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Message from the President

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January 2014

Dear Friends of TFF:

 It’s time once again to send you our “State of TFF” annual letter.

Our 2013 programs consisted of sending 19 teachers to Wuhan (HUST), China, for our normal conversation classes, and 3 to Bucharest, Romania for writing, conversation and teacher training. All classes were very well-received. Thanks to all the teachers for doing such excellent work on behalf of TFF!

A change in 2013 was the elimination of the fall programs at Tongji and HUST. We’ve learned that the Ph.D. and upper level medical students feel that they cannot afford to take the time for an English class that, unless they plan to travel to an English-speaking country, does not further their research and/or their goals. Freshman and sophomore Tongji students now attend classes at HUST, and they were included in our summer session.

 We are very excited to tell you about a new partnership between TFF and the Rodel Foundation of Arizona (www.rodelaz.org) that helped us involve young teachers who might not otherwise have the means to participate. Rodel provided us with the names of their Exemplary Teacher awardees, as well as the student teachers selected to be mentored by them and helped us spread the word about a TFF scholarship opportunity. We received more than a dozen applications and awarded funds to three outstanding young people. These young teachers all participated in the July session at HUST and received excellent evaluations. All stated that it was a life and career changing experience for them. We plan to continue with this program in 2014.

 We're happy to report that HUST recently requested that we again send approximately 18 teachers for a summer program. Because of the level of interest in HUST that we've generated over the years, we don't plan to hold an open meeting or advertise for teachers as in the past. Instead, we will rely on interest and referrals from those who are already part of the TFF family, Rodel applicants and those who have requested information through our website. We have a good number of applications already, so if you (or someone you know) are interested, please apply on the site as soon as possible.

We continue to explore the possibility of having programs in other venues. Please regularly check our website (teachforfriendship.org) for updates on all our programs.

Former Treasurer Don Phillips, a staunch TFF supporter and much-valued adviser for many years, has retired from the TFF Board. We thank Don for all he has given. Thanks also to Rachel Ruhlmyer, who has resigned from the Board, and welcome to our newest Board member, Adele Youmans.

We remind you that TFF operates solely on the small fees paid by accepted teachers and on donated funds. The fees barely cover the costs related to the teacher training sessions, the flash drives which are given to all, and the costs of our efforts to expand to new locations.

Your contributions can also help provide scholarships for even more exceptional young teachers! If you have enjoyed your experience with TFF and would be interested in helping with this goal and our other costs, please send a tax-deductible donation to our Treasurer, Nancy Lutz at 2648 E. 7th Street, Tucson, AZ 85716.

 We are always happy to hear from you and hope to see many of you in the not too distant future. In the meantime, we wish you a happy and healthy 2014.


Bill Ingram & Nancy Lutz