RGV network to let you know how we are standing resilient to support students and our community.  

• Jose Becerra (Rio Grande Valley corps 2016) teaches in Harlingen CISD at the Harlingen School for Health Professions where he has scaled up a YouTube channel that he initially developed to support students who were absent in his Pre-Calculus class;

• Mary Moore (Rio Grande Valley corps 2018) and Taylor Lifka (Rio Grande Valley corps 2017) teach English at Roma High School. Faced with differing levels of access to technology and internet, they created an Instagram channel @proyecto_distancia to be able to give assignments which can be completed offline and then shared back on Instagram by students.

• Cody Grindle (Rio Grande Valley corps 2009), as the Senior VP of Information Systems for all of IDEA Public Schools, has managed the roll out of a fully digital learning experience for the remainder of the year for the district’s 53,000 students.

• Lara Speights (Rio Grande Valley corps 2010) wrote a LinkedIn Essay about supporting students with diverse learning needs from her perspective as a Literacy & Dyslexia Specialist currently in another part of Texas.

Additionally, the national Teach For America network has sprung into action, including highlighting resources for educators and the work of school leaders and principals in response to COVID-19

We know the challenges of current disruptions are most profoundly felt by students already experiencing many challenges to access basic resources. It will continue to take all of our Teach For America and broader Rio Grande Valley community stepping up to the challenge by innovating, collaborating and leading in their schools and communities to ensure that all children in the Valley have an excellent and equitable education. 

We send our sincerest appreciation to all of you for the support which enables us to step up and respond to our community’s needs. Thank you and sending best wishes to you and your loved ones.

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