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Up to $5,000 for school enhancement projects

Lowe’s is asking nonprofit public K-12 schools and/or parent organizations to apply for funding to make improvements to their schools. There is usually a preference for funding requests that have a permanent impact such as facility enhancement — indoor and outdoor — as well as landscaping or clean up projects. Projects that encourage parent involvement and build stronger community spirit will be favored. But this year basic needs will also take priority.


$5,000 for teachers and school professionals to improve students’ academic achievement

The NEA Foundation is providing grants to improve the academic achievement of students in public schools and public higher education institutions in any subject area. The proposed work should engage students in critical thinking and problem solving that deepen their knowledge of standards-based subject matter. The work should also improve students’ habits of inquiry, self-directed learning, and critical reflection.

Proposals for work resulting in low-income and minority student success with honors, advanced placement, or other challenging curricula are particularly encouraged.


More than $5,000 for outstanding student volunteers

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program was created in 1995 by Prudential in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) to honor middle level and high school students for outstanding service to others at the local, state, and national level. The program aims to applaud young people who already are making a positive difference in their towns and neighborhoods, and to inspire others to think about how they might contribute to their communities.


Our Courts’ teaches civics lessons via online games

SiteofWeek090209A free computer game for teenagers created with the help of former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor has made its online debut. “Supreme Decision,” the first of several planned web-based games, went online in August as part of a project called Our Courts. In it, students can play a Supreme Court law clerk helping a justice with a tie-breaking vote over a First Amendment case. Backed by the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University and Georgetown University, the Our Courts project is designed to teach middle school students about the Constitution and the courts. O’Connor, the first woman to serve on the Supreme Court, has said more people can name an “American Idol” judge than the three branches of government. Besides teaching about civics, she hopes the Our Courts project will help students learn how to analyze problems and develop arguments. In “Supreme Decision,” students play a law clerk and must help fictional Justice Irene Waters write the majority opinion on whether a school can ban students from wearing music band T-shirts. Another game, called “Do I Have a Right,” will be released soon. In that game, students will play the director of a constitutional law firm who must decide which amendment resolves a problem posed by a client.


9/11 Survivors and Families Honor the Fallen with the Country’s First Comprehensive Curriculum


Kati Elliott or Christine Allman
9/11 Survivors and Families Honor the Fallen with the Country’s First Comprehensive Curriculum
The Sept. 11th Education Trust and SocialStudiesSchool Service come together to help students learn from the terrorist attacks
Culver City, CAAugust 31, 2009– The Sept. 11th Education Trust, a nonprofit organization representing survivors and families, and Social Studies School Service, a leading provider of materials for schools, have created the first comprehensive curriculum for students.   Teachers, parents and elected officials across the country recognize the need to fold the events of 9/11 into classroom instruction.  Now they have the tool with which to do so.
“Our goal is to help students remember the human dimension of these events,” said Anthony Gardner, Founder and Director of The September 11th Education Trust and brother of 9/11 victim Harvey Joseph Gardner III. “With this curriculum, it is now possible for students to understand the history of the 9/11 attacks as they honor and remember the victims and survivors.”
Drawing upon the educational expertise of Social Studies School Service and the Taft Institute for Government at QueensCollege, The Sept. 11th Education Program: A National Interdisciplinary Curriculum is a multimedia curriculum that can be used as independent lessons or as a yearlong course of study. It provides seven curriculum units filled with inquiry-based interactive activities tied to national standards and a multitude of primary sources, including 70 first-person interviews with survivors, victim’s family members such as Beverly Eckert, and politicians such as Rudy Giuliani, Hillary Clinton, and others.
The seven units for students in grades 6–12 include:
  1. Visualizing 9/11
  2. The Historian’s Craft: Timelines
  3. The Post-9/11 Recovery Process
  4. Designing a 9/11 Memorial
  5. Honoring Heroes
  6. Advocacy and the Role of Government
  7. U.S. National Security and 9/11
Each unit includes first person interviews with people like Howard Lutnick, Cantor Fitzgerald’s Chairman and CEO, who lost his brother and 658 employees on Sept. 11th. It also includes interview transcripts, a video timeline of the day, lesson plans, an interactive Website, student handouts and advocacy activities that focus on acts of public service and civic participation which support President Obama’s recent establishment of September 11th as a national day of public service and remembrance. A full scope and sequence is included with each unit.
Social Studies School Service is making available a free 12-minute Remembrance Video, discussion questions, and a Web forum for discussing student reactions. Visit to access more information about this curriculum and to view the free Remembrance presentation.
About The Sept. 11th Education Trust
The September 11th Education Trust, founded in September 2001 as the WTC United Family Group, is a nonprofit organization directed by 9/11 victims’ families, survivors, rescue workers, and educators nationwide.  Evolving from its genesis as the WTC United Family Group, one of the original and largest of the 9/11 community organizations, the September 11th Education Trust produces comprehensive, flexible, and engaging 9/11 and civic literacy education programs that are personalized and enriched through firsthand accounts, filmed oral histories, and authentic, primary archival materials to permanently record this shared historic event in a way that is not stagnant, but inspiring and relevant to the nation’s youth.  
About SocialStudiesSchool Service
Social Studies School Service has been a leader in educational resources since 1965, meeting the evolving needs of teachers with accessible and engaging materials aligned with national standards. Social Studies School Service also offers interactive professional development focusing on skill development to effectively increase student achievement. For more information, visit

