recipient of the 2005 Teacher of the Year Award is Tracy Sparks, a fourth
grade teacher at the Marion Intermediate School in Shelby, North Carolina.
teaching Risk Watch lessons, Mrs. Sparks makes sure
every child knows how to test a smoke alarm, fasten a bike helmet, and
buckle a life jacket.
She also makes it a top
priority to have students bring the lessons home with them. To motivate
her students she tells her class, "We're on a mission." Mrs.
Sparks sends her student's home with different safety missions.
One mission was to locate all smoke alarms in the home and test each one. Parents
then needed to sign off saying the alarms were located and tested. As a result
of this "mission," several students reported having dead or missing
batteries. Seven students reported having no smoke alarms. As a follow-up assignment,
the students had to write a letter to their parent's explaining why they should
purchase smoke alarms. Every student in Mrs. Spark's fourth grade class now
has working smoke alarms in their home.
Watch is fun. My class never complained when I asked them to get
ready for our Risk Watch class. Often, they didn't want me to
stop the lesson when it was time to change classes.
Using the program has also helped open my eyes to hazards that I never
thought of before," said Mrs. Sparks. "Teaching Risk Watch has
also helped me learn about the many resources that are available in the
community to help students learn safety."
Tracy Sparks will receive
an expense paid trip to The 4rd Annual Risk Watch Champion Conference
in November 2005, where she was presented her award. She will also receive
a selection of NFPA educational materials.
See Mrs. Sparks Hazards
Around Our Homes lesson plan.
Photos: Student's from Mrs. Spark's 4th grade class having fun with Risk
celebrate teachers! Teachers are key to the success of NFPA’s
programs. That’s why NFPA’s “Teacher of the Year” Award
is so important. It gives teachers the recognition they
deserve for playing the lead role in making kids and their families safer.
In 1996, NFPA developed
the "Teacher of the Year" award program to recognize teachers who have demonstrated
excellence and innovation in the use of Risk Watch or Learn Not to Burn.
The award is co-sponsored by NFPA and the family of Rhea Reiss, a longtime
advocate for safety education, and wife of past NFPA Board Chair Martin Reiss. Download
the award guidelines. Stay tuned for the 2006 application.
2004 Teacher of the Year
recipient of the 2004 NFPA “Teacher of the Year” Award
is Amy Hein, a first grade teacher at the Hickory Bend Elementary
School in Glenwood, IL.
Watch objectives can be reviewed constantly, as students are
faced with safety challenges on a daily basis! I feel proud to
be a Risk Watch teacher, and realize that I am providing
my students and their families with priceless knowledge that
will help guide their decision-making throughout their lives, " said
Teacher of the Year, Amy Hein.
An educator since 1998, Amy first began teaching NFPA's Learn
Not to Burn® program before
working with the IL Champion Management Team (CMT)
to implement Risk Watch in 2001.
a certified Child Passenger Safety Technician and is adamant about providing
parents with information on the importance of child safety seats. In fact,
Amy's teachings were responsible for a documented 2003
NFPA "Save" involving one of her students. To
date, she has personally installed 98
car seats. The user rate in her classroom
has improved to 76%.
Amy's winning lesson plan on playground safety.
2003 Teacher of the Year
winner of the 2003 NFPA Teacher of the Year Award
McMullen, a third and fourth grade teacher at the Chris Akkerman Elementary
School in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Risk Watch is
the only program that I have ever encountered that
addresses "life as a child". Children have to make decisions
regarding their personal safety each and everyday. They make many
that can have ever lasting effects on their lives. Risk Watch enables
children to reflect on their choices and provide them with the
knowledge and experience
to make safe choices, said McMullen.
2002 Teacher of the Year
winner of the 2002 NFPA Teacher of the Year Award is Michele
Clayton, a first grade teacher at Leland Street Elementary School in San Pedro,
Michele has developed activities such as Sparky®
Says and the Safety Spin
for her first grade students. These innovative activities help students demonstrate
their knowledge learned from Risk Watch in a fun way. She has also developed
a Go Fish game where students identify
and select Risk Watch vocabulary and safety pictures.
2001 "Teacher of the Year"
The winner the 2001 NFPA "Teacher of the Year" Award was Connie Rowden, a second
grade teacher at Cirby School in Roseville, CA.
As one of Roseville Fire
Department's pilot teachers for Risk Watch, Connie has been teaching the
program since 1999. Her classroom is a mix of English and Spanish speaking children,
creating an added challenge. Connie works hard to ensure that the injury prevention
games and lessons she develops benefit both groups of children. The walls in her
classroom are filled with pictures of the injury prevention messages covered in
Risk Watch -- created by her students.
2000 "Teacher of the Year"
The recipient of the 2000 "NFPA Teacher of the Year" award was Michael Jordan,
a seventh and eighth grade teacher at Walt Morey Middle School in Troutdale, OR.
As one of the Gresham Fire Department's pilot teachers for the Risk Watch
program, Michael created innovative ways to teach the hard to reach age group
of seventh- and eighth-graders. He also turned students into Risk Watch
safety advocates by having them present safety skits and safety book presentations
to elementary school students.
For more information about
the NFPA "Teacher of the Year" Awards, call NFPA's Public Education division at
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