Magazine article Mathematics Teaching

The Jo Walters Trust Grants

Magazine article Mathematics Teaching

The Jo Walters Trust Grants

Article excerpt

The Jo Walters Trust was set up to celebrate the life of Joanna Walters, a newly qualified mathematics teacher who was killed in 2010, aged 28, in a cycling accident in Brighton. Jo's family and friends chose four areas they knew were close to Jo's heart to be the focus of the charity and grants that are made in her name. The trust now supports educational, sporting, outward bound and environmental projects.

Three years ago, the trustees decided that it would be appropriate to try to channel Jo's enthusiasm for mathematics into projects in this area and called for applications from anyone who thought they could use a grant for ?1,000 in a way that would benefit the understanding of mathematics. We promoted the grants through a number of channels, including the Jo Walters Trust website and social media. We also enlisted the help of the Association of Teachers of Mathematics (ATM). This has generated a large volume of applications each year and we have found the standard of each application to be high, to the extent that the trust has chosen to exceed our initial target of three grants of up to ?1,000 each to try to fund as many of the projects as possible, spending over ?4,500 in 2017, which allowed seven projects to go ahead. One of our trustees, a friend of Jo's who was also a mathematics teacher, had very wisely suggested asking the ATM if they would be willing to help us with the project and we are extremely grateful to the ATM for getting involved. The collaboration has proved successful, particularly as the ATM team bring so much expertise to the process of whittling down the applications that we receive and have the experience to know which projects are likely to succeed and which perhaps should be funded in other ways.

Jo came late to the idea of being a teacher, having worked in a number of areas previously, including at Google in Dublin and teaching English in Kenya. …

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