The Golden Apple Foundation is dedicated to its own version of the three Rs: "the recognition, renewal, and recruitment of outstanding teachers."
Each year since 1986, the foundation has honored 10 Chicago-area teachers for exemplary service in the classroom.
The Golden Apple Awards are given out at an hour-long ceremony that airs on Chicago's public television station WTTW/Channel 11. Winning teachers receive $2,500, a paid sabbatical for a tuition-free semester at Northwestern University in Chicago, and an IBM computer.
This year's award ceremony will be broadcast on May 22.
In 1988, the Golden Apple Scholars Program was established to identify high school students with an interest in teaching. The scholars receive financial assistance and mentoring as well as paid summer internships.
Seventy-nine scholars are now participating in the program and another 60 will be chosen in December, says Susan Muller of the Golden Apple Foundation.
Teachers for Chicago is another foundation project just getting under way. This program is for midcareer people who would like to become teachers without having to attend school full time. While taking courses on evenings and weekends, the participants teach under the guidance of a mentor teacher. More than 1,000 people have applied for the program.