Grantees discover new ways to help students learn


From robotics to tablet training for educators...


Tablets, such as the iPad or Kindle, are all the rage in classrooms today. But what about the educators who are teaching with tablet technology for the first time in their careers?


A Douglas, MA educator, Susan Nicholas, and her co-applicant, Jessica Findlay, of Douglas Intermediate Elementary School, received a $5,000 Learning & Leadership Grant to lead a district-wide tablet training session for their peers in preparation for the iPad

NEA Foundation Grantee Dwayne Dahlbeck shares how he went from slacker to educator in new “Lessons Learned” Q&A


Tell us about your plans for your NEA Foundation grant project.


I teach in an Alternatives Program, and we plan to use the grant money to purchase desktop computers. These computers will allow us to continue to expand our Dual Enrollment Program. Our

Uncovering the plant life cycle in school’s green space


With your support, we’ve funded more than 1,300 NEA member project on DonorsChoose.org, providing learning materials to more than 108,000 students. 1,227 projects still await your support. Help a classroom today, and we'll match your

Stretching students’ critical-thinking skills beyond 140 characters


With your support, we’ve funded more than 1,000 NEA member project on DonorsChoose.org, providing learning materials to nearly 80,000 students. 800 projects still await your support. Help a classroom today, and we'll match your donation.


Have

How do you get your students moving?

 
So far, 1,000 NEA member projects have been funded on DonorsChoose.org, providing nearly 80,000 students with much-needed learning materials. But, 800 projects await your support. Help a classroom today, and we'll match your donation!


Ever

Introducing our new "Lessons Learned" series


 
Why did you start teaching?
 

I fell into teaching. I majored in education as an undergraduate student, but when I went to do my student teaching, I decided the profession wasn't for me. Years later, my mother-in-law pushed me to go back to

Featured Grantee: 21st century pen pals build language skills, make new friends


Jennifer Nelson was the first to admit that her fourth-grade Spanish curriculum at Valley View Elementary in Ashwaubenon, WI, “was kind of dull.” She knew her students needed more practice to become comfortable speaking and writing in

How to join the crowdfunding craze and help a classroom of your choice


It may come as no surprise that crowdfunding— or the collective effort of individuals on social networking sites to support the efforts of others—exploded in popularity with organizations like Kickstarter and DonorsChoose. What may raise

Featured Grantee: Students Pick Their Own Passion Projects in Unlikely Pairing of Service Learning and Language Arts


When budget cuts moved Katrina Macht out of a role coordinating service learning and back into the classroom at Hillside Intermediate School in Bridgewater, NJ, she wanted to make sure the school’s long history of service projects didn’t

How Much Do Educators Spend Out-Of-Pocket Each Year? Hint: It’s More Than 9 Figures

Photo by Flickr user KristinNador


In June, the National School Supply and Equipment Association (NSSEA) published their annual study about teachers’ out-of-pocket spending, and the results may shock some.


The study found that, on average,

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Watch the event!

Did you miss the live stream of the NEA Foundation’s Salute to Excellence in Education Gala on February 13, 2015? Now, you can watch the event in its entirety right here!

 

As one of the most prestigious awards events in public education, the NEA Foundation’s gala attracts more than 800 national education leaders and supporters to honor these educators each year in Washington, D.C. 

 

Did you attend the gala? View and purchase photos from the event.

 

Celebrating 39 educators from across the country

This year, 39 educators selected by their peers received the California Casualty Awards for Teaching Excellence. In addition to these awards, the following top honors were presented.

 

Who won the evening’s top honor?

Terri Butts, a curriculum effectiveness specialist for the Richland 2 Child Development Center in Columbia, SC, and a member of the South Carolina Education Association, received the evening's top honor: The NEA Member Benefits Award for Teaching Excellence and $25,000. This award recognizes, rewards, and promotes excellence in teaching and advocacy for the profession.

 

Butts and four other educators also received the Horace Mann Awards for Teaching Excellence. These five educators were finalists for the evening's top award.

 

Watch Terri Butts' acceptance speech below. 

 

 

 

Photo (left to right): Gary Phoebus, President and CEO of NEA Member Benefits; Terri Butts; Harriet Sanford, President and CEO of the NEA Foundation

 

 

 

Five educators receive top awards

These five extraordinary educators from across the country received the Horace Mann Awards for Teaching Excellence, and found themselves finalists for the evening’s top award. And their students have already benefitted. Each class received digital arts training from Scena Media to produce a video, which premiered at the gala, to honor their award-winning teachers.

