Sunday, June 28, 2009

Learning new ways...without forgetting your culture

Educator Canisius T. Filibert likes to tell students relocating to the mainland United States from Pacific Islands in Micronesia that they don't have to forget their island culture to prosper under the public school system.

(Watch him explain the meaning of his name, because there is always a history, a family, a tradition, old or new, reflected in each of our names.)

"Learning new ways doesn't mean forgetting your old culture," says Filibert, speaking to the 1,000-plus attendees of the 2009 NEA Joint Conference on Concerns of Minorities and Women. "It means adding on."

Filibert is the program director of the Pacific Resources for Education and Learning in Honolulu, Hawaii. A native of the Republic of Palau, one of the Freely Associated States of Micronesia, Filibert has developed standards and curriculum materials for educational projects in Hawaii and in the Micronesian Islands.

"There is a cultural mismatch between Micronesians and (some) teachers," he told conferees. "One solution is (developing) an awareness of cultural attitudes."

If these walls could talk...

When schoolchildren are surrounded by dingy walls marred by dirty hand prints, countless scuff marks, and traces of pencils and markers, what does it say?

At Balboa Elementary in San Diego, it says more than just that 700 elementary age students go to school here, year round. It also speaks to the many ways that budget cuts have taken their toll on the school environment.

At this year's Outreach to Teach, more than 400 NEA volunteers--mostly Student and Retired members--set out to make sure those walls tell students that their education is important.

Fresh coats of paint and charming murals on interior and exterior walls are just part of the work that NEA, with the help of corporate sponsor Target, did to transform the school on Saturday, June 27.

Here's a look at the murals in process. The last shot shows the wall now emblazoned with the school's motto: ¡Cree! ¡Logra! ¡Triunfa! (Believe! Achieve! Triumph!). Now that's a message worthy of our nation's students.

More information on this great event here.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

We are the world: Global education summit

The 2009 Global Education Summit held this year in San Diego engaged education leaders in two of the most critical issues of our times.

The transformative global education and the vital role NEA members play in preparing future generations for an increasingly complex world.

More photos here.

This session was followed by a luncheon bringing together leaders from across the US and the world who discussed the global economic crisis and the impact this has had on education unions and public education.

The challenges are great, but so are the ideas, creativity and resourcefulness of educators across the globe.

Join, share, follow, upload and interact with us @ the RA

NEA at the RA Blog

If you're blogging from the RA, let us know -- we'll add you to our blog roll!

Follow Us @ Twitter
NEA is offering Twitter feeds that will allow you to keep track of RA events, get the inside scoop from NEA President Dennis Van Roekel, and even participate in social and community-building activities. Get updates online or on your mobile phone.

Then just be on the lookout for the latest news from NEA! The posts you’ll receive will be short (Twitter requires them to be less than 140 characters) and will usually end with the “hash tag” #neara09.

Hash tags are how Twitter organizes information, and they can be very useful. If you want to respond to a post, just enter #neara09 at the end.

When you search Twitter using that hash tag, you’ll be able to see all the posts from the NEA Twitter feeds and all the responses from delegates like you!

Join Our Flickr Group
We have a public group on the photo-sharing Web site, Flickr, where you can view scores of photos taken by other attendees and share your own.

Let's keep the community going all year long. This September, NEA will launch a social media site where NEA Pres. Dennis Van Roekel can stay in touch with RA delegates like you and hear your opinion throughout the year.

But to do that, we need your e-mail address. Just take this short survey and provide a non-work e-mail address so we can contact you when the site is ready to launch.

Inspiration for us all

Every year at the RA, a group of outstanding educators and activists are honored for their dedication, selflessness and for overcoming great obstacles as they strive to create a better world.

The NEA Human and Civil Rights Awards program honors individuals and organizations that promote peace and social and economic justice.

Who are recognizing the year?

Los Angeles, Calif., educator and civil rights activist C. Jerome Woods with the Association's Carter G. Woodson Memorial Award.

Nine young men from Wichita, Kan., all under the age of 20, created a fundraising relay team called Never Ignore, Never Forget to increase awareness and raise money to support efforts to stop genocide worldwide. NEA will honor their efforts with the presentation of the Association's SuAnne Big Crow Memorial Award.

Clara Luper, an Oklahoma City civil rights activist, author, and former high school history teacher, will be presented with the National Education Association's Rosa Parks Memorial Award.

Vida Sue Stabler, the Title VII Indian Education Program director at the Umonhon Nation Public School, is being recognized for her work to save and revitalize the culture and language of the Umonhon (Omaha) tribe.
Check out some of last years winners!

Leroy King is being honored for decades of his work to achieve social justice and a better life for working families in San Francisco. King, a leader with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and civil rights activist, will receive NEA's Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Award.

For her work in bringing attention to the plight of interned Japanese Americans, Dr. Johanna Miller Lewis, a historian from Little Rock, Ark., will receive the Ellison S. Onizuka Memorial Award.

Tampa educator, Dr. Walter L. Smith, will receive the Applegate-Dorros Peace and International Understanding Award as a result of his extensive work to bring educational opportunities and leadership to Africa, as well as his longtime work with historically Black colleges and universities in the United States.

Mary Jane Karger, a retired social worker with 31 years of experience in the Carmel Central School District in Patterson, N.Y., is being honored for her work over the last decade to make sure the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students in Patterson's public schools are safe and treated with understanding and equity.
Dr. Paul R. Hubbert and Dr. Joe L. Reed, longtime leaders of the Alabama Education Association, will each receive the H. Councill Trenholm Memorial Award.

The Trenholm awards are given annually to recipients, one White and the other African-American, who have expanded educational opportunities for minority students and educators, and improved intergroup relations in public schools.

The National Education Association will posthumously present the Association's César Chávez Acción y Compromiso Human and Civil Rights Award to Ah Quon McElrath of Hawaii.

McElrath was born the sixth of seven children of Chinese immigrant parents in Iwilei, Hawaii, on December 15, 1915. From her childhood years until her death 93 years later in 2008, McElrath was always interested in the welfare of others. Much of her adult life was spent as a social worker for the International Longshoremen's and Warehouse Union (ILWU).

Find out more about these outstanding lives.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

2009 Theme: Hope Starts Here

What is the Representative Assembly? Who will be there? What is on the agenda?

Everything you need to know and more you can find it here at our RA page.

Have a very RA 4th of July

If you have ever been to an RA on the 4th of July, you will surely remember the color, the fun, the creativity... Here are some pictures from last year. Check them out!

(Click on the image first image to see more)

How could we forget 2008...

It is amazing what can happen in a year... it only seems like yesterday when Barack Obama was a candidate asking NEA for their support. First in Philadelphia, and a year later in Washington DC via satellite...

Watch the full address here.

Were you there? Tells us what is was like!