June 2021 NCAE News Bulletin

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NCAE North Carolina Association of Educators

News Bulletin June 2021

Vol. 51, No. 10








Soon the We Public Schools Tour will be comple ng its epic adventure to all 100 coun es, but we’re not done yet! Join us as we CELEBRATE you and the great work you’re doing in our schools, as well as li up the Lovable Local Leaders who have helped students and families across the state make it safely through the school year! To RSVP for the Summer Celebra on, visit h ps://bit.ly/WHPSSummerCelebra on.

NCAE News Bulletin


The 2020-2021 School Year … We Made It Through!



June 12. If you are interested in summer learning or have an interest in getting involved in Association work, the Summer Leaders training kicks off in July, and so does the virtual NEA Representative Assembly. In addition, NEA will host a Summer Justice Learning Series over the break focused on everything from women’s issues to gender identity. And of course, we will be keeping an eye on the General Assembly as they move forward with budget talks and the passing of legislation. We will keep you abreast of updates and if any action is required. As I wrap up my first full year of leadership, I want to say Tamika Walker Kell thank you for your strength and resiliency, which has had a President profound effect on me. Stepping into this role as president already brings a unique set of perspectives and challenges but stepping into the role of navigated this pandemic. But we can president during a global pandemic find comfort in knowing that we have is an entirely different element! I “I have experienced much and have made it through to the other side as we have experienced much and have learned lots of valuable lessons cherish the memorable moments and learned lots of valuable lessons throughout this rst year, and you have connections made with students, their throughout this first year, and you helped make all of that possible.” families, and each other in spite of the have helped make all of that difficulties. possible. I am extremely grateful to Now that summer is upon us, I encourage you to get you, my NCAE family, for your support and encouraging what you need in order to prepare for the year ahead. words. Whether that be rest and rejuvenation, whether it’s To each of you I am sending hope and positive energy for celebrating new frontiers, or whether it’s taking advantage a productive 2021-22 school year. I look forward to year of learning opportunities. Whatever you choose to do, number two as Bryan and I continue to lead the NCAE is here with a wealth of options to help you organization in a direction that focuses on strengthening our accomplish it. schools and ensuring our students receive the quality If it’s something fun in which you are looking to education they deserve. participate, consider joining us for the conclusion of the Here’s to summer and all that it brings. Enjoy! We Heart Public Schools Tour statewide celebration on

As the end of the school year approaches, we should be proud of the fact we made it through one of the longest, most tumultuous, most challenging years in history. We weathered a number of storms, both personal and professional, as we

NCAE News Bulletin


Leslie Abbott: Adventurer, Photographer, Blogger and the Face Behind the W PS RV

For the past six months, the We Heart NC Public Schools Tour has crisscrossed the state highlighting educators and the great work occurring in public schools. From the mountains to the coast, thousands of miles have been logged and at every stop along the way has been what has come to be a symbol of the tour – an RV bearing the names of all 100 North Carolina counties. The RV has served as a backdrop for photos and has been featured in numerous news stories. Travelers have seen it along the state’s highways making its way to the next destination. And, it has made appearances in small towns and large cities alike, sharing a peek inside of what life is like for the citizens who live there. But, as famous as the RV has become, little has been shared about the person behind the vehicle affectionately known as “Minnie” – NCAE associate member Leslie Abbott. Described as an adventurer, photographer, and blogger, Abbott is a native North Carolinian and lifelong activist. She has been a part of the RV world since 2018, when she made the decision to leave her home in Los Angeles and 20-year career as a union rep to travel full time. “I have always been curious about pretty much everything,” said Abbott. “I enjoy talking with people and understanding who they are, how their experiences have shaped them, and what they want to do in life. I am interested in insights, ideas, and reflections, as well as the mastery people have developed to survive and thrive in the day-to-day.” Abbott said the We Heart Public Schools Tour was the perfect gig for her because it combined three of the things she loves most. Her favorite part of being a union rep was meeting members in their workplaces and learning about the

