NRTA: AARP's Educator Community will recognize state and local retired educators associations and three individuals during their 2005 With Our Youth! presentations scheduled in San Francisco on August 14.
NRTA began presenting the With Our Youth! award to volunteer retired educators in 2000. During the first three years of the program, retired educators contributed more than 45 million service hours in more than 2,000 communities, reaching well over 1.5 million youth. The program continues to grow and expand. Community service activities range from helping schools devastated by Florida hurricanes to establishing a high school day care center so that student parents can graduate. "Retired educators have inspired millions of youth to reach their full potential because an adult took the time to be a part of their lives through volunteering in the NRTA With Our Youth! program," said Dr. Annette S. Norsman, director of NRTA.
- Hurricane Relief - Feeling a sense of déjà vu after watching the devastation following the Florida hurricanes, the Louisiana Retired Teachers Association led a nationwide fundraising effort as part of the Hurricane Relief Fund. The LRTA collected $36,000 in donations which were converted to $100 gift cards and hand delivered to Florida teachers.
- Books Across the State - In 2004, 2,500 local unit volunteers in the Texas Retired Teachers Association raised funds to purchase and distribute 50,584 books to children around the state. In addition, volunteers targeted communities where student reading skills were deficient and began visiting the classrooms to read to them.
- Helping the Little Guys - Through "Project Little Guys," members of the Central Alaska Retired Teachers Association raised nearly $5,000 and collected clothing and supply donations for children of mothers who sought refuge at the Abused Women's Aid in Crisis Shelter in Anchorage. Funds were also used to provide trips to cultural activities for the children.
- Blending Generations - The Lakes Region Retired Educators Association in New Hampshire participated in an intergenerational program designed to encourage interaction between fifth graders and their "older" pals living in nursing homes and retirement communities. The project featured storytelling and the documentation of seniors' stories with illustrations by the school children in addition to classroom support through tutoring and mentoring.
- Fine Service at Kids Café - Determined to make a soup kitchen "kid friendly," the Erie County Chapter of the Pennsylvania Association of School Retirees has provided tutoring and games as well as serving meals to the children and teens eating at the Kids' Café soup kitchen since it opened in 2000. The kitchen serves anywhere from 30 to 125 children and youth daily.
- Let the Band Play On - Every school day at 7:00am for the last seven years Stanley Lofton from the Florida Retired Educators Association served as a volunteer band instructor at Emma Love Hardee Elementary School, has paid for instrument rentals for low income students and provided private music lessons to deserving students.