NRTA: AARP’s Educator Community creates real possibilities to strengthen America’s working and retired education community by protecting its financial security and fostering collaboration and volunteerism.
The NRTA With Our Youth! Program was established to provide opportunities for retired educators and youth to work together to address the needs of youth and the broader community. State and local retired educators association (REA) volunteers use the resources provided by NRTA to organize local self-sustaining service projects.
In 1997, NRTA made a three-year pledge at the President’s Summit for America’s Future to serve 1.5 million youth in 2,000 communities, with a total of 45 million service hours through the REAs. That goal was exceeded, and the program continues today. Each year, the organization provides national NRTA With Our Youth! volunteer awards to recognize the outstanding work of state and local REAs as well as individual volunteers. More information is available here.
The recipients of NRTA’s 15th Annual With Our Youth! awards were chosen by an independent selection panel for their outstanding service to youth in the state, local and individual categories.
Dara Dann, vice president for NRTA: AARP’s Educator Community, said about the award winners: “Across the nation, these retirees are volunteering to make the world a better place. Their volunteerism in retirement is evidence that educators are lifelong public servants who never stop putting their skills and passion to work. NRTA is deeply grateful for their contributions, and we are honored to shine a light on the accomplishments of these retired educators with the 2014 NRTA With Our Youth! Awards.”
2014 Excellence Award recipients include:
South Carolina Education Association-Retired
Through the Showers of Scholars (S.O.S.) program, the South Carolina Education Association-Retired (SCEA-R) is providing a much-needed lifeline to students and teachers across the state. This support from caring retirees is all the more important given that states are typically providing less per-pupil funding for kindergarten through 12th grade than before the financial crisis, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
These retirees are no longer employees in schools, but SCEA-R members remain an active and powerful force that is making a positive impact for students and active educators. Through S.O.S., retired educators are funding scholarships, providing school supplies, mentoring teachers and tutoring students across South Carolina.
These committed volunteers are woven into the fabric of the schools — reading to students, administering tests, tutoring in all subjects, organizing Black History Month programs, lending their voices to Read Across America, and providing supplies and meals to children in need.
SCEA-R also established the J.P. Coates Scholarship program to provide $500 scholarships each semester to future educators enrolled in state colleges and universities. Currently, the program supports four students who are studying education and maintaining a B grade average. This support can really make a difference for students who want to teach but may struggle to close the gap on tuition costs.
Because of the S.O.S. program, more than 34,000 students have been served. SCEA-R retired educators have logged nearly 3,300 volunteer hours of service. Indeed, that is a long and strong lifeline for teachers and students.
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