Teachers Get a Big Surprise During Teacher Talk Show
Nearly 100 Florida educators were surprised in a big way on Feb. 18, 2011, at the Walt Disney World Saratoga Springs Resort. Teachers thought they were attending a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) professional development workshop and ended up with not only the training hosted by Disney Youth Education Services, but also free educational products donated by nearly 20 vendors from throughout the country. Themed as an “Oprah-Style” give-away, the Florida Department of Education (DOE) teamed up with Walt Disney World to turn the monthly “Teacher Talk” television show into a teacher appreciation extravaganza which featured Education Commissioner Dr. Eric J. Smith, DOE’s teacher liaison Kelly Seay, and Disney’s Imagineers. The “Teacher Talk” show will air on March 8, 2011, at 4:00 p.m. through local channels and will also be webcast on the DOE website at www.fldoe.org. “Teacher Talk” is a television show produced by the Florida Knowledge Network that focuses on Florida teachers and their innovations both in and out of the classroom. For more information about “Teacher Talk,” visit www.fldoe.org/justforteachers.
Education Contributions from the Florida Lottery Hit New Mark
A new milestone of $22 billion in contributions to the Educational Enhancement Trust Fund was announced by the Florida Lottery. Lottery funding contributes to programs in the state’s 67 school districts, 28 colleges, and 11 universities. The Lottery also funds the Bright Futures Scholarship Program and other financial aid programs, the construction and maintenance of public schools through the Classrooms First and Classrooms for Kids programs, and other enhancements to education. For more information about the Florida Lottery and its contributions to education, visit www.flalottery.com.
To the Core Podcast Features Teacher of the Year
The next segment of To the Core, an education related podcast series hosted by Florida Teacher of the Year Cheryl Conley is now available on iTunesU. The newest podcast features an insider’s view of the Department of Education’s What’s Working Workshops, a series of in-depth meetings hosted by the Florida State Board of Education. The workshops provided an opportunity for education stakeholders to interact and dialogue with nationally-recognized education leaders on specific topics that support effective teaching and school leadership. Five workshops were held from September through October 2010 and covered such topics as Value Added Measures, Teacher Evaluations, and Turning Around Low Performing Schools. The podcasts are housed on iTunesU which provides free multimedia content to schools, parents, students, administrators and teachers both in Florida and around the world. To download the To the Core podcast, visit http://itunes.apple.com/itunes-u/to-the-core/id399604694.
ReadMobile Florida Tour
The Pearson Foundation’s “We Give Books Readmobile” is driving across Florida on a 30-school whistle-stop tour, encouraging schools and communities to celebrate the power of reading and giving. The tour began in Jacksonville on Feb. 28 and different locations will be visited during the month of March. The Readmobile will stop at local schools to host reading events and creative projects with school children. In partnership with United Way Florida, the Pearson Foundation will also be stopping at local community centers.
Thousands of books will be given away state-wide to children and families this spring, and the Pearson Foundation is encouraging young people and adults to come together at We Give Books to help others in the process. To learn more about We Give Books Readmobile, visit www.wegivebooks.org/readmobile.
Endangered Species Day Youth Art Contest
The national Endangered Species Day Youth Art contest provides young people with an opportunity to learn about endangered species and express their knowledge and support through artwork. The art contest is an integral part of the sixth annual national Endangered Species Day, celebrated on May 20, 2011. Entries must be postmarked by March 15, 2011. Teachers can include the Endangered Species Day Youth Art Contest as a featured activity for Youth Art Month in March 2011. For more information, visit http://www.stopextinction.org/esd/194-esd-art.html.
A+ For Teachers at Downtown Disney Essay Contest
Students in grades 1-12 across the United States are invited to honor deserving teachers by entering the A+ For Teachers at Downtown Disney Essay Contest. All students need to do is write a brief essay about their favorite teacher that explains how the teacher has made a difference in their life. The essay must be submitted by April 15, 2011, at www.downtowndisneyhotels.com, and will be judged on its relevance to theme, creativity, originality, and the merit of the teacher’s accomplishments as outlined in the essay. Ten national winners will be chosen with each student and their teacher nominee winning a vacation package that includes free airfare for four family members to Orlando on AirTran Airways, four-day/three-night hotel accommodations at one of the Downtown Disney® Resort Area hotels, four free Walt Disney World® one-day, one-park passes, four free tickets to the DisneyQuest® indoor Interactive theme park, and complimentary breakfast at the hotel each day. For complete contest information, visit www.downtowndisneyhotels.com.
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