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WEA Trust to Award Verona Teacher $2,500

March 31, 2014          

For Immediate Release
Telephone: Steve Lyons
(608) 258-7131

MADISON, Wisconsin – As part of its inaugural Forward Together Award, the WEA Trust will award Sugar Creek Elementary School teacher Kyle Walsh for his literacy-based “If You Want to be a Reader” music video project. The Trust will present Verona Area School District with a $2,500 check at Monday’s school board meeting.

“We aren’t simply making a music video to show students reading; it goes well beyond that,” wrote Walsh in his Forward Together Award entry. “The music video will be a celebration of literacy practice, community involvement and collaboration in the great state of Wisconsin.”

Walsh’s “If You Want to be a Reader” initiative will showcase Wisconsin’s commitment to using innovative, engaging, and caring practices to help students succeed. By filming a music video featuring UW student-athletes and other community members reading with Sugar Creek students, Walsh will highlight the importance of community in education.  Additionally, Walsh will reinforce the concept that learning extends beyond the classroom with the purchase of a “Little Free Library.”

The WEA Trust created the Forward Together Award to reward innovation in Wisconsin education and to complement the theme of the 2014 State Education Convention, “Forward Together.” Throughout January, teachers and administrators from around the state nominated school projects that demonstrated drive, vision, and passion. The Trust received over 150 submissions, which were reviewed by a panel of judges including:

Julie Underwood – Dean of the UW-Madison School of Education
Michael Thompson – Deputy State Superintendent, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
Woody Wiedenhoeft – Executive Director of the Wisconsin Association of School Business Officials

The “If You Want to be a Reader” project was one of three Forward Together Award winners chosen by the selection committee. The other winners include Southern Door County School District’s literacy project and Juda High School’s alternative energy project.