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2014 VEA Sparks Weekend: Grow with Us!

What totally free weekend event for Association members in their first five years has helped hundreds in their professional lives and groomed many for leadership positions?

It’s VEA Sparks Weekend, being held at the Wintergreen resort outside of Charlottesville (, February 28 – March 2, 2014.

VEA Sparks is a totally free, fun and rewarding weekend event for teachers and other school employees who have five or fewer years of experience in public schools and little or no experience with VEA or NEA. The purpose of VEA Sparks is to make a positive connection with newer, younger members. Through VEA Sparks, participants learn skills and make connections with other members that help them in their profession, while gaining a better understanding of their Association.

Here are answers to some of your questions about Sparks:

What happens at Sparks?

The VEA Sparks program is adaptable to what you want and need. Sparks lets you make discoveries about your fellow educators and your Association on your own, related to your own priorities. You make those discoveries while learning about the issues relevant to you. Watch this video for a member's look at what happens at Sparks.

What else is different?

• We strive to have a diverse group of VEA Sparks participants to help build connections and create a climate in which you can feel comfortable having meaningful discussions around issues arising from individual differences in your professional lives.

• We limit participation to VEA members within the first five years of their career— so that we can help form bonds that will last for a full career. Sparks is a one-time only event. No repeat Sparkers!

• We keep in touch with you after the initial VEA Sparks weekend is over. We emphasize that VEA is here to support you throughout your career. And we ask that you participate in engaging other members in your age group.

• We have fun. No advance agenda is provided. Participants will take part in group activities. Be prepared to learn from and with your colleagues and you will be rewarded.

Why do participants like VEA Sparks?

We focus on your needs and desires—even your fears and concerns about your profession. We cater to you during the weekend. We listen to you. We create a safe environment for you to share scary issues. We help you understand that you are “not the only one” going through the perils of being new in this career. And, we have fun.

How do you register for 2014 VEA Sparks?

      1) Fill out the registration form, including the VEA Sponsor line.

      2) Include the $50 refundable fee in check, MasterCard or Visa. This money will be refunded about a week after the event. Cancellations must be received by February 3, 2014 to be eligible for the refundable deposit.

      3) Mail to VEA (VEA Sparks, c/o Sonia Lee, 116 S. 3rd St., Richmond, VA 23219)

Send it in by December 19, 2013!!!

Participation is limited, so get your application in as soon as possible.

Notes: To attend Sparks, you pay only for your own transportation and a $50 reservation fee, which is refunded when you attend. During Sparks, participants will have free time in which to engage in recreational activities at their own risk and expense.



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