Amherst-Pelham teachers win NEA grant

Valerie Penniman, a classroom teacher from Wildwood Elementary School in Amherst, has been selected to receive a $5,000 Learning and Leadership grant from the National Education Association Foundation.

Penniman's partners in this project are fellow teachers Amy Jackendoff, Ann Kieser, Rebecca Keenan, Susan Radtke, Susan Secco and Gina Simm and Wildwood principal, Mark Prince. The grant will fund the team's project in exploring ways to differentiate reading instruction to increase student achievement and to make presentations to other district staff about their findings.

NEA Foundation Learning and Leadership grants are intended to provide local educators opportunities to participate in high-quality professional development. Those receiving these unique national grants are expected to share what they learn with local colleagues in order to improve teaching practices and curriculum development, and to enhance student achievement.

Eleven NEA Foundation Learning and Leadership grants in amounts ranging from $2,000 to $5,000 are awarded annually.

The NEA Foundation was created by the National Education Association in 1969 and is sustained by an annual $1 contribution from each of NEA's 2.8 million members as well as contributions from corporate sponsors.

The NEA Foundation's Learning & Leadership Grants are funded in part by a $1.3 million contribution from the Staples Recycle for Education program.

To learn more about this NEA Foundation Learning and Leadership grant recipients, contact Penniman at the Wildwood Elementary School, 71 Strong St., Amherst, MA 01002 or call her at 413-362-1400.

The NEA Foundation Web site is