important work they do every day. Traveling, which is all about getting to experience the people, places, history, and natural beauty unique to each place. And, she was inspired by NCAE’s history and its future, and was excited about being a part of connecting and strengthening the union and communities across the state. It’s what led her to join the Association as a community ally. Prior to the tour, she volunteered full-time with the Association for six months supporting member outreach and organizing during the 2020 electoral campaign. When she started her journey, Abbott said she had no background in RVing. It was like sipping water out of a firehose. But once she hit the road, she didn’t look back. “Even though I didn’t know what ‘it’ was, I knew I was supposed to do something with the second half of my life. And the best way I figured to do that was to radically simplify my life, free my time and resources to follow all that curiosity and desire, and get out there and start doing it! I love having new experiences, including going places where I have never been. I deeply appreciate nature more and more every day. I love the eclectic people, activities and energy of big cities. And, I truly respect the daily and long-term interdependent community of small towns.” It’s all about the open road for Abbott, who has traveled to several states within the U.S. as well as to Europe, Haiti, Israel/Palestine, Peru, India, Ghana, and Morocco. Now she has almost all 100 North Carolina counties under her belt. Where is she off to next? Wherever it is, you can be sure she will follow her motto of being “here, there, and everywhere!” To read more about Abbott and her adventures, click here.

Tour photos can be found on the NCAE Flickr page.

NCAE News Bulletin


Sam Ball


hen I decided to be a part of the public education system, I knew I wanted to make a difference. Every school has its challenges, every district has its challenges, and so being at my school, I’ve been able to really understand what’s happening and why things are not working for some of our students. The people who put barriers to success in place for others are the same ones who are continuing to move us in the wrong direction — elected officials. This is why I get really fired up when we talk about politics in education. Many educators keep coming back to this idea of ‘I don’t do politics.’ But if you’re an educator, your job is political. Either you get involved or you let other people make decisions for you. And that’s where the union can help. Rodney Ellis was the first person I met at my new teacher orientation. He told me he had just stepped down as president of the North Carolina Association of Educators and had come back to teach. He also talked to me about the union and the important work it does for educators. He made a powerful impression on me. After he passed away, I started to get more involved. I truly believe the only way we’re going to make a positive impact on the country as a whole is to reshape the way the average person thinks about education and reclaim our profession. Just imagine if everybody who entered our profession went ahead and signed up to be a member. We would have everyone organized under the same banner and leverage so much more than what we already have — and that’s the power of people. We say there’s the power of money and then there’s the power of people. Right now, we need more ‘people power’ in order to make public education work. (Reprinted from NEAToday)

SLC 2021: Building Our Union and Taking Back Our State hours. Session B is the same training but will take place in the evenings. Participants only need to attend one session [participants attending Part 2 should also register for a Part 1 session of their choice]. •Session A – Tuesday-Thursday, July 20-22 via Zoom (full days) •Session B – Wednesday-Sunday, July 28-August 1 (evenings and over the weekend) via Zoom To register for the Summer Leaders Conference, click here. Know of an educator who is not a member and may be interested in participating? Have them sign up now during early enrollment so they will be eligible.

Part 2 – Take Back Our State: Tools and Skills to Lead Our Locals. Designed for elected local officers and local leaders. Session A will take place over three days during work

Part 1 – Build Our Union: Who We Are and How We Win From the Building Up. This session is designed for everyone, current building and local

leaders, interested prospective leaders, any and all members. Each session is two days long and participants only need to attend one of the four sessions. •Session A – Thursday and Friday, June 24-25 in Raleigh •Session B – Monday and Tuesday, July 12-13 in Asheville •Session C – Saturday and Sunday, July 17-18 via Zoom •Session D – Monday and Tuesday, August 2-3 via Zoom

Are you ready for Summer Leaders 2021? Mark your calendar for what is sure to be a professional development experience you don’t want to miss! The conference is open to all members and will be offered in two parts to allow more flexibility. Options will be offered in person and virtually. The content selected is geared toward helping members in their continuation to rebuild our union, take back our state, and to protect and transform North Carolina’s public schools. Here are this year’s training options:

One Team, One Goal Conference Draws Members with Interests in Instructional Strategies, Leadership, and Social/Racial Justice Last month’s “One Team, One Goal” virtual professional

learning conference drew more than 300 educators who participated in three pathways focused on instructional strategies, leadership, and social and racial justice. The conference was hosted by the NCAE Center for Instructional Advocacy. The conference began with keynote messages from NCAE President Tamika Walker Kelly and Vice President Bryan Proffitt, followed by two morning sessions. Some of the topics included “Becoming Involved in Your Local,” “Disrupting Poverty,” “Student Engagement,” and Creating Culturally Responsive Classrooms.” A Lunch-and-Learn session on Member Benefits was offered during the lunch break. Some of the afternoon sessions included “Time-Saving Tech,” “Decolonizing Our Curriculum and Abolitionist Teaching,” “Teacher Cadet,” and How to Use Picture Books in Any Grade Level.” “This was by far one of the most well-attended virtual professional development conferences the Association has hosted since the pandemic began,” said Sid Baker, member instructional leadership lead. “It was an exciting culmination of creative planning and unmatched teamwork, and the topics covered are very relevant to the work educators do every day.”