 

Photo (left to right): John Stocks, NEA Executive Director; Crystal Brown; Chair of the NEA Foundation Board of Directors; Harriet Sanford, President and CEO of the NEA Foundation; Awardee Allison Riddle (UT); Awardee Anna Baldwin (MT); Marita Zuraitis, President and CEO of the Horace Mann Educators Corporation; Awardee Crystal Williams Gordon (LA); Awardee Terri Butts (SC); Awardee Richard Erickson (WI)

 

Watch all of the student-made videos below. 

 

Beloved children’s book author, the late Walter Dean Myers, and author and illustrator son, Christopher Myers honored

The NEA Foundation also presented award-winning children’s author, Walter Dean Myers, posthumously, and his son, award-winning illustrator and author, Christopher Myers, with the First National Bank of Omaha Award for Outstanding Service to Public Education, honoring their lifelong contributions to children’s literature. 

 

The father-son duo collaborated on stories for and about children of color who don’t see themselves reflected in children’s literature. According to a study by the Cooperative Children’s Book Center at the University of Wisconsin, only 93 of the 3,200 children’s books published in 2013 were about black people. In an op-ed for the New York Times in March 2014, Walter Dean Myers wrote, “What is the message when some children are not represented in those books?”

 

Their collaborative works include “Jazz,” a winner of the Coretta Scott King award for illustration, “Harlem,” a Caldecott Honor book, “Blues Journey,” and “We are American: a tribute from the heart,” to name a few.

 

This award recognizes individuals and organizations for their lifelong commitment to advancing public education and is typically presented to those who work outside the field. Awardees have included former President Bill Clinton, Title IX advocate Billie Jean King, and Sesame Workshop.

In honor of Walter Dean Myers, Christopher Myers, and their wonderful family, First Book dedicated a gift of 5,000 brand new books to children in need across the country. First Book is a social enterprise that currently serves more than 155,000 programs and classrooms serving children in need ages 0-18 years of age. First Book hopes that everyone serving children in need will join their network and continue to grow the Myers' family legacy of high quality, diverse content for all children.

 

Watch Christopher Myers' acceptance speech.  

 

 Photo (left to right): Donna Meacham Blackman, Member of the NEA Foundation Board of Directors; Crystal Brown, Chair of the NEA Foundation Board of Directors; Harriet Sanford, President and CEO of the NEA Foundation; Honoree Christopher Myers, award-winning illustrator and author; Lily Eskelsen García, NEA President; Stephen Eulie, Executive Vice President Consumer Banking of First National Bank of Omaha

 

 

Hosted by actress and activist Anne-Marie Johnson

Anne-Marie Johnson, who most recently appeared in the TNT series, "Murder in the First," and is best known for her role as Althea Tibbs on the hit television series, "In the Heat of the Night," and as a cast member of the sketch comedy series, "In Living Color," hosted the event.  

 

Johnson helped celebrate exceptional public school educators alongside more than 50 student performers— many of whom are past NEA Foundation gala stars, invited back for an encore.

 

Photo (left to right): Awardee Allison Riddle (UT); Awardee Anna Baldwin (MT); Marita Zuraitis, President and CEO of the Horace Mann Educator Corporation; Anne-Marie Johnson, actress and activist; Awardee Crystal Williams Gordon (LA); Awardee Terri Butts (SC); Awardee Richard Erickson (WI)

 

Students take the stage for return performances

From Montgomery County, Maryland, the Sogo African Rhythm Ensemble of 35 drummers and dancers from Forest Knolls Elementary, who performed at last year’s gala, took the stage under the direction of educator, Lou Persic.

 

Also returning this year was Blessed Sheriff, a young poet, who performed two original poems with last year’s gala host, Tony Award-winning actress, Phylicia Rashad, of “The Cosby Show” fame. Sheriff performed her tribute to the Walter Dean Myers alongside Joseph Morag, a violinist and first chair and concertmaster of the New York Youth Symphony. A second tribute to Myers came from young writers from Lee County, Florida, who performed an interpretation of Walter Dean Myers’ acclaimed book, “The Story of the Three Kingdoms.”

 

Memorable performances also include Brooklyn-based singer and Princeton musicology doctoral student, Cory Hunter, who is lead soloist of the Boys Choir of Harlem, as well as the Counterpoints, directed by Michael Raunik, from Indianapolis, Indiana, who have been ranked the nation’s top concert show choir.

 

Watch Blessed Sheriff and Joseph Morag's performance below.

 





Photo (left to right): Cory Hunter, student performer; Harriet Sanford, President and CEO of the NEA Foundation; Blessed Sheriff, student performer

 


A special thank you to all who helped us celebrate the best in public education! Save the date for next year’s gala on Feb. 12, 2016.