Tommy and Julie Frist have donated $3 million to support Teach For America in Nashville over the next three years.
The donation is meant to help recruit, train and develop up to 400 teaching candidates over the next three years for Teach For America. In addition, the gift aims to support leadership development of alumni in teaching, school leadership, social entrepreneurship, public policy and other areas addressing education and poverty, accord to a Teach for America news release.
“We are so grateful for the leadership of Tommy and Julie Frist — for their belief in the possibility of meaningful educational change and their willingness to invest their personal time, energy and resources in the effort,” said Wendy Kopp, chief executive officer and founder of Teach For America.
“Nashville is ground zero for educational reform and has an unprecedented opportunity to close the achievement gap that exists between students from high income and low income communities,” Tommy Frist said.
This year, almost 150 Teach For America corps members are working with 11,000 students in the Nashville area, according to the organization, which partners with traditional and charter public schools as an additional source of teachers for schools in low-income areas.
Teach For America launched in Nashville in 2009 with help from Mayor Karl Dean as well as local philanthropic and community leaders. Corps members currently teach in more than 55 schools.