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Kinnaman Scholarship Fund News

Isn’t it a shame to think that the cost of higher education will prevent some would-be teachers from ever entering the field? The late NEA-Retired Vice President Jack Kinnaman thought so, and following his death in 2002, NEA-Retired picked up the  cause he championed by establishing a scholarship program in his name. Each year, deserving students pursuing degrees in education who are active in their respective state NEA Student Program chapters receive financial help through the fund. 

The stewards of the Kinnaman Scholarship have another dream—to grow the fund so that they can make the scholarships solely using investment income. 

To that end, the fund was recently placed under the umbrella of The NEA Foundation, an established 501(c)(3), which assures that all scholarship contributions are immediately acknowledged with a receipt for tax deductions purposes.

“The ultimate goal of the NEA-Retired Advisory Council is to establish a scholarship corpus from the contributions received each year,” says Al Beamish, who heads up the Advisory Council’s Kinnaman Scholarship committee. “When this goal is achieved, scholarships will be granted to worthy students utilizing only the investment earnings.” And that will ensure the long-term stability of the fund.

Your donations make a real difference in the life of a future teacher. Contributing to the fund is also a great way to recognize colleagues’ achievements or to remember friends. Contributions in the form of a check or money order made out to The NEA Foundation (please write Jack Kinnaman Fund in the memo line) are accepted year-round, and should be addressed to: NEA-Retired Office, 1201 16th Street N.W., Washington, DC  20036.


Read Across the Heartland

For one Nebraska educator, engaging kids in reading is a family affair.
The sun did not shine. It was too wet to play.

With these famous opening lines, Pat Etherton has drawn thousands of children into Dr. Seuss’s whimsical stories, donning a black, white, and red Cat in the Hat costume.

The retired Lincoln, Nebraska, teacher says she often used costumes to bring her lessons to life over her 34 years teaching elementary school. After she retired in 2004, the Lincoln Education Association invited her back to schools for NEA’s Read Across America week, an event she now participates in annually.

During the course of Read Across week each March, she reads to more than 2,000 students in elementary, middle, and high school.
For elementary school students, she passes out her collection of Dr. Seuss stuffed animals and has kids hold up the characters when they pop up in the book. With middle and high school students, Etherton reads Oh, The Places You’ll Go! and incorporates education about Dr. Seuss’s life.

“Everybody loves Dr. Seuss books; it doesn’t matter how old you are,” she said.

And just as some women pass down their wedding dress to their daughters, Etherton’s daughter and granddaughter caught on to this tradition—all three generations wore the Cat in the Hat costume last year.

This year she says she’s stocked up on Thing 1 and Thing 2 costumes. “It’s a cool experience,” she said. “I get way more than I give.”

—Ankita Rao

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