For the past 17 years, the ING Unsung Heroes® program has honored educators across the country who work tirelessly – and often without much recognition – to make a lifelong impact in the classroom for their students. Winning programs over the years have provided outstanding educators the opportunity to bring to life their innovative and engaging teaching methods and ideas for their students. Many teachers develop new educational methods and creative programs, but run up against the wall of limited funding. Through the ING Unsung Heroes program, ING U.S. has recognized and helped fund these great ideas for nearly 20 years, ultimately helping to improve learning for America’s K-12 students.
One of the winning programs in the 2013 ING Unsung Heroes competition was submitted by Sheri Sims, a science teacher at East Clarendon Middle High in Turbeville. She is going back to school with a $2,000 ING Unsung Heroes grant. By receiving the ING Unsung Heroes award, Sims is recognized as one of the nation’s most innovative educators. She is one of only 100 winners across the country who is receiving a $2,000 award to help fund “Another Look”, her creative idea and bring it to life. She will now compete with other winners for one of the top three prizes — an additional $5,000, $10,000 or $25,000 from ING U.S.
“Another Look”, Sims’ winning program idea, will involve students taking meaningful pictures and videos to bring science topics to life. Each month, following the exploration of a broad science topic, students will be allowed to check out a digital camera, video recorder, or Apple iPad to take pictures of science in action in their homes and community. Coupled with taking field trips around the community, students will be able to explore topics such as biodiversity, geologic processes, and applications of chemistry or physics. This interdisciplinary project will help students connect science, math, language arts, fine arts and social studies. It also will help increase student knowledge of important science terms and increase their experience using digital media. Sims, who lives in Lake City, hopes the use of pictures and video will add meaning, emotion, and impact to the subject being explored and will personalize learning, clarify it and add depth for each student.
“ING U.S. is honored to salute these outstanding teachers for their innovative ideas and dedication to America’s youth,” said Jamie Ohl, president of Tax-Exempt Markets for ING U.S. Retirement Solutions.
“Each day, we help individuals prepare for a secure financial future, and we are proud to help these men and women who prepare students for their future. With this grant Sheri Sims is receiving through our ING Unsung Heroes program, her project can continue making an impact on the children she serves.”
ING U.S., a leading provider of retirement plans and programs for teachers, began the ING Unsung Heroes program in 1996 to demonstrate the company’s commitment to the education community. Over the years, the program has awarded more than $4 million to 1,800 kindergarten through 12th- grade educators for their innovative teaching methods, creative educational projects, and ability to positively influence the children they teach.
The 2013 ING Unsung Heroes winners were selected from a group of nearly 1,300 applications. To learn more about this year’s winning projects, as well as those from previous years, visit the ING Unsung Heroes website. More information about the program can also be found on the ING Unsung Heroes Facebook page where people can like and share the page to encourage more educators to apply. Applications for the 2014 ING Unsung Heroes awards are currently being accepted through the website.