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Posts tagged ‘holidays’

Connecticut Teachers Share Their Winter Holiday Celebrations

How do you celebrate the holidays with your students? Here are just some of the ways CEA members and their students are having fun during the last days before December break.

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East Lyme Kindergartners Make the Holidays Brighter for Others

Thanks to the efforts of their teachers and parents, kindergarten students at Flanders Elementary School in East Lyme had the opportunity to find out how good it feels to give this holiday season. Through the Holiday Bear Project kindergarten teachers at Flanders organized their students to purchase gifts for thirteen needy children who attend another Connecticut school.

The Connecticut Education Foundation (CEF), CEA’s charitable arm, runs the Holiday Bear Project every fall to assist families who otherwise wouldn’t be able to provide holiday gifts for their children.

Kindergarten teacher Caryn Novick said her students got a lot out of participating in the Holiday Bear Project.

“As the donations came in, the kids really enjoyed watching the bags get bigger and bigger,” she said. “They were very excited to see all of the toys and clothes.”

CEA Vice President and CEF President Jeff Leake went to East Lyme to collect the wrapped donations.

“The kindergartners were excited to be part of the Holiday Bear Project and excited to be watching their packages leave,” Leake said. “It was really a great morning.”

Thank you to all the teachers and students around Connecticut who participated in the Holiday Bear Project this year and helped make the holidays brighter for over 500 children!

December Holidays Lessons & Resources

Photo by Nancy Sims via Flickr.

Photo by Nancy Sims via Flickr, CC license.

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

Resources for:

December Deals and Discounts from NEA Member Benefits

file000424352527December is here! Remember to check out NEA Member Benefits for a wide variety of deals and discounts this holiday season. Below are highlighted offers for December.

NEA Click & Save “Buy-lights” for December 2016

Spread the holiday cheer and savings, too! 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

Help a Child this Holiday Season

Winter boots, a shirt, and a book. Those items were on one young girl’s holiday wish list last year, but this girl’s parents, like so many others in Connecticut, were facing tough economic times, struggling to put food on the table, and unable to provide holiday gifts for their children.

Fortunately, the little girl had a Holiday Bear sponsor who made her holiday bright by providing her with what she asked for and so much more.

The Connecticut Education Foundation (CEF) Holiday Bear gift-giving project brings CEA members, the public, and businesses together to provide gifts to hundreds of disadvantaged public school children during the holiday season.

You and your colleagues can make a difference in the lives of hundreds of public school children throughout Connecticut this holiday season by participating in the program. Read more

Thanksgiving Lesson Plans, Activity Ideas, and Curriculum Resources

ThanksgivingCelebrate the Thanksgiving season in the classroom with lessons, quizzes, activities, games, trivia, books, and movies. NEA has compiled resources appropriate for different grade levels.

Activities for Kids Over Winter Break

SleddingWinter break is almost here, and if you have children of your own at home you may be looking for some ideas to keep them occupied. Here are just some of the events, activities, and places in Connecticut you might want to check out with your kids, grandkids, or nieces and nephews. Read more

Five Ways to Save This Holiday Season With CEA and NEA Member Benefits

snowmanAs you prepare for the holidays, don’t forget the great savings that come with CEA and NEA membership. Below are just some of the discounts you can enjoy. For complete lists, visit CEA Member Benefits and NEA Member Benefits.

Please note – you are required to sign in with your member ID to access discount information on If you don’t know your ID, you can look it up quickly here.

1. Shop online with NEA Click & Save 

For those who prefer to shop online, NEA Click & Save is a great place for one-stop shopping. This exclusive shopping service offers savings on brand name merchandise from hundreds of top retailers, online stores, and local merchants. Save on clothing, electronics, restaurants, jewelry, movie tickets, and more. Examples of current offers include 15% off Columbia Sports and New Balance, and  20% off Reebok.

2. Additional savings at outlet stores

If you’re heading to the Clinton Crossing Premium Outlets or Tanger Outlets Centers, stop by the administrative offices and show your CEA member ID to pick up a coupon booklet.

3. Magazines make great gifts

The NEA Magazine Service offers over 900 titles at up to 85% off newsstand prices with a guarantee to match the lowest prices of any magazine program available. Take advantage of special savings on The Economist, Family Circle, and children’s magazines like Phineas and Ferb, Scooby-Doo, and OWL.

4. Save on a night (or day) on the town

For those who’d prefer the gift of an experience, save on tickets to shows, movies, theme parks, and more.

The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts is offering discounted tickets for CEA members to Million Dollar Quartet. This new smash-hit musical was inspired by the famed recording session that brought together Rock ‘n’ Roll icons Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins.

Reduced price tickets are available for shows on Saturday, January 12, at 8:00 pm and Sunday, January 13, at 1:00 pm. CEA members save $6  on orchestra and front mezzanine tickets, $3.50 on rear mezzanine tickets, and $2.50 on front balcony tickets.

The order deadline is Wednesday, December 19. To order tickets, call (860) 987-6096 and identify yourself as a CEA member.

Tickets at Work offers CEA members discounted movie tickets, hotel stays, Broadway shows, theme park entrances, and more. Check out all the offers here.

5. Heading to the slopes?

CEA members receive discounts at Killington Resort and Pico Mountain, Magic Mountain Ski Area in Londonderry, VT, and Mowhawk Mountain in Cornwall, CT. Find out more here.

Help Students in Need through Holiday Bear Project

Picture of students and teachers around a Christmas tree.

Students and staff from Amity High School are one of many groups that has participated in the Holiday Bear Project — a gift program for needy students. Students purchased and wrapped their donated gifts, then delivered them to CEA. 

You can make a difference in the lives of Connecticut public school children by participating in the 2012 Holiday Bear Project, sponsored by CEA’s charitable organization, the Connecticut Education Foundation(CEF).

You can help by:

  1. Sponsoring a child by purchasing gifts.
  2. Donating money toward gifts or purchasing gift certificates.

Anyone can sponsor a child or donate money, and sponsorships and donations are accepted throughout the project. Click here for more about the Holiday Bear Project.

Checks should be made payable to CEF-Holiday Bear Project. Note in the memo line the intent of the contribution, and CEF will then use the contribution as designated. Contributions are tax-deductible.

Helping More Kids

CEA Vice President Jeff Leake, who serves as CEF president, says the program has grown over the years. More than 10,000 Connecticut public school students have benefited from the holiday program since it began in 1998.

“Every year the Holiday Bear Project brings joy to many needy children who otherwise wouldn’t receive any gifts for the holidays,” said Leake.

Student organizations at public schools across the state frequently get involved by sponsoring children and buying gifts. “It’s heartwarming to see kids helping kid — doing something special for a less-fortunate child,” said Leake. “The project teaches students about philanthropy and helps prepare them to be giving adults.”

For more information, please contact CEA Vice President/CEF President Jeff Leake at