2017 NRTA With Our Youth! Awards winners

The three winners of the 2017 NRTA With Our Youth! awards program have been announced. One of those winners is a PASR member from Snyder Chapter.

Gloria Jean Williams of the Alabama Education Retirees Association has won first place the SKIP program. Gloria will receive a $250 grant and an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C., for NRTA’s 70th Anniversary Celebration Dinner in September.

While still teaching, Gloria Jean Williams saw a need to help children whose parents were in prison and created this non-profit. The SKIP program helps stop the cycle of incarceration through education, training and mentoring for children in kindergarten through twelfth grade. The program helps with academics, social skills, behavior modification, self esteem and job skills. Volunteer mentors work with the SKIP youth and their caregivers to establish a supportive “circle” of positive relationships around every child. This program is vitally important given that more than 2.7 million children have incarcerated parent(s).

For the past five years, 750 families have been involved in the program. For the families that stayed with the program, no student dropped out of school or was imprisoned. Four students of the students will graduate from high school in May 2017, and many are will further their education and skills training or enter the military.


Kay Poeth of the Pennsylvania Association of School Retirees (Snyder County) has won second place for the Books Alive project. She will receive an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C., for NRTA’s 70th Anniversary Celebration in September.

Spreading the love of books and promoting literacy has been a lifelong mission of Kay, a retired reading specialist. The purpose of Books Alive is to spread the love of books throughout the community.

For this program, Kay delivers storytelling programs at local preschools, elementary schools, family nights, bookstores, local libraries, community events and for homeschooling groups. She uses costumes to bring the books alive, and becomes the character with all of their mannerisms as she interacts with children. It is an opportunity to serve the community through entertaining programs for children and their families. Kay’s intention also is to share ideas and storytelling techniques with the adults.


Finally, The Squaw Butte Retired Educators has won in the group category. Brenda Hansen will represent Squaw Butte at NRTA’s 70th Anniversary Celebration in Washington, D.C. in September with all
expenses covered.

This local retired educators chapter conducts a warm clothing drive for schools each year. Located in a rural district with a high poverty rate, many children who arrive at school on winter days without warm clothing or have wet socks after recess.

Each fall, the chapter solicit donations of new coats, hats, gloves, and socks from our members. School nurses then distribute the clothing to kids in need. Brenda Hansen knits at least 50 pairs of mittens each year for the program. Squaw Butte Retired Educators have run this project for seven years, and last year they donated 20 bags of clothing to four local schools.

For more on this issue, please go to the NRTA website.