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Winter-Themed Classroom Resources

Winter doesn’t officially begin until December 21, but with many schools facing their first snow day(s) this week, the season feels like it’s already here. These lessons, activities, and other resources help students develop an understanding of the mechanisms that bring about seasonal changes and how animals have adapted to them.

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6 Top Resources for Last-Minute New Year’s Travel

A New Year’s getaway can be a great way to kick-start the year before returning to school. Even if end-of-year grading and holiday preparations have kept you from making plans until December, it’s not too late.

Although New Year’s is a popular—sometimes expensive—time to travel, you can still find last-minute options for your budget by being flexible about your destination and accommodations, whether you hit the road or fly. You might even score a good money-saving deal. Just keep in mind that, at this point, you need to act swiftly when an offer appeals to you. So, don your party hat and funny glasses: Here are tips and resources from NEA Member Benefits to help you ring in the New Year away from home. Read more

CEA Backs Treasurer’s New Policy to Divest Pension Funds from Irresponsible Gun Manufacturers

CEA President Jeff Leake joined State Treasurer Shawn Wooden, AFT-Connecticut, and gun violence prevention advocates for a press conference announcing the treasurer’s new Responsible Gun Policy—a plan that includes divesting state pension funds from irresponsible gun manufacturers. Annually in Connecticut, the cost of gun violence averages $1.2 billion and claims 180 lives.

CEA President Jeff Leake (at right) says teachers applaud State Treasurer Shawn Wooden’s (fifth from right) new policy to divest state pension funds from irresponsible gun manufacturers.

The new policy aims to divest Connecticut’s pension funds for teachers and state employees from civilian firearms manufacturing companies and prohibits future investments, with flexibility to invest in gun safe technologies. It also encourages companies to adopt safe gun policies, requests financial institutions that wish to work with the Office of the Treasurer to disclose their policies on guns, and seeks to partner with and promote good corporate behavior on safe gun policies.

“Teachers applaud the treasurer for taking these steps to reduce gun violence in our communities,” said CEA President Jeff Leake. “Treasurer Wooden’s decisions involve billions in investments, and we are pleased he is choosing to use the power of those decisions to promote responsible gun policies.” Read more

Why You Should Apply for This $2,000 CEA Award for Teaching Excellence

You probably know many outstanding teachers who would qualify for the John McCormack CEA Award for Teaching Excellence. Here’s your chance to nominate one of them—or you can even nominate yourself!

Watch Wallingford teacher and 2013 McCormack Award winner Chris Stone explain the many opportunities this award has opened up to him, and find out why he encourages you to apply today!

The application does not take long, and the reward is definitely worth it—$2,000 from CEA, plus an all-expenses paid trip to the NEA Foundation’s Annual Salute to Excellence in Education Gala in Washington D.C.

Click here for forms and additional information.

John McCormack Award flier.

The application deadline for this award is January 24, 2020.


December Deals and Discounts from NEA Member Benefits

The holiday season is here! Remember to check out the savings available from NEA Member Benefits on everything from movie tickets and kids’ magazines to kitchen appliances.

NEA Click & Save “Buy-lights” for December 2019

Make holiday shopping and entertaining fun and festive! NEA Click & Save, the online discount buying service for NEA members, highlights select retailers and merchants each month. Check out these featured “Buy-lights” for December!* Read more

How Connecticut Classrooms Are Celebrating Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is almost here, and students and teachers around Connecticut are sharing what they’re thankful for.

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Showcase the Great Work in Your Local

Does your local association have a newsletter or website? We want to know about it!

The annual CEA Newsletter and Website Competition recognizes teachers and locals who promote communication with association members. The entry process is completely online and easier than ever.

Click to Enter.

The deadline for entering is February 28, and winners are recognized at the CEA Representative Assembly in May.

Watch Channel 3 Coverage of Issues Facing Connecticut Public Schools

Channel 3 hosted a panel discussion with teachers from across the state Thursday evening. (2nd row) Sheena Graham, Bridgeport; David Simon, West Hartford; CEA Secretary Stephanie Wanzer, CES; Mike Wight, Newtown; (1st row) Leigh Neumon, Cromwell; Michael McCotter, Torrington; and Kristen Record, Stratford.

Last week WFSB Channel 3 took an in-depth look at many issues facing public schools, speaking with teachers to hear firsthand how these issues affect them and their students. Watch the segments, which aired during the 5:30 and 11:00 p.m. newscasts and focus on everything from classroom safety to students’ mental health to how much teachers spend out of pocket on classroom supplies.

To inform their reporting, Channel 3 partnered with CEA and AFT Connecticut to poll teachers around Connecticut on these issues. Read the survey results here.

December Holidays Lessons & Resources

Celebrate the holiday season and learn how others celebrate with these lessons and resources for Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, New Years, and more.

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Get Rewarded for Holiday Shopping

Whether you’re shopping for holiday presents, booking your flight home for the holidays or making everyday purchases such as groceries, gas, clothes, classroom supplies or books, you can make your hard-earned dollars pay you back with customer loyalty reward program cards, apps and codes. You’ll still be buying the same items, but when you use rewards programs, you’ll get more value for the money you spend.

Incentivizing loyal customers has become a big business. Rewards program memberships have grown at a strong, steady rate. According to the data published by Colloquy, loyalty programs boasted 3.8 billion memberships in 2017.

Target your loyalty for optimal rewards

The average U.S. household belongs to 29 rewards programs but uses only 12 of them. “By spreading your shopping over that many programs, you risk diluting the rewards value you get back,” says author Jeff Berry, senior research director at Colloquy. Read more