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Helen Bach Moss Memorial Better Beginnings Award

Awards to New York PreK-6 Teachers for Outstanding
Contributions to Elementary Education

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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New York State Education Department (NYSED) - Office of Higher Education

Deadline Date:

03/16/20 5:00 PM


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Awards to New York PreK-6 teachers to honor outstanding contributions to elementary education. Award recipients are teachers who excel at engaging young children in the educational process while cultivating their strengths and encouraging relationships among students, teachers, parents, and administrators.


The purpose of the award, which celebrates the life and career of Helen Bach Moss, is to recognize elementary teachers who are gifted in finding and nurturing the strengths of each student and fostering trusting relationships.

This award program recognizes early childhood education as the most effective investment for long-term educational success.

Nominees will be assessed and must demonstrate the following criteria:

  • The teacher’s ability to find and nurture the strengths and individual talents of each student by documenting innovative techniques used and citing instances of accomplishment and achievement in the lives of students;
  • The teacher’s exceptional character by referencing a specific circumstance which provides students opportunities to experience success; and
  • The teacher’s ability to foster mutually respectful relationships among pupils, parents, other teachers, and administrators.
  • Assessment categories are:
    • Career focused on building better beginnings
    • Community Involvement
    • Classroom Experience and Environment
    • Student Success
    • Diversity

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 180431

Number of Grants:

There will be one winner and two finalists. In addition, the winner's school will receive an award.

Estimated Size of Grant:

A cash stipend of $5,000 will be awarded to the winning elementary teacher. The school of the BBA awardee will also receive $1,000. For the 2020 Award cycle, awards will be provided to two finalists.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The nominee must be currently teaching at the elementary level (PreK-6) at a public or private school and be appropriately credentialed in New York State.

Pre-Application Information:

Nomination Packet Deadline: Friday, March 16, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. The Nomination Packet may be sent via email or mail.

The Better Beginnings Award nomination for a current teacher is a two-part process that includes a Nominee Information Sheet and Statements of Nomination. The Statements of Nomination should include specific examples of the nominee’s work and be at least one, and no more than two, from each of the following categories:

- Pupils
- Parents
- Administrators
- Teachers
- Community members (persons active in the school community, such as volunteers, business persons, social services workers, teacher aides, etc.)

Pupil Statements of Nomination may take the form of letters, drawings, or a combination of the two. Parent, administrator, teacher, school community member statements should take the form of letters, and each statement should be limited to two pages. Materials that exceed these limits will not be considered.

Selection Process:
Nominations are read by a selection committee of five persons representing different facets of the educational spectrum. The winner and two finalists are selected based upon the nominations and a personal interview. The winner is honored at a school-based ceremony, with Dr. Michael Moss, the fund's principal benefactor, and representatives from the New York State Education Department.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Email the completed nomination packet with “BBA Nomination” in the subject line to:


Mail the nomination packet to:
NYS Education Department
Office of Higher Education
89 Washington Avenue – Attention: Better Beginnings EB 5N
Albany, NY 12234

Questions may be directed to Elena Bruno at (518) 486-2978 or at the email address above.

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: New York City;   New York

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