Click Here for Details


NCAE News Bulletin

NCAE News Bulletin


School Will Be in the Plans for Many Students This Summe

summer learning program that North Carolina school districts will offer to help students deal with COVID-19 learning loss. School districts must offer students at least 150 hours or 30 days of summer in-person instruction. The program is geared toward at-risk students, but attendance is voluntary and is open to all students, space permitting. State lawmakers unanimously passed the legislation requiring the program to address concerns that some students fell behind during the pandemic. The guidance adopted by the State Board lays out how districts will run the program and includes funding for a test that will be given to K-8 students who participate in the program. The new program is open to students of all grade levels. Students in kindergarten through second grade will get

instruction in reading and math. Students in third through eighth grade will receive instruction in reading, math, and science. K-8 students are also required to get a period of physical activity and at least one enrichment activity, such as sports, music, or art. High school students will receive inperson instruction in end-ofcourse subjects and an elective course. They’ll also get access to online courses to help them pass courses they failed. Students at year-round schools will have until October 1 to complete the summer program. Other students will finish the program over the summer. School districts are required to provide transportation and serve meals. Teachers will be paid extra to work in the summer program. Some teachers are eligible for a $1,200 signing bonus if they have National Board Certification or in the past received a state bonus based on their students’ reading or math test scores.


The State Board of Education has approved for the new

The Center for Social Justice is pleased to announce NEA’s Season of Justice 2021, a series of virtual engagements running between June and August designed to deepen knowledge, build connections, and engage the collective in meaningful conversations on racial and social justice. Registration for the series is currently open and the lineup kicks off on June 1. To secure access and for more information, please visit neaedjustice.org/seasonofjustice/.

Summertime Backyard Dangers Backyards were made for carefree summer days, family BBQs, and dinners al Fresca. Unfortunately, they’re also the site of many summertime injuries. Use this summer safety checklist to assess your backyard for potential hazards and make the required fixes. Here are nine hidden backyard dangers: 1. Swimming Pools 2. Fences 3. Trampolines 4. Garden Tools 5. The Grill 6. Patios & Decks 7. Weak Tree Branches 8. Pesticides 9. The Lawnmower

Support the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act


NEA Offers Season of Justice 2021

NCAE News Bulletin

Taking steps to get your backyard in shape for summer will pay off in the form of good times, sweet memories, and a family safe from needless harm. Click here for more details.

NCAE News Bulletin


New NEA Mental Health App Helps Members Deal with Stress and Anxiety

Green Ribbon Schools Two North Carolina public schools, a public schools system, and a state university are the recipients of 2021 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Awards for their efforts to reduce environmental impact, improve health and wellness, and ensure effective sustainability education. Wrightsville Beach Elementary and D.C. Virgo Preparatory Academy in New Hanover County both received Green Ribbon School Awards. The Wake County Public School System was awarded the District Sustainability Award for its district-wide efforts, and UNC Wilmington received a Postsecondary Sustainability Award for achievements at the university level. To date, 14 North Carolina schools, three school districts, and two universities have received awards. They were first given in 2012 to honor schools that exercise a comprehensive approach to creating green environments through reducing environmental impact, promoting health, and ensuring a high-quality environmental and outdoor education to prepare students with the 21st century skills and sustainability concepts needed in the growing global economy. National award recipients will be honored at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., tentatively planned for September. Click here to read highlights about North Carolina’s honorees.

8 Li le-Known Vaca on Deals for Educators (CLICK HERE!)

NEA Member Benefits now offers an important new benefit in response to members’ requests for a stress management solution. The NEA Mental Health App is designed to help members address the considerable mental health impacts of the pandemic and other stressors present in their lives. Offered in partnership with Sanvello Healthcare, the NEA Mental Health App is an evidence-based mobile app care solution created by clinical experts that enables members to access ondemand help for stress, anxiety, and depression. The Sanvello app is the #1 solution in this arena and currently has more than 3 million users nationwide. The NEA Mental Health App is available to members, spouses/domestic partners and eligible dependents* in all 50 states. The program consists of three main options, as follows: • Sanvello Free Self-Care Solution – Access to a number of tools including a Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)based “Feeling Better” guided journey to learn techniques that help with stress, anxiety, and depression. Other tools include: meditation, assessments, hope boards, goal tracking, and communities to connect anonymously with other like-minded individuals. *Must be age 13+ to use this solution. • Sanvello Premium App – Access all of the free components mentioned above, as well as enhanced tools including additional CBT-based guided journeys. Available at no cost for one month, and thereafter at a 25 percent discounted rate for direct-to-consumer subscribers (discounted cost is $6.75/ month or $40.49/year.) *Available to individuals age 18+. • Sanvello Coaching – Access to all Premium App services, plus coaches available virtually support users on their journey to feeling better through one-on-one messaging and personal support, as well as live group video sessions. Sanvello’s Coaching staff is available Monday – Friday, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Eastern Time. Direct-to-consumer subscribers to Sanvello Coaching receive a 10 percent discount at a cost of approximately $45/month or $315/year. *Available to individuals age 18+.



