Dr. Seuss: Our inspiration for innovation

by John Holt on Mar 02, 2017

in Our KIPPsters, Team & Family

“There's no limit to how much you'll know, depending how far beyond zebra you go." -Dr. Seuss 

Today, we celebrate Dr. Seuss’s birthday! His books are essential to our culture with KIPPsters understanding and embracing that the more they learn, the more places they’ll go. Dr. Seuss’s books provide life lessons that our students and staff can relate to both in and away from the classroom; from learning that differences are positive with The Sneetches to thinking outside the box with On Beyond Zebra.

In 2015, the Feinberg Beyond Z Innovation Grants were launched by the KIPP Innovation Team. The grant was designed to honor KIPP Co-Founder Mike Feinberg for coming up with an ideal school in which barriers were removed and optimal conditions for learning created. One innovative idea turned into more than 200 KIPP schools nationwide. Mike has taught us that being innovative and thinking Beyond Z can change the world. 

At KIPP Houston, we want our teachers and staff to have the freedom to innovate and problem solve in the best way that fits their classroom. The Feinberg Beyond Z Innovation Grants have given our teachers and staff the ability to create and implement new practices from turning a classroom into a Black Box performance space as well as offering Yoga to all staff across the KIPP Houston region.  

“[Beyond Z] It’s always examining what are the reasons why something can’t work and having the courage and self-awareness to realize when the answer is YOU. And then, it’s a matter of fixing yourself, improving yourself, or getting out of the way.” –KIPP Co-Founder, Mike Feinberg 

The grants have a direct impact on students and/or faculty, improve student outcomes, closely align KIPP values, and give select individuals permission to design new approaches. Every KIPP Team and Family member is eligible to apply for a grant once per grant cycle.

Grant details
Five grants of up to $10,000 are awarded every school year to be implemented the following school year.
1) Grant opens in late October.
2) Cover sheet, proposed narrative and budget are due in early January.
3) Winners are announced and funds become available in late March.

If selected for a grant, grantees will:
1) Twice a year join Mike for an informal brunch to share their progress.
2) Receive a September and March site visit.
3) Complete a mid-year and final progress report.
4) Be provided guidance on executing budget.

We are All Innovators. All of you have ideas! And when you nurture your idea, you can change the world.

*This is the first of a monthly series of blogs highlighting Feinberg Beyond Z Innovation Grants. The remaining blogs will profile individual and team grant winners.