NRTA: AARP's Educator Community is committed to learning, voluntary service and civic participation. More than a decade ago, the organization formed the With Our Youth! program to provide volunteer opportunities for community service projects with youth. For the first three years of the program, NRTA made a pledge to serve 1.5 million youth in 2,000 communities with a total of 45 million service hours through its affiliated state retired educators associations (REAs). The goal was exceeded.
The recipients of NRTA's 13th Annual With Our Youth! awards were chosen for outstanding service to youth in the state, local, individual, and impact categories by an independent selection panel. Award recipients include:
Texas Retired Teachers Association
The Texas Retired Teachers Association believes in transforming a child’s life through the power of reading, one book at a time. Through the Children’s Book Project established in 1998, books are presented to the individual student as their own to take home and keep. Last year, 132,259 books were placed in the hands of elementary school children throughout the state.
Book donations are solicited from local unit members and community partners, and even gently used books are collected from the children themselves in a special student-to-student initiative. Many units have members who go into each classroom, read a brief story, and present the book as a gift to each student, but the process of selecting, purchasing and presenting the books is each local unit’s decision.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, a division of the U.S. Department of Education, children who are read to at home have a higher success rate in school and enjoy a substantial advantage over children who are not. Thanks to the dedication and outreach of retired teachers, book pages are turning each night and success rates of young children are increasing each day all across the state of Texas..