California Educator

February / March 2018

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NEA Foundation Grant Winners T H R E E P R E S T I G I O U S Learning & Leadership and Student Achievement grants have been awarded to CTA members by the NEA Foundation. Sarah Garrity, California Faculty Association, San Diego State Univer- sity, $5,000. Project: Facilitate a study group at Chollas Meade Elementary School to help preschool/kindergar- ten teachers examine language and literacy practices and align planning, instruction and assessment across grade levels. Robert Medrano and Scott Smith, Torrance Teachers Association, Rich- ardson Middle School, $5,000. Project: Enrich social studies curriculum and explore important cultural sites using virtual reality field trips. Sarah Purl, South Tahoe Educa- tion Association, Bijou Community School, $5,000. Project : Better understand social-emotional needs of English learners and other stu- dents with high needs by embedding AVID elementar y strategies into daily instruction schoolwide. The NEA Foundation awards grants to NEA member educators three times a year. Application forms and a video with step-by-step instruc- tions on how to apply can be found in the Grants to Educators section of T O P A R A P H R A S E Frederick Douglass, learning to read makes you free. Students can explore that freedom with California Reads, a list of teacher-recommended books for all levels. Among them: The Name Jar, by Yangsook Choi (pre-K , kindergarten), introduces Unhei, who is newly arrived from Korea and worried that her American classmates will not be able to pronounce her name. When she tells them she will choose a name next week, they helpfully fill a jar with names for her to pick from. Unhei practices being a Suzy, Laura and Amanda, before her new friends discover her real name and its special meaning. Every Day, by David Levithan (grades 9-12), explores the complexities of iden- tity and connection. Teen protagonist "A" wakes up "every day a different body, every day a different life" — accessing the host person's memories and becoming that person for 24 hours. A has no gen- der, going by the pronoun "they." One day, in the body of Justin, A meets Justin's girlfriend Rhiannon and finds they want to be with Rhiannon forever. As Brave as You, by Jason Reynolds (grades 6-8), has city kids Genie and his big brother Ernie spending the summer with their grandparents in rural Virginia. Grandpop — blind and the bravest person Genie knows — says to become a man, you have to learn how to shoot a gun. But Ernie has no interest in learning how to shoot. Genie is left to wonder just what bravery means. See more at, and connect at #californiareads. Read Free to 10 In the Know N E W S & N O T E S

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