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Junior Achievement Announces Russian Teens Winners of 2009 HP Global Business Challenge

For Immediate Release:

August 31, 2009
For More Information, Contact:
Stephanie Bell
JA Worldwide®
(719) 540-6171
Junior achievement announceS Russia winner of
2009 HP Global business challenge
Contest encourages students to apply entrepreneurial thinking.

Colorado Springs, Colo. —JA Worldwide® (Junior Achievement) today announced Team Topol-M from Russia as the winner of the HP Global Business Challenge, a worldwide competition designed to increase students’ business knowledge and skills.
JA Worldwide and HP hosted 16 students representing eight countries in São Paulo, Brazil, as the two-member teams competed on the financial field of battle in the final round of competition. Team Topol-M emerged victorious, receiving first-place honors and a cash prize of US $3,000. Second place, and a US $2,000 prize, went to Team 4 Life from Kazakhstan, with Team Phi from China placing third and receiving US $1,000. Fourth place and US $500 went to Team Intell, also from Russia; Team Adna from Azerbaijan rounded out the top five and received a US $250 prize.
Registration for the international competition began in October 2008, drawing 300 teams and nearly 1,000 student-competitors from Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Cayman Islands, China, Costa Rica, Denmark, Ecuador, Georgia, Guatemala, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Mexico, Moldova, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Turkmenistan and the United States. After two elimination rounds fueled by the entrepreneurial spirit, eight teams emerged as finalists to compete in the last round of face-to-face competition to win the title of “JA Titan of Industry.”
The 2009 HP Global Business Challenge is based on JA Titan®, Junior Achievement’s online simulation program that allows teams of high school students to act as chief executive officers of virtual manufacturing companies. The teams are prompted to make decisions that affect the profitability and sustainability of their virtual companies as they attempt to outperform their competitors in profit, sales and market share. By exercising critical economic and managerial decision-making, students get firsthand experience in the challenges of operating a successful global enterprise.
“The HP Global Business Challenge requires innovative thinking. It is JA’s most intense competition, and participants must demonstrate solid entrepreneurial skills and financial knowledge,” said Sean C. Rush, president and chief executive officer, JA Worldwide. "Through the HPGBC, Junior Achievement empowers young entrepreneurs to reach high levels of work readiness, social responsibility and technological expertise.”
“We have worked together with Junior Achievement for 14 years to host the HP Global Business Challenge, and we remain enthusiastic about the competition’s positive impact,” said Yvonne Hunt, director, Global Social Investment, HP. “HP recognizes the value and potential of partnering with Junior Achievement to encourage innovation, diversity and global collaboration among the entrepreneurs of tomorrow.”
More information on the HP Global Business Challenge is available at
About JA Worldwide® (Junior Achievement)
Junior Achievement is the world’s largest organization dedicated to inspiring and preparing young people to succeed in a global economy. Through a dedicated volunteer network, Junior Achievement provides in-school and after-school programs for students which focus on three key content areas: work readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy. Today, 131 individual area operations reach more than four million students in the United States, with an additional five million students served by operations in 123 other countries worldwide. For more information, visit

ePals, National Geographic and Airbus Help Students ‘See the Bigger Picture’ with Student Photo Contest


HERNDON, VA. (Aug. 31, 2009) – ePals, Inc., National Geographic and Airbus have teamed up to encourage students worldwide to "See the Bigger Picture" by participating in a special photo contest focusing on sustainability and biodiversity.  The deadline for photo submissions is Sept. 8, 2009.


Educators and students can find out more information about the photo contest by visiting the ePals Biodiversity Focus Area.  Through this interactive online area in the ePals Global Community, students can learn about biodiversity and the importance of conservation, while getting ideas about what to capture with their cameras.  Students also can enter the contest by logging onto


More than 1,300 students from countries all over the world have already submitted their photographs.  In the United States and Canada, students ages 6-14 are eligible to take part (in the rest of the world, the age eligibility is 6-16).


