MERIDEN — Seventeen city teachers will be able to travel this summer and bring their experiences back to the classroom.
On Thursday, the Fund for Teachers and the Dalio Foundation awarded a total of $650,000 in grants to 149 teachers in Connecticut. Since 2015, the Dalio Foundation has given more than $2.8 million to the Fund for Teachers.
“We are thrilled to support public school teachers as they explore their interests in such creative ways and bring exciting discoveries back to their classrooms,” said Barbara Dalio.
“Teachers work very hard and their dedication and creativity are so inspiring.”
Maloney High School social studies teachers Deborah Banas, Chad Cardillo and Dan Lobner thought they were attending a routine faculty meeting when School Superintendent Mark Benigni and Principal Jennifer Straub marched into the room to hand them backpacks with information about the grant as other teachers cheered and applauded.
”Overwhelmed,” Banas said, blushing. “I’m really excited.”
Banas and Cardillo will be traveling to Austria, the Czech Republic and Hungary to learn about the blend of cultures in those countries.
”We’re looking to see how the multicultural societies work together and how we can bring those ideas back to Meriden,” Cardillo said.
Lobner will be using his grant to travel to Washington D.C. and explore the city’s monuments and museums.
“The problem with teaching history is it’s always Eurocentric,” Lobner said.
“This will give me the opportunity to make history more relatable to my students.”
Benigni said the 17 teachers from Hanover, Franklin, John Barry, Roger Sherman, Washington Middle School, Maloney and Platt high schools will receive over $50,000 in travel grants. Trips include Sweden, Costa Rica, Scotland, South Africa, Mexico, Greece and Italy.
“I’m excited that so many of our educators took advantage of this amazing opportunity,” Benigni said. “It sends a great message to their students that they’re continual learners and that learning occurs over the summer months and can be fun.”