Panama City Educator Presented With Milken National Educator Award
Anna Catherine Hull, a fourth grade teacher at Patronis Elementary in Bay County, is the recipient of the $25,000 Milken Educator Award. The award, conceived by Lowell Milken almost 30 years ago, recognizes outstanding educators and encourages talented young people to enter the teaching profession. Hull was recognized for her innovative and inspiring teaching techniques that captivate her students and fully engage them in the learning process. She incorporates her own life experiences and connected with former teachers and U.S. soldiers stationed in Iraq to make learning relevant.
The honor, bestowed at a seemingly routine school assembly on Nov. 8, 2011, was attended by Dr. Jane Foley, Milken Family Foundation Senior Vice President, State Board of Education member Susan Story, Bay County School Superintendent Bill Husfelt, Florida State Representative Jimmy Patronis, and Florida Senator Don Gaetz. For more information about the Milken Family Foundation and the Milken Educator Awards, visit www.mff.org.
Florida Commemorates 35 Years of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
The Florida Department of Education (DOE) kicked off the 35th anniversary celebration of the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) on Nov. 1, 2010, in Tallahassee. As part of the celebration, students from the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind treated DOE employees and guests with a rousing performance of popular songs by the student ensemble “Outta Sight.”
With the support offered through IDEA, Florida’s students with disabilities have significantly increased their academic performance over the past 10 years as demonstrated on both state and national assessments. In Florida, more than 370,000 students are identified as having a disability that requires specially designed education and related services. The Individuals with Disabilities Act has increased access to curriculum, provided services to young children, offered transition planning and included accountability measures for the achievement of students with disabilities. To learn more about IDEA, visit http://idea.ed.gov.
November Recognized as Parental Involvement Month
As part of the recognition of November as Parental Involvement Month, the Florida Department of Education (DOE) is highlighting a valuable tool that can help parents and families navigate through the school choice options available to support their child’s academic success. The Florida School Choice Resource Centers are local community-based centers that work in partnership with DOE to provide parents with information to better understand the education options available for their children. For more information about the Florida School Choice Resource Centers, visit http://www.knowyourchoices.org/.
Literacy League Featuring Edward Bloor Now Available for Download
The third installment of the Department of Education’s popular Literacy League book club is now available for download on Florida iTunesU. The featured book for this quarter is “Taken” by author Edward Bloor, a former Florida public school teacher. Throughout the year the interactive book club connects prominent authors with Florida middle school students through a podcast question and answer session about the featured book. To view the Literacy League podcasts, including the one for “Taken,” visit www.floridaitunesu.com. For more information about DOE’s Literacy League, visit www.fldoe.org/literacyleague.
Teacher Treasures Monthly Contest Announced
The Florida Department of Education has created a new monthly contest designed to show appreciation for Florida’s dedicated teachers. Teacher Treasures encourages teachers to enter each month for the chance to win prizes and gift certificates donated by school supply stores and restaurants. The application period for each drawing begins the first of every month with the actual drawing taking place on the last Thursday. Winners will be notified and given the opportunity to be featured in the Department’s Just for Teachers newsletter which is e-mailed monthly to more than 160,000 educators throughout the state. The entry form is only available online on the Just for Teachers website at www.fldoe.org/justforteachers.
Florida Presents "30 Days of Amazing Children: Explore Adoption!"
To celebrate National Adoption Month, the state of Florida has launched the “30 Days of Amazing Children: Explore Adoption!” project to showcase 30 of the approximately 850 children in foster care awaiting adoption. Each day during the month of November, a different “Amazing Child” available for adoption in Florida will be featured on the Explore Adoption campaign website at www.adoptflorida.org. Many of the featured teens, sibling groups and children with medical needs are featured in video as they talk about themselves and their hopes of becoming part of a loving family. Additionally, organizations across the state are hosting National Adoption Month celebrations and finalization ceremonies throughout the month. To learn more about Florida’s children available for adoption or for information about a National Adoption Month event in your area, visit www.adoptflorida.org.
Registration Now Open for the 2010-11 Real World Design Challenge
The Real World Design Challenge is open to high school student teams of three to seven members to solve a challenge using real engineering tools. This year’s challenge is an aviation design competition and free registration is now open. Each teacher that participates gets more than $1 million in professional engineering software along with training materials and curriculum, and teams get access to mentors in the technology, engineering and mathematics fields. For more information about the challenge and to sign up, visit www.realworlddesignchallenge.org.
Office of Student Financial Assistance Available to Assist with Financial Aid Application
The 2011-12 Initial Student Florida Financial Aid (FFA) Application will open for all 2011 high school graduates on Dec. 1, 2010. The Florida Department of Education’s Office of Student Financial Assistance (OSFA) is available to partner with guidance counselors to assist students and parents in understanding the FFA application. OSFA Outreach Representatives are available to host on-campus financial aid workshops that cover state and federal financial aid and to assist school staff in guiding students through the online application process. Contact Lori Auxier, Director of OSFA Outreach Services, at (561) 292-6002 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Walt Disney Planet Challenge
The Disney Planet Challenge “Class Project” is an opportunity for elementary (grades 3-5) and middle school (grades 6-8) students to identify and focus on one environmental issue in their school or community. Using a project-based learning approach, students will work as a team to investigate ways to address the issue and develop and take action to improve the environment. The deadline to register for this unique group opportunity is Dec. 17, 2010. For more information, visit http://disney.go.com/planetchallenge/discover.html.
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