YEREVAN—On Wednesday, Teach for Armenia announced that it has joined the Teach for All global network. As an independent nonprofit organization, Teach for Armenia’s mission is to recruit, train, and support exceptional individuals from Armenia and the Armenian diaspora to commit to teach for a minimum of two years in underserved schools, and become leaders in the effort to increase educational opportunity throughout Armenia.
Teach for Armenia is now the 36th partner of Teach for All, a global organization dedicated to expanding educational opportunities in countries around the world. Teach for All supports organizations like Teach For Armenia that recruit and develop diverse individuals from a range of academic disciplines to commit to teach for two years in their nations’ high-need classrooms and become lifelong leaders for educational excellence and equity. Each partner organization adapts this approach to their country’s context and needs. Teach for Armenia will join the other 35 Teach For All partner organizations working toward the common goal of expanding educational opportunity for all children around the world.
“I am thrilled to have Teach for Armenia join the Teach for All network,” said Wendy Kopp, CEO and co-founder of Teach for All. “Teach for Armenia joins our 35 independent, locally run partners that are tapping into the deep desire of the next generation to have an impact in their countries by tackling educational inequity.”
The state of education across Armenia needs to be improved. While formal education is 12 years, student drop-out rates are high, particularly in rural communities. Approximately 25% of students from socioeconomically disadvantaged areas do not enroll in high school. The number of students who seek higher education are lower still, especially among the rural population, which is 36% of the Armenian population. Teach for Armenia aims to improve educational opportunities for children in Armenia by inciting a love of learning and ensuring that each child believes they are capable of attaining an excellent education.
By recruiting young talent and giving them an opportunity to teach in schools, Teach for Armenia will live up to its ambitious goal of creating unlimited potential for Armenia’s future through education. Teach for Armenia will place teachers in schools across Armenia’s regions serving children from disadvantaged communities. By recruiting individuals to commit to teach for a minimum of two years, the organization ensures access to a pool of outstanding talent who can help lead each student towards personal and academic excellence.
“Teach for Armenia is the spark needed to light up the future of many children in Armenia who would otherwise be forgotten.” says Sam Simonian, founder of Tumo Center for Creative Technologies and founding supporter of Teach For Armenia.
Larisa Ryan, Teach for Armenia’s founder and CEO, is deeply committed to expanding educational opportunity in her country. Ryan, who studied in the US, joined Teach for America in 2010 to teach special education in Phoenix, Arizona. She taught students with moderate learning differences in an underserved public school before repatriating to her native country, Armenia, in 2013 with a vision to start a program that will provide all children in Armenia with expanded educational opportunities.
“My teaching experience in Arizona made me realize how crucial the impact of one teacher can be. The progress I saw my students making day by day inspired me to return to Armenia and to establish an organization with a similar approach for the children of my homeland.” said Ryan. “I strongly believe that the only way to improve the educational opportunities for all children in our country is by streamlining our best human capital from Armenia and her diaspora to the communities and schools that need it the most. We are extremely excited to be joining the Teach for All network and taking advantage of learning from other partner organizations.”
Teach for Armenia will begin with 20 candidates to become its first cohort of Fellows in the Teach for Armenia program. These Fellows will work in schools primarily in rural Armenia, including Tavush and Lori. Teach for Armenia will provide Fellows with support and training throughout their initial two-year commitment, including coaching, mentorship, and regular classroom support. Following the two-year commitment, Teach for Armenia will continue supporting Fellows as active alumni who continue to pursue the organization’s mission.