Yakima School District one of few to win state grant

Yakima School District one of few to win state grant »Play Video

YAKIMA, Wash.-- Yakima schools will get some help to ensure their teachers stick to the profession. The state awarded a grant of more than $150,000 to the Yakima School District.

Erica Rodriguez is a veteran educator. She's been teaching for fifteen years. This year she's using that experience to mentor a first time teacher.

"I've learned from their mistakes in the past and how they've done it and what doesn't work that way anymore," first year teacher Christina Bodoia said.  

Christina Bodoia is in a second grade classroom. The mentorship program was something already in place at the Yakima School District. It's aimed at helping new teachers with instruction, while giving them a support system.

"As experienced teachers, we know what works and what doesn't," Rodriguez said.  

There's good reason to want to have more of these experienced teachers in our classrooms. The state says most new teachers wash out after just three years.

"When you're sitting in a classroom in a college environment, learning about teaching and then actually stepping into a classroom with students is, it can be very daunting," YSD Associate Superintendent Cece Mahre said.   

To help make this career stick and provide a quality education for kids, Yakima School District hoped for money to pay for it. The district was one of the few to receive a "Beginning Educator Support Team" grant. Yakima will receive almost $170,000. This will help pay for mentors for first time teachers and expand upon the program that's already working for Christina.

"It really maximizes the instructional time that I have with my kids instead of 'I have to go back and re-teach that because it didn't work out,'" Bodoia said.

It's teaching the teacher so that Yakima students can succeed.

"The biggest influence on whether a student achieves or not is the instructor and the instruction," Mahre said.  

Yakima got the second highest amount of money behind the Kent School District's $268,000. You can find more information about the grant here.