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NRTA's 14th Annual With Our Youth Awards

Recognizing the exceptional community service of retired educators nationwide

Local Category

Mississippi – Neshoba County Retired Education Personnel of Mississippi

In Neshoba County, Miss., an area of 590 square miles and a 2010 census population of 29,676, the footprints of the Neshoba County Retired Education Personnel of Mississippi (NCREPM) Association members can be found wherever you go! These retired educators have made a significant impact on their communities through a variety of intergenerational activities.  

If you traveled through the county this year, you could have found members working at the Fall Fun Day giving special needs students the opportunity to have fun and improve their social skills. Others were collecting school supplies and book bags for needy children, judging for the school reading fair competition, and involved in after-school tutoring. Some were donating supplies to the new Baptist Children’s Village and volunteering with Veterans’ Day celebrations and projects to raise money for veterans’ needs.  

While some were assisting with the Women’s Job Corps to help prepare for jobs and job interviews, others were providing regular visits to nursing home residents. They were also mentoring students and donating appropriate clothing. Each year they support recognition for the Outstanding Vocational-Technical Student for the County’s Vo-Tech Center. The chapter also donates one dollar per member for the state scholarship fund.  

Vincent Van Gogh once said, “What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?” In turn, “What would life in Neshoba County be like if members of NCREPM lacked the courage to reach out and attempt a little bit of just about everything?” With the many meaningful volunteer services provided by the retired educators, thankfully we will never know!

Ohio – Geauga County Retired Teachers Association

In Geauga County, Ohio, a rural community with a population of 93,389, four retired teachers have volunteered together some 50+ hours a month since 2008. They have opened up the wonder of the world of books by volunteering with a reading outreach for both parents and young children of all ages. Volunteers start with the Babies First Books program and give books to new parents at Geauga Hospital for their newborn infants along with materials on reading tips and the importance of reading.

The volunteers participate in the Books and Bears Program, where they are part of a large group of retired teachers who read to all kindergarteners in the county. The retired educators tell the class that when they visit the library, they will receive their very own bear book, stuffed bear and library card as well as a tour of the library.

The four retired educators evaluated and color-coded hundreds of books according to difficulty.

And in rain or shine, they deliver library books from the bookmobile to two Amish schools. This is of special value as Amish schools do not have libraries in their buildings.

John Quincy Adams told us that, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” The four volunteers have been instrumental in inspiring Geauga County’s young children and their parents to dream more, learn more, do more, become more and read more! They are opening up the world beyond through introducing the magic of books and reading.

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