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UIndy tackles teacher shortage with new campaign

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Marion County schools, like many communities across the nation, face a growing teacher shortage. Empty classrooms and stretched resources paint a concerning picture, but the University of Indianapolis is taking bold steps to rewrite the narrative with its “Let’s Teach, Indiana!” campaign.

Funded by an Indiana Department of Education grant, this strategic initiative targets high school juniors, seniors and their families, aiming to spark passion for teaching careers. Partnering with 14 Marion County schools and utilizing citywide advertising and digital content, the campaign showcases the rewards and positive impact of a life in the classroom.

“Teaching is often misrepresented,” said Theresa Goodwin, CEO of Boldthink, the local minority-woman-owned marketing agency leading the campaign. “We want to share the stories, the data, the real experiences that show teaching for what it is: a fulfilling, meaningful career that shapes young minds and communities.”

Goodwin’s connection – as a minority business owner and parent of two – fuels the campaign’s emphasis on attracting underrepresented teacher candidates who reflect the diversity of Indiana’s students.

“The teacher pipeline needs to look more like the students it serves,” Dean and Associate Professor of the UIndy School of Education Dr. John Kuykendall said. “This grant allows us to connect with talented Indianapolis students and show them the incredible opportunities in teaching.”

Related: How 100 Cameras for 100 Kids empowers the youth of Indianapolis

UIndy’s “Let’s Teach, Indiana!” initiative goes beyond awareness. By expanding their dual credit program, offering a Summer Teacher Prep Academy and pioneering the UIndy Teach Education paid apprenticeship, they are providing concrete pathways for aspiring educators.

“We’re building bridges, not just talking points,” emphasized Dr. Libby Turner, director of Early Childhood and Elementary Education at UIndy. “Through these programs, we’re creating partnerships with schools, giving students real-world experience, and investing in the future of our local teaching community.”

The “Let’s Teach, Indiana!” campaign’s goal is not just about filling empty desks; it is about fostering a passion for education, diversifying the teaching landscape and building a sustainable pipeline for generations to come. UIndy is aiming to recast the narrative and offer tangible opportunities for education in Indiana.

Contact multimedia staff writer Noral Parham III at 317-762-7846 or via email at noralp@indyrecorder.com. Follow him on Twitter @3Noral. For more news courtesy of the Indianapolis Recorder, click here.

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