MADISON — Five organizations across the state are being named 2018 Friends of Education for their work on behalf of Wisconsin school children. State Superintendent Tony Evers will recognize the groups during his annual State of Education Address and Awards Program Sept. 20 at the Capitol in Madison.
“These organizations are transforming young lives,” Evers said. “From strengthening school and business partnerships, to advocacy for teachers and public education, to volunteering and providing financial support, they are making a difference for students and schools in their communities.”
Evers will present his Friend of Education awards to
- Boys & Girls Club of the Wausau Area;
- Metropolitan Milwaukee Alliance of Black School Educators Inc. (MMABSE);
- Rhinelander Partners in Education;
- Service League of Green Bay; and
- Wisconsin Public Education Network (WPEN).
The awards ceremony follows the noon State of Education Address in the Capitol Rotunda on Sept. 20. Wisconsin’s five 2018-19 Teachers of the Year will also be recognized. Additional information about each Friend of Education award recipient follows.
For 23 years, the Boys & Girls Club of the Wausau Area has enriched and transformed thousands of young lives. The first club house opened in 1997 with approximately 500 members. Today, the organization serves over 2,500 youth at four sites with meaningful activities such as field trips throughout the Wausau area, the Teen Cuisine cooking class, reading programs, and athletic opportunities. Support for growth and activities is through the generosity of the local community and commitment of the club’s board and staff. Receiving the award on behalf of the Boys & Girls Club of the Wausau Area will be Kim Larsen, assistant executive director, and Casey Nye, board president.
Founded in 1969, the Metropolitan Milwaukee Alliance of Black School Educators Inc. (MMABSE) is a source of support for teachers and administrators committed to the education of African-American children. MMABSE and its members work with Milwaukee Public Schools’ Black and Latino Male Achievement Department to address disparities in the lives of black and Latino young men. MMABSE retirees volunteer in schools participating in the Dr. Seuss Read Across America event. Through its annual Bowl-A-Thon, MMABSE members raise funds to provide student scholarships. The organization convenes one of the largest teacher appreciation events in Wisconsin, recognizing outstanding teachers at its Annual Teacher Gala. Receiving the award for Metropolitan Milwaukee Alliance of Black School Educators will be Patricia Kline, member; Past President Rogers Onick; and current President Darrell Williams.
Rhinelander Partners in Education is an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization focusing on strengthening the ties between local businesses and schools and providing learning opportunities inside and outside the classroom. Rhinelander Partners in Education exposes students to their community and potential careers through efforts like Careers on Wheels and Mad Money, as well as by providing guest speakers and job shadow opportunities. The organization works with local businesses, organizations, and public and private schools to make Rhinelander a better place for generations to come. Receiving the award for Rhinelander Partners in Education will be Board President Ben Meyer, Vice-President Teri Maney, and co-founder Leah Van Zile.
The Service League of Green Bay is made up of friends, activists, philanthropists, and dreamers bound by a single goal: to meet the physical, educational, and emotional needs of the children in Brown County by providing volunteerism and financial support. The Service League provides many needed resources for children and young people through child-focused efforts, such as Basics for Babies, Basic Necessities, and Teens for Independent Living. The Service League’s largest annual event is the Back-To-School store, which provides new clothes, sneakers, school supplies, and dental screenings to over 1,500 elementary school students. An additional 1,500 backpacks loaded with school supplies go to middle school children. At the Back-To-School Store, children are paired with a volunteer shopper and independently choose items they want to start their school year off right. Accepting the award on behalf of the