The photo contest was designed to support The Green Wave project – a United Nations initiative to educate young people about biodiversity and how to help build a more sustainable future.  "’See the Bigger Picture’ is a contest about celebrating the beautiful and diverse world we live in," said award-winning National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore.  "Through this contest, we are asking students to grab a camera and show us what biodiversity means to them."


Five grand prizewinners will be selected for an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., where they will meet Sartore and spend time at the headquarters of the National Geographic Society.


"Through the ePals Biodiversity Focus Area, students can learn how to make an immediate and real impact on conservation.  Educators can find tips, tools and lesson plans to help students understand biodiversity and sustainability efforts," said Laurence Roth, EVP of Marketing and Business Development for ePals.  "All of these resources are available for free through the ePals Global Community.  We encourage students around the world to learn more about biodiversity and apply their knowledge to their photographs."


About National Geographic

The National Geographic Society is one of the world’s largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations.  Founded in 1888 to "increase and diffuse geographic knowledge," the Society works to inspire people to care about the planet.  It reaches more than 370 million people worldwide each month through its official journal, National Geographic, and other magazines; National Geographic Channel; television documentaries; music; radio; films; books; DVDs; maps; exhibitions; live events; school publishing programs; interactive media; and merchandise. National Geographic has funded more than 9,000 scientific research, conservation and exploration projects, and supports an education program promoting geographic literacy.  For more information, visit


About The Green Wave

The Green Wave project is an ambitious outreach program established by the Convention on Biological Diversity, a United Nations treaty.  It aims to raise awareness among young people – tomorrow’s decision makers – of the importance of biodiversity.  On May 22nd each year, schools across the world will each plant a local tree species at 10 a.m. local time – uniting to send a "green wave" from east to west around the planet.  For more information, visit


About Airbus

Airbus is a leading aircraft manufacturer with the most modern, eco-efficient and comprehensive family of airliners on the market, ranging in capacity from 100 to more than 500 seats.  The largest member of the Airbus family, the 525-seat A380, is greener, cleaner, quieter, and smarter than the closest competition, setting new standards for air transport and the environment.  Spearheading research and use of advanced eco-friendly materials and alternative fuels, Airbus is a global company with design and manufacturing facilities throughout Europe as well as subsidiaries in the U.S., China, Japan, and in the Middle East.  Airbus is an EADS company.  For more information, visit


About ePals, Inc.

Founded in 1996 and merged with In2Books® in 2006, ePals offers K-12 students and teachers around the world a safe environment for building and exchanging knowledge based on protected connectivity tools, evidence-based curricula and authentic, collaborative learning experiences.  The ePals Global Community™ ( is the largest online community of K-12 learners, enabling more than half a million educators and millions of students across 200 countries and territories to safely connect, exchange ideas, and work together.  The company’s mission is to support lifelong learning through collaborative experiences that empower and inspire.  ePals is especially committed to enabling academically rigorous educational opportunities in economically disadvantaged environments worldwide through the ePals Foundation – provider of In2Books, the company’s flagship literacy e-mentoring program.


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Chicago school buses to be safer, greener

When Chicago Public Schools students return to classes next week, they’ll find their school buses have gone high-tech with newly installed remote GPS technology and in-vehicle mobile data terminals (MDTs), reports the Chicago Sun-Times. Along with a $1 million federal program that will retrofit all older buses in CPS’ 1,600-bus fleet with clean-running technology in the next several months, the changes place the nation’s third-largest school system on the cutting edge of safety and green technology. Only about 25 percent of school buses nationwide have the GPS and MDT technologies, the American School Bus Council (ASBC) estimates. "The GPS system makes your routing significantly more efficient. With Chicago’s implementing this on a large-scale basis, it should cut their mileage down considerably," said ASBC spokesman Bob Riley. "It [also] has a lot of benefits as far as safety for kids, in that the administration at the bus dispatch knows where the bus is at all times." With the MDT, drivers can input information that tracks special-needs students as they board a bus or exit, reducing the potential for such students to be left behind, mistreated, or delivered to the wrong place — as occurred last week on the first day of school in west suburban Plainfield, Ill., where a 6-year-old autistic boy was dropped off at the wrong school and found wandering alone three hours later. In providing the upgrades, CPS is bucking a national trend. Transportation has been one of the hardest hit areas as cash-strapped school districts across the country struggle to cut spending…

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