Irving, Texas. October 10, 2012 –
The ING Unsung Heroes® program strives to uplift, inspire and honor educators who are making a significant impact on their students and the educational experience in the classroom. Winning programs over the years have exemplified teachers who utilize innovative and engaging teaching methods and techniques to improve learning for America's students. Because many educators are often under-appreciated, under-paid, and unrecognized, ING U.s. continues to salute them through its ING Unsung Heroes program, now in its 16th year.
One of the exceptional programs in the 2012 ING Unsung Heroes competition was submitted by Renee Newry, a librarian at Farine Elementary in Irving. She is going back to school with a $2,000 ING Unsung Heroes grant. By receiving the ING Unsung Heroes award, Newry is recognized as one of the nation's most innovative educators. She is one of only 100 winners across the country who is receiving a $2,000 award to help fund "Society of Awesome Readers: (Summer Book Club)," her innovative idea, and bring it to life. She will now compete with other winners for one of the top three prizes -an additional $5,000, $10,000 or $25,000.
Newry's winning program, "Society of Awesome Readers: (Summer Book Club)," was initiated to create common ground among the students at Farine Elementary. Language and literacy are foundational skills that all students must have to be successful in school. Researchers agree that students in poverty often lose language and literacy during the summer months. The school has a large international community and although the students speak different languages, come from culturally diverse backgrounds, and have varied socio-economic levels, the library is a place where students can meet on common ground. The project's main objectives include teaching the skills necessary to become effective users of ideas and information, selecting resources that meet the learning needs of all students, opening access to the school library during summer book reading club hours and increasing parent circulation and parent visits.
Also, it is essential to choose books that are age appropriate with a theme or interest to students of various ages and teaching the skills necessary to become effective users of ideas and information. The students will learn to describe story element and events, tell stories, become interested and motivated to read books, maintain a reading log throughout the summer, and improve communication and social skills through reading discussions. Newry lives in Irving.
"ING is proud of the hard work and dedication of all of our nation's teachers," said Maliz Beams, CEO of ING U.S. Retirement Services. "It is a privilege to invest in the innovative ideas of educators across the United States who are preparing our children for the future. We hope the additional funds Renee Newry is awarded through ING Unsung Heroes will help sustain her program and continue to make an impact on the children in her community."
ING U.S., a leading provider of retirement plans and programs for teachers, began the ING Unsung Heroes program in 1996 to demonstrate the company's commitment to the education community. Over the years, the program has awarded nearly $4 million to 1,700 kindergarten through 12th grade educators for their innovative teaching methods, creative educational projects, and ability to positively influence the children they teach.
The 2012 ING Unsung Heroes winners were selected from a group of more than 1,300 applications. To learn more about this year's winning projects, as well as those from previous years, visit the ING Unsunq Heroes website (unsungheroes.com).
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