Texas A&M partners with Bryan ISD to keep teachers local

BRYAN, Tex. (KBTX) - Texas A&M University is helping prepare teachers for the workforce and hoping they stay and serve in Bryan. The university recently received a $220,000 grant from the Texas Education Agency to support 10 teachers in their last year of school.

Odhalys Pereida is a first-year teacher at Crockett Elementary. She's also newly bilingual certified. It's a need the staff at Crockett says they're trying to fill.

The 10 teachers selected through the 'Grow Your Own' program will commit to three additional years with the district, and assist in areas that are under-served. At Crockett, that need is bilingual teachers.

"Sometimes, if they don't understand something in English, you try to revert back to their native language, and help them understand in their native language and transfer that into English and that helps them," Pereida said.

Other teachers say when one departments falls short, others help build them up.

"A lot of teamwork. We have had a lot of people that help where they can," said second-year teacher Amanda Wolf.

Wolf says most of her college classmates graduated from Texas A&M and left to teach in bigger cities.

"From my class of 25 people in our special education program, I think me and one other girl are the only ones who stayed here locally," Wolf continued. "There's a lot of incentives to go back to big areas, more money sometimes."

The district is hoping this new grant will encourage student teachers to give back to the community that helped them. The deadline to apply for next year's program is February 28. Qualified students can email aggieterm@gmail.com to apply.