Teacher with Math The Pirate Way

T2T/S2S Connection Grants

Teacher with a Write Right Baby sign

For more details contact:

Shannan Combee, Program Director
863-534-0519 x209
[email protected]

Through the years, the T2T/S2S alumni have inspired success in the classroom and impacted numerous students. The Teacher to Teacher/School to School Connection seeks out teachers that have developed and successfully used innovative teaching practices in their classrooms. As part of a layered network designed to improve student achievement and teacher leadership, these teachers called “Developers” work with the Foundation over the course of a school year to produce the Idea Catalog of Excellence in which their program is highlighted. Then, in the fall new Developers join with Developer alumni to present their innovative programs at the Idea Expo, engaging and connecting educators who desire to expand their knowledge and creativity in their classroom.


All PreK-8 teachers from Polk’s public and charter schools are invited to attend the Teacher to Teacher Connection Idea Expo to network with both present and past Developers, learning more about their innovative instructional practices. Teacher to Teacher Developer Grants are worth $700 ($500 for classroom materials and $200 as a stipend for additional hours spent on development and publishing). In 2005 the School to School Program was added which allows teachers to develop a grant that focuses on a school-wide initiative. If selected, the S2S grant is worth $1,200 ($1,000 for classroom materials and $200 as a stipend for additional hours spent on development and publishing).


The Teacher to Teacher/School to School Connection does not end there. The Foundation then provides the opportunity for teachers who attended the current year’s IDEA Expo to apply for an Adapter grant in an effort to replicate a program in their own classrooms or schools. Potential Adapters may apply for up to $500 (Classroom) or $1,000 (School) to purchase classroom materials needed to implement a specific program. Through the years, the T2T/S2S alumni have inspired teachers to expand their “toolbox” of ideas engaging more students and increasing student achievement. The resulting professional peer-to-peer support and comradery is empowering!


Anecdotes from Adapters


Teaching lessons prior to Spring Break. I had a good feeling that students grasped the concepts of gravity’s effect on an object as well as the different paths of an objects motion. After returning from break, one of my students showed me that they were able to not only understand the concepts in context of the lesson but also apply it to a very different real-life situation. This student spent time in the Rocky Mountains skiing and sledding. She could not wait to tell me that she had recreated the different paths of motion down a snowy hill AND could see the path the tracks left in the snow. Then she added, “and my dad sledded faster than me because… well… gravity!” I was so thrilled to see that she had been able to synthesize the material and apply it in a different context. This showed me that she was able to master the ideas and not just memorize and repeat facts! – shared be an elementary school teacher

A Jewett Middle Academy teacher shared- “During a cross-curriculum study, students studied the history and relevance of Archimedes Principle of buoyancy and formula for density. Salt water was created using a specific formula then icebergs were introduced to the saline solution for observation. Students created waves with toilet plungers to show rough seas and the consequences. Students created icebergs and calculated percentage of ice above and below the water to prove the 10% Tip of the Iceberg theory. Curiosity ran high regarding the Titanic tragedy. This curiosity gave me the opportunity to relate how pressure from media or the investors/owner who built the ship could influence some hasty and dangerous decisions. As a point of compassion, the shuttle tragedy of 1986 was used as a comparable situation where the engineers told NASA not to launch due to the very cold weather and ice hanging off the shuttle. Tragedy happened there, too. Hands on activities always increase the level of engagement and learning.”

Students Gathering

Developer & Adapter Grant Recipients Announced!

Congratulations to our 2023-2024 Developer Grant Recipients!

  • Susan Nehila, Chain of Lakes Elementary
  • Arnisha Johnson, Chain of Lakes Elementary
  • Katherine Heter, Dundee Ridge Middle Academy
  • Cynthia Kuhlman, Highland City Elementary
  • Katherine Banks, Horizons Elementary
  • Juliana Downing-Walker, Jewett School of the Arts
  • Brandi Miller, McKeel Academy Central
  • Shawna Whitener, McKeel Academy Central
  • Chantel Bohnenetiehl, McKeel Academy Central
  • Ana Zamora, McKeel Academy Central
  • Lisa Nakamura, McKeel Academy Central
  • Jessica Miller, Polk City Elementary
  • Sarah Fletcher, Polk City Elementary
  • Holly Cordero, Ridgeview Global Studies Academy
  • Christina Edmiston, Sleepy Hill Middle

Congratulations to our 2023-2024 Adapter Grant Recipients!

  • Lana Allen, McKeel Academy Central
  • Melissa Benton, Sleepy Hill Elementary
  • Marcia Berger, Lakeland Highlands Middle School
  • Sarah Berzins, McKeel Academy Central
  • Jennifer Burnett, McKeel Academy Central
  • Janet Duffy, Willow Oak Elementary
  • Maude Frazier, South Pointe Elementary
  • Beth Fredere, McKeel Academy Central
  • Vivian Fry, McKeel Academy Central
  • Tracy Garcia, Valleyview Elementary
  • Hope Hagerman, Spessard Holland Elementary
  • Brittany Hall, McKeel Academy Central
  • Lauryn Jones, Dr. N.E. Roberts Elementary
  • Shannon Kearney, McKeel Academy Central
  • Heidi Kindle, McKeel Academy Central
  • Joanna Loya, Highlands Grove Elementary
  • Grethen Martinez, McKeel Academy Central
  • Cari McCaulley, Dr. N.E. Roberts Elementary
  • Tamara Opalek, Lewis Anna Woodbury Elementary
  • Erika Price, Berkley Elementary
  • Julia Reckord, Valleyview Elementary
  • Jennifer Roseboom, Spessard Holland Elementary
  • Pace Simpson, McKeel Academy Central
  • Leslie Taylor, McKeel Academy Central
  • Jessica Victory-Jackson, Spessard Holland Elementary

Thank You to Sponsors, Vendors & Door Prize Contributors!

Program Sponsors

Consortium of Florida Education Foundations, GEICO, Publix Super Markets Charities, and the School District Education Foundation Matching Grant Program.

Geico Logo


School District Education Foundation

PUBLIX Super Markets Logo

Grand Canyon University Logo

Consortium Of Florida Educators Logo

Thank You to the following businesses for the door prize and goodie bag donations!

  • 4Rivers Restaurant Group
  • Bartow Regional Medical Center
  • Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Coco Key Resort
  • Firehouse Subs
  • Frescos Southern Kitchen
  • Fun Spot America
  • Joanne’s
  • MOSI
  • Orlando Family Stage
  • Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf
  • Publix
  • TreeUmph! Adventure Course
  • Zaxby’s & more!