Janet Duncan, Manhattan, and Shirley Morrison, Arkansas City, are two of only five people honored nationally in 2009 with NRTA With Our Youth! Dedication Awards. The award recognizes retired educators who volunteer in community service projects that provide key resources to youth in their communities.
Since 1998, Janet Duncan has volunteered 400 hours annually to tutoring students in the Hand to Hand program in Manhattan. Duncan, who taught in the U.S. before living in many parts of the world, is considered the “go to” person for diagnosis and advice concerning learning problems and oftentimes provides expert help with math, reading or writing problems. “Her special understanding and sensitivity to cultural differences is very helpful with a diverse population,” said one of her nominators. “Janet has made a difference in many young lives.”
Shirley Morrison taught school for 32 years before retiring in 1995. That same year, she became a big sister in the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America (BBBS) program and has been actively involved in the program ever since. One teacher wrote about the influence Morrison had on a “little sister” noting, “Shirley has been a GREAT positive influence…since working with her, (the young woman) has made 100 percent improvement…and has raised her grades from D’s and F’s to A’s and B’s. A BBBS staff member said that Morrison oversaw one of her first little sisters “from an eight year-old third grader to a delightful married woman who has a little sister of her own in the BBBS club.
“The winners of NRTA With Our Youth awards fill me with gratitude for their dedication and service to the youth in their community,” said Megan Hookey, Vice-President of NRTA. “With the commitment these retired educators and members of the Kansas Association of Retired School Personnel (KARSP) demonstrate, it is an honor to recognize such extraordinarily deserving volunteers like Shirley and Janet.”
The NRTA With Our Youth! Program, now in its 10th year, encourages retired educators to volunteer in community service projects that provide youth with five key resources: an on-going relationship with a caring adult; a healthy start in life; safe places to learn and grow; a marketable skill through effective education; and an opportunity to give back through community service.
Nominations for the 2010 NRTA With Our Youth! are due by June 8, 2010. For more information visit www.aarp.org/NRTA.
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