NEA Member Benefits is excited to provide this new mental wellness benefit offering NEA members both free and discounted services. Please visit www.neamb.com/ mentalhealth to learn more about how the NEA Mental Health App works and to sign up.

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As an eligible NEA member,* you’ve got the protection of NEA Complimentary Life Insurance, issued by The Prudential Insurance Company of America — but you should name a beneficiary to make sure your loved ones are covered. Go to neamb.com/free-tote and register your beneficiary to get this FREE tote. Or call 1-855-NEA-LIFE (632-5433) and mention offer code: TOTE BAG

Visit neamb.com/protect to learn about all the solutions available to help meet your insurance needs.


* Visit us online or call for eligibility requirements. NEA Members Insurance Trust is a registered trademark of the NEA Members Insurance Trust. NEA Complimentary Life Insurance is issued by The Prudential Insurance Company of America, Newark, NJ. 0302614-00002-00


Need insurance coverage for yourself or your family? NEA Member Bene ts can help. Visit www.neamb.com/ protect for solutions.

“Education promotes equality and lifts people out of poverty. It teaches children how to become good citizens. Education is not just for a privileged few, it is for everyone. It is a fundamental human right.” — Ban Ki-moon

Coverage you can depend on for the ones you love.



NCAE News Bulletin

NCAE News Bulletin



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for NEA Members

Dates to Remember NEA Discount Marketplace The NEA Discount Marketplace, powered by Rakuten, enables members to earn cash back when they shop and save on brand-name merchandise from more than 2,500 top retailers and online stores.* Check out the following member-exclusive deals in June at neamb.com/marketplace: •Shoes.com -- ‘Favor your feet’ for all day comfort with sneakers, sandals, and other footwear from Shoes.com. Check out the new spring arrivals and weekly deals. Free economy shipping with no minimums! •Dell -- Don’t miss the spring sales event featuring high-performance PCs, laptops, monitors, and keyboards, plus gaming and PC accessories. •Kohl’s -- Save on clothing, beauty products, jewelry, home décor and more. Get free shipping with $75 purchase. Curbside pick-up is fast and free! •Hello Fresh -- Create delicious meals with everything you need delivered to your doorstep. Your first order includes 12 free meals and free shipping. Save time and money not running to the grocery store! •Petco -- Take care of your furry and feathered friends by choosing from a great selection of highquality pet foods, health products, and accessories. Pet grooming and training services are available, too! Don’t Forget the Dads and Grads in Your Life It’s time to celebrate Dads and grads — and your favorite teachers, too! Get 20 percent off all orders from the 1800flowers family of brands, including Harry & David, Cheryl’s Gourmet Cookies, the Popcorn Factory, and more. Check out all your choices at www.neamb.com/flowers.


June 4th 5th 6th 10th 12th 13th 14th 15th 18th 20th 23rd 25th 30th

Audacity to Hope Day World Environment Day National Higher Education Day Race Unity Day World Day Against Child Labor Link Multicultural American Child Day (World) Blood Donor Day Link Worldwide Day of Giving Link National Flip Flop Day Father's Day Summer Solstice Public Service Day Take Your Dog to Work Day NEA Virtual RA Begins (through July 3)

Audiobook Appreciation Month Children's Awareness Month Great Outdoors Month National Foster a Pet Month National Iced Tea Month National Safety Month

July 4th 5th-9th 13th 15th 30th

Independence Day NCAE Summer Break (Offices Closed) National French Fries Day World Youth Skills Day National Share a Hug Day

Get Ready for Kindergarten Month National Hot Dog Month National Parks & Recreation Month National Ice Cream Month

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Positions stated in this publication do not necessarily reflect the official position of NCAE unless so identified. The NCAE News Bulletin, a journal of the Association, is published by the North Carolina Association of Educators, 700 S.Salisbury St., Raleigh, NC 27601, 1-800-662-7924.



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Linda Powell-Jones, Editor/Designer

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