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Virginia Journal of Education

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Educators Receive VEA Mini-Grants

VEA’s Division of Instruction and Professional Development has announced the winners of the 2008-09 Mini-Grants. The following members have earned grants ranging from $500 to $1,000 to fund classroom projects:

Jennifer Whitenack of the Albemarle Education Association and Baker-Butler Elementary School, for “Hardtack and Hardee's Tactics: Life as a Civil War Soldier.”

Elisa Alexander of the Fairfax Education Association and Mt. Eagle Elementary School, for “Got Books?”

Alma Haygood of the Fairfax Education Association and Mt. Vernon Woods Elementary School, for “Supporting the School-Home Literacy Connection: Learning to Read with KEEP Books.”

Jackie Sipple of the Fredericksburg Education Association and Hugh Mercer Elementary School, for “Blazing a Trail to Investigate Math & Science.”

Julie Foster of the Harrisonburg Education Association and Harrisonburg Public Schools, for “Mugs and More”

Jesse Senechal of the Richmond Education Association and Armstrong High School, for  “Community Action Research Project.”

Lisa Johnson of the Russell County Education Association and Honaker Elementary/Middle School, for “Board Book Collection.”

Sue McCloud of the Stafford Education Association and Colonial Forge High School, for “Ready, Set, Speak!”

Regional Legislative
Workshops Coming

In preparation for some of the key issues that will be debated during the 2009 session of the General Assembly, VEA’s Division of Government Relations is holding nine regional pre-legislative workshops in October and November. Here are the dates and locations—for specifics, contact your local UniServ office.

     Oct. 6       Hampton
     Oct. 7       Norfolk
     Oct. 9       Fairfax
     Oct. 20     Abingdon
     Oct. 21     Roanoke/Salem
     Oct. 22     Staunton
     Nov. 10    Brunswick
     Nov. 12    Richmond
     Nov. 17    Danville


NEA Grants Available
on Rolling Basis

The NEA Foundation offers two primary grants to Association members: Student Achievement Grants and Learning & Leadership Grants. Here’s some information on the grants and how to get them.

Student Achievement Grants:
• Fund projects that promote innovation and engage students in critical thinking, inquiry and self-directed learning.
• Consist of $5,000; about 75 are awarded annually.

Learning & Leadership Grants:
• Support high-quality professional development opportunities, such as summer institutes and action research.
• Consist of $2,000 for individuals and $5,000 for groups; about 75 are awarded annually.

PreK-12 teachers and education support professionals are eligible for NEA Foundation grants; applications are accepted throughout the year and are reviewed three times annually—beginning February 1, June 1 and October 15.

Tips for writing effective grant applications and further information are available on the NEA Foundation’s website at You’ll also find brief descriptions of previous grant-winners’ projects there.

Hampton EA Honored
for Partnership

Together, we can: In a program called “Teachers Helping Teachers,” the Hampton Education Association joined forces with Hampton Public Schools to help the city attract and retain high-quality teachers. Their efforts have been so successful that the program was one of only six nationally to earn a 2008 NEA-Saturn/UAW Partnership Award, which recognizes exemplary partnerships between local education associations and school districts.

When “Teachers Helping Teachers” began, Hampton was facing the challenge of bringing large numbers of new teachers on board. The program eased their way by providing a retired teacher to serve as a mentor, and offered an on-site mentor as well. For their work in helping new teachers, building mentors received a stipend and points toward relicensure, and retired teachers received a stipend. The results were impossible to ignore, as the teacher retention rate at the city’s “hard-to-staff” schools climbed to 97 percent and the achievement levels of new teachers’ students equaled those of the veterans.

The award was presented just prior to the NEA convention in Washington, D.C. last summer.



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