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Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation awards $100,000 to Appalachian to support math education

BOONE—Trustees of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation have awarded a two-year $100,000 grant to Appalachian State University’s Department of Curriculum and Instruction to provide Math Recovery® training and coach approximately 35 elementary mathematics teacher leaders who will in turn support their colleagues in Alleghany, Avery, Burke and Wilkes counties.

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Appalachian has a proven track record for improving teachers’ elementary math instruction. The 2013 statewide Teacher Preparation Program Effectiveness Report found that graduates of the university’s undergraduate teacher preparation program are the most effective early-career elementary math teachers in North Carolina.

This grant will build on that track record, bringing faculty expertise to classroom teachers who are working to improve the math skills of children in the High Country. Teacher selected for the program will receive training and on-going support from the Department of Curriculum and Instruction’s Mathematics Education Group.

“The Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation believes that classrooms with well-prepared and supported teachers are the cornerstone of strong public schools. Having a good teacher in each classroom enables each child to graduate prepared for life,” said Leslie Winner, executive director of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation. “This program implemented by Appalachian State University will work to ensure that children in four rural North Carolina counties are provided with a solid foundation of mathematics skills so that each student is prepared for the next level of curriculum. We are proud to be a partner in achieving this shared vision.”

Teacher recruitment and on-site professional development in schools will occur during the 2015-16 academic year. A Math Recovery® trainer will conduct the first professional development course in May 2016, with a second course offered the following year.

About Appalachian’s Mathematics Education Group

The Mathematics Education Group provides quality mathematics education to beginning teachers and offers high quality professional development experiences to in-service teachers. The university works closely with area school districts to create mathematics professional development experiences that enhance the expertise of teachers and improve educational outcomes for students.

About the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation

The Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation (ZSR) is committed to improving the quality of life of all North Carolinians. ZSR invests in statewide, regional and community-based organizations that are dedicated to building an inclusive, sustainable and vibrant state. The groups that ZSR supports both work to build healthy, robust communities at the local and regional level and engage in education, civic dialogue and advocacy around issues of importance to communities and to North Carolina. ZSR currently focuses on the areas of community economic development, environment, public education, social justice and equity and strengthening democracy. The Foundation is a 78-year-old private foundation based in Winston-Salem. For more information or to learn more about ZSR, visit