November is Native American Heritage Month
There are many resources available to help celebrate Native American Heritage Month and include it in lesson plans. The first stop should be our Senate Bill 13 Tribal History/Shared History page on the ODE website. It is packed with resources from the background on how the bill came about to lesson plans and professional development as well. Bookmark the page because new information is being added regularly. It represents years of collaboration with Oregon’s tribal governments in an effort to tell the entire story of Oregon’s history and the culture of today.
The National Museum of the American Indian is part of the Smithsonian network of museums and has pages dedicated to helping K-12 educators. Be sure to check out the resources dedicated to teaching more accurately and thinking more broadly about the Thanksgiving story.
Finally, we wanted to share a recent op-ed in the Oregonian written by Oregon Historical Society Executive Director Kerry Tymchuk. In the article there are links to resources OHS has created, including Experience Oregon which is the cornerstone of their museum experience.
The best part is that all of this information is available year-round. So let Native American Heritage Month be the launching point for continuing to include this perspective in classes throughout the school year!
Celebrating Oregon’s 2021 Teacher of the Year Runners-up
In addition to honoring 2021 Oregon Teacher of the Year Nicole Butler-Hooton this fall, the Oregon Department of Education, in partnership with the Oregon Lottery, is pleased to celebrate the 2021 Oregon Teacher of the Year Runners-up: Patrick Getchis from Wy’east Middle School in Hood River, James Jeffrey-West from Madison High School in Portland and Mayra Pelayo from Aiken Elementary in Ontario. These three exceptional teachers, as well as their schools, received a $2,000 cash prize!
The pivotal role of teachers has become especially evident as schools have transitioned to comprehensive distance learning in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic. Teachers have stepped up in countless, innovative ways to ensure students are safe, healthy and engaged to reach their full potential, making this a fitting opportunity to recognize their excellence throughout the state.
Anyone can nominate a teacher for Oregon Teacher of the Year! If you know an outstanding educator, nominate them today!
Oregon Gets USDA Grant for Summer Food Program for Children
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced last month the awarding of $34 million dollars to three states and the Cherokee Nation to “continue exploring ways to alleviate hunger among low-income children during the summer.” Oregon was chosen to continue its Summer Electronic Benefit Transfer for Children (Summer EBT) program.
Summer EBT provides a monthly benefit to low-income families with children on a debit-type card that can be used throughout the summer for food purchases at stores in their community. This is especially helpful in areas that don’t have traditional Summer Food Service Programs. In Oregon, while nearly 300,000 students are eligible for free or reduced-priced meals in the National School Lunch Program, only about one in eight of those students participate in the Summer Food Service Program.
According to the USDA, continuing the funding to programs has shown to be successful, allowing them to continue their projects in order to innovate and provide deeper insights into effective program operations.