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Southern Door Bus Driver Wins $2,500 Grant

February 21, 2014          

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

MADISON, Wisconsin – As part of its inaugural Forward Together Award, the WEA Trust awarded Southern Door County School District’s bus driver Ted Chaudoir a $2,500 grant to support his “Books for the Bus” reading initiative.

“What started as an attempt to manage student behavior on the bus exploded into a contribution of literacy within the Southern Door community,” said Superintendent Patricia Vickman and K-12 Reading Specialist Melissa Bousley in their nomination of Ted’s project.  “Ted Chaudoir is a child-centered support staff person who decided to make a difference. He believes that a child’s education begins the minute they step onto the bus in the morning until the minute they step off at night.”

When a child boards Chadoir’s bus, they are encouraged to choose a book from his collection and read it for the duration of the ride. Chaudoir also challenges fourth and fifth grade students to assist preschool riders, creating a caring, mentoring environment on the bus. WEA Trust’s $2,500 award money will fund new books and book seat covers.

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

Southern Door’s “Books for the Bus” campaign was one of three Forward Together Award winners chosen by the selection committee. The other winners include Verona Area School District’s literacy project and Juda High School’s alternative energy project.