Foundation Voices

Foundation Update – Sept. 2020


New York Educator Improves Math Matters for Students and Colleagues with Dynamic Program
For New York math educator Jennifer Kibler, creating solutions in her school went far beyond her expectations. When she set out to improve teaching around math problem solving skills at her campus, she had little idea she’d be laying the groundwork for home instruction months later. The Parkdale Elementary School teacher used Foundation funds she received through a Learning & Leadership Grant to launch “The Gift of Coding: Boosting K-4 Math Problem Solving Skills.” The multi-part program led by Kibler featured numerous workshops, sessions, and after school courses aimed at teaching colleagues about the Freckle adaptive math program, word problem, and coding instructional strategies and more.

As Parkdale transitioned from in-person to distance learning, the Freckle adaptive math program became a key feature to helping educators reach their students and maintain their instruction in a meaningful way. The Freckle program, a web-based differentiation platform, helped Kibler’s colleagues differentiate what and how students learned based on their level of understanding. From the safety of their homes, educators were able to continue administering daily math learning, individualized assignments and track their students’ progress. As a result, Kibler and her colleagues noticed students remained enthused about math learning and that parents stayed more engaged, as they were able to communicate through the platform.



Verizon Customers Can Now Support Public Education with a Couple of Clicks
Supporting educators while paying the phone and wifi bill has never been so easy! In August, the NEA Foundation announced an initiative with Verizon that gives wireless customers an opportunity to show appreciation for teachers, education support professionals, and students. The Customer Bill Pay Charitable Donation Program enables customers to support the NEA Foundation when they pay their bill.

Starting with the “back to school” season, Verizon customers can round up the change on their payment to donate to the NEA Foundation online on Verizon’s website, on the Verizon app, or through the mail. The donations will help the NEA Foundation in its mission to serve teachers, education support professionals, and students.Outstanding Educators Honored for Service to Their Profession and Community
Through ordinary and challenging times, educators inspire their students and their peers, and are leaders in their communities. In July, the NEA Foundation announced 46 educators who represent the best in public education as the 2021 recipients of its California Casualty Awards for Teaching Excellence. From Elkton, Delaware to Honolulu, Hawaii, these educators represent the very best in public education.

The California Casualty Awards for Teaching Excellence recipients are nominated for their dedication to the profession, community engagement, professional development, attention to diversity, and advocacy for fellow educators.

“In a time when awareness of educators’ vital role to our society is growing, we honor exceptional educators who serve students and communities in extraordinary ways,” said Sara A. Sneed, president and CEO, The NEA Foundation.

Awardees will officially be honored during the NEA Foundation Salute to Excellence in Education Gala in February of next year. Learn more about each of the awardees.

New School Year Brings New Grant Opportunities for Educators
With the school year in full swing, the Foundation is supporting educator and student needs in the classroom, for virtual learning, and beyond. Applications for the Foundation’s Grants to Educators program are open through December 1 for all eligible public school educators seeking funding assistance. Educators who seek to develop their professional practice to improve student learning may apply for a Learning & Leadership Grant. Educators seeking funds to lead a wide range of projects to improve student learning may apply for a Student Success Grant.

Donor Spotlight – First National Bank of Omaha
The NEA Foundation extends it heartfelt thanks to First National Bank of Omaha for their sponsorship of the Foundation’s Covid-19 Rapid Response Grant program. With their generous support, the Foundation awarded 37 grants this summer to help educators better support their students during this unprecedented time.

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