AFL Presents $7,500 Grant to Public Education Partners’ GATE Program

Spartanburg, SC – AFL, an international manufacturer of fiber optic cable, connectivity and accessories, provided a $7,500 grant to Public Education Partners to support the GATE program. Launched in 2016 as a partnership with Greenville County Schools (GCS), the Greenville Alternative Teacher Education (GATE) program recruits candidates with specific subject matter expertise to teach in hard-to-fill middle and secondary positions throughout the District. AFL’s grant will support one GATE teacher.

GATE is a three-year, district-embedded licensure pathway into the teaching profession for people with bachelor’s degrees with a major or emphasis on science, math, English or world languages, but no formal teacher education training. Applicants with degrees in these areas are carefully selected based on demonstrated leadership ability, strong achievement in academic and professional settings, and the mindset to work effectively with students of different backgrounds.

“We are facing a crisis in teacher recruitment and retention in South Carolina, and the positions often hardest to fill are in high-poverty schools and/or are for STEM content areas,” explained Catherine Schumacher, President and CEO of Public Education Partners. “What’s more, research demonstrates that high-quality teachers have the greatest impact on student achievement and interest in STEM, so supporting new educators who can also offer real-life experience with students is a win-win. GCS has held up GATE as a terrific example of innovation and collaboration, and we know it is making a difference for teachers, students, and Greenville County.”

GATE teachers begin preparing during an intensive summer institute and begin teaching “Day 1” of the school year. Their learning and growth are supported by professional development that continues over the course of their first two years of teaching. GATE teachers receive onsite coaching and mentoring from seasoned professionals at the school and District-level throughout the program. Upon completion of their residency, GATE teachers are fully certified South Carolina teachers.

AFL’s investment of a GATE teacher includes stipends for the Teacher Support Team members, mentor training, professional development expenses, enrollment fees for graduate coursework, and curriculum development. This investment also covers expenses for the three-week GATE Summer Institute, which provides the opportunity to build and practice the skills required to lead a classroom.

AFL’s Community Outreach Program includes grants, sponsorships, volunteer and environment initiatives, disaster relief, scholarships and more. For additional information on AFL, its products and services, visit

About AFL
Founded in 1984, AFL is an international manufacturer providing end-to-end solutions to the energy, service provider, enterprise, hyperscale and industrial markets. The company’s products are in use in over 130 countries and include fiber optic cable and hardware, transmission and substation accessories, outside plant equipment, connectivity, test and inspection equipment, fusion splicers and training. AFL also offers a wide variety of services supporting data center, enterprise, wireless and outside plant applications.

Headquartered in Spartanburg, SC, AFL has operations in the U.S., Mexico, Canada, Europe, Asia and Australia, and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fujikura Ltd. of Japan. For more information, visit Follow us on LinkedInXFacebook, and read our blog.

Corie Culp
Community Relations Manager, AFL