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Broward Teachers Showcase Innovative Curriculum at 16th Annual Broward Education Foundation Idea Expo

Debra Kelly Thomas, a teacher at Colbert Elementary in Hollywood, received first place for her display. Debra Kelly Thomas, a teacher at Colbert Elementary in Hollywood, received first place for her display.

Broward Education FoundationDAVIE, FL. -- More than 500 of Broward County's brightest and most creative teachers attended the 16th Annual IMPACT Idea Expo at Nova Southeastern University to share creative ideas for classroom learning projects and vie for grant money from the Broward Education Foundation, a non-profit organization that raises private funds to support public school needs.
In addition to more than 50 displays and educational workshops, the teachers enjoyed a best practices keynote address by Jacqueline Carrero, National Board Certified/2012-2013 Broward County Teacher of the Year.
The teachers' displays were particularly well done this year, according to Coco Burns, the coordinator of the event. "Needless to say, the judges had a difficult time choosing the display winners," she said.
Debra Kelly Thomas, a 3rd to 5th grade teacher at Colbert Elementary in Hollywood received the first place prize of $200 for her display, "Generating Fun with Alternative Energy"; Pamela Barreca and Vanessa Million, 5th grade teachers at Hollywood Hills Elementary won second place and $150 for their display, "Creative Canjos!"; Debra Brand, a 6th to 8th grade teacher at Sawgrass Springs Middle School in Coral Springs, took home third place and $100 for her display, "The Arts and Crafts of Storytelling"; and Yoshika Green and Jennifer Rickette, 2nd to 5th grade teachers at Chapel Trail Elementary in Pembroke Pines were awarded the fourth place prize of $50 for their display, "Let's Go Lego!"  The Teacher's Choice Award was awarded to Debi London, a 5th grade teacher at James Hunt Elementary School in Coral Springs, for her display, "Peace Love Recycle Create Relate."
The teachers who presented projects at the Expo each received $1,000 "IMPACT Disseminator" grants from the Broward Education Foundation for their willingness to share successful teaching strategies that they had designed and implemented in their classrooms.  All Broward County public and charter school educators are encouraged to apply for the grants each year.

 Pamela Barreca (l) and Vanessa Million, 5th grade teachers at Hollywood Hills Elementary, won second place and $150 for their display, “Creative Canjos!”Pamela Barreca (l) and Vanessa Million, 5th grade teachers at Hollywood Hills Elementary, won second place and $150 for their display, “Creative Canjos!” 

About the Broward Education Foundation
Established in 1983, the non-profit Broward Education Foundation (BEF) seeks private contributions to supplement the public funding schools receive.  The Foundation, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary, raises support from the private sector and charitable foundations to provide scholarships to college- or trade-bound high school graduates who have exhausted all other sources of support, grants to support innovative curriculum in the classroom and free school supplies to teachers in Title I low income schools through the Tools for Schools Broward center in Pompano Beach.

BEF was ranked as the 10th best education foundation in the nation for its effectiveness in generating and sustaining financial resources and distributing funds to students in the district, according to a 2012 study conducted by the Dewey & Associates consulting firm.  During the 2011-12 fiscal year, the Foundation contributed more than $1.7 million in scholarships, school supplies, teacher grants and other school support.

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