Austin Public Schools awarded “Grow Your Own” grants

Published 9:58 am Monday, June 5, 2023

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Austin Public Schools has been awarded a $749,000 Grow Your Own (GYO) grant from the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE). 

APS will use these grant funds to help create opportunities for secondary students to explore teaching as a profession through Introduction to Education courses, future educator clubs, and other activities that help them see teaching as a promising career after completing their postsecondary education. These programs will also align with the district’s Packer Profile, which guides students to explore future careers and educational opportunities through authentic learning experiences with relevance beyond APS.

 According to MDE, “Grow Your Own” programs are partnerships between educator preparation programs, school districts, and community organizations that recruit and prepare local community members (e.g., parents, paraeducators, non-certified school staff, and high school students) to enter the teaching profession and teach in their communities. Increasing the diversity of educators in the classroom benefits all students, especially those from historically marginalized populations who often do not see educators who look like them during their time in school.

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 In addition, last week, APS received another GYO grant that will be in partnership with the Zumbro Education District for over $460,000. This particular GYO grant will be used to assist in developing Special Education teachers.

“Given that Austin Public Schools are becoming more diverse, educators of color have been shown to make a difference, and the teacher shortage in greater Minnesota, these grants give us a chance to recruit, train, and keep the next generation of teachers in Austin,” said Superintendent Dr. Joey Page

 For more information about Austin Public Schools, please visit