Monday morning news roundup

Families are encouraged to give thanks to teachers and school staff members during American Education Week activities this week.

Events are taking place throughout Idaho today through Friday.

TeacherResources“Please join me in expressing gratitude to those who have made educating our children a priority,” Idaho Education Association President Penny Cyr said in a news release.

Activities vary from school to school and district to district, but IEA leaders said educators will appreciate support from the community.

On Tuesday, parents and family members are encouraged to observe a portion of their children’s classes, while bus drivers, cafeteria workers, secretaries and custodial staff will be recognized Wednesday. To wrap up the week, substitute teachers will be honored on Friday.

“I encourage all public education stakeholders to use American Education Week as an opportunity to thank those who have made education their life’s work, assess the current state of public education in Idaho and chart a course of improvement that will prepare the next generation of students for the challenges and opportunities that they will face,” Cyr said.

Idaho Power grants available

Idaho Power officials are looking to reward schools and nonprofit organizations with grants worth up to $1,500.

Educators and nonprofit leaders have until Jan. 17 to apply for the Powering Tomorrow Grants through Idaho Power’s Facebook page.

Schools and organizations located within the utility’s southern Idaho service area are eligible to apply.

Factors considered in the grant process include whether the applicant will be able to reach a large number of children or adults and if the proposal has the potential to create long-term positive effects.

Facebook votes via the Idaho Power page will also be a factor.

Last year, Idaho Power awarded 33 of the grants.

Book drive underway

All Boise and Meridian public schools are accepting donations of new books for the Operation Wish Book campaign, which runs through Friday.

The 20-year-old campaign is designed to provide children who cannot afford books with new books.

In December all of the donate books will be distributed to children in need through the Salvation Army.

Several Ada County charter schools and local businesses will also collect new books this week. For more information, call Lucy Leavell at 870-0254.

Idaho Falls celebrates new school

Idaho Falls School District employees and community leaders are celebrating the grand opening of Dora Erickson Elementary.

Idaho Falls School DistrictThe new school was built as part of a project to replace four of the eastern Idaho school district’s oldest elementary schools.

At 10:30 a.m. today students, educators and community leaders will participate in a ribbon-cutting ceremony, while a community open house is set to run from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. tonight.

Tours of the new school will be available during tonight’s open house.

New education partnership

Northwest Professional Educators (NWPE), a state chapter of the Association of American Educators (AAE) serving Idaho educators, and TeachIdaho, a nonprofit organization founded to provide professional development opportunities for educators, have agreed to a partnership.

Through the partnership, members of both TeachIdaho and NWPE will be provided with opportunities to join each other’s organizations and benefit from their various services.  Both organizations provide professional development, such as workshops, classes, print and online publications disseminating research, education reform news and teacher resources, mentoring, and networking.  The organizations also highlight teacher achievements.   In addition, NWPE provides educators with grants and scholarships as well as liability insurance and legal coverage for employment rights issues.

Visit www.nwpe.org or www.teachidaho.org more information.

Celebrate the anniversary of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address

A national dedication ceremony marking the 150th anniversary of President Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address will be broadcast live over the Internet2 network to colleges and universities, K-12 schools, public libraries and museums nationwide. Follow this link to watch the live web stream, which starts at 7:30 a.m. MST, or view the program archive.

Pulitzer Prize-winning historian James McPherson will speak at the event, which also features U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett, and a reading of the Gettysburg Address by Lincoln portrayer James Getty. In addition, 16 people will take the Oath of Allegiance to the United States and become U.S. citizens.

Following the official ceremony, Idaho’s Coeur d’Alene Charter Academy and six other K-12 schools and public libraries from around the country will connect with park rangers from Gettysburg National Military Park over interactive videoconferencing to discuss the battle of Gettysburg and the meaning of the Gettysburg Address.

The event, web stream and interactive videoconferencing are made possible by the Idaho Education Network the National Park Service and Internet2.

Follow this link for more information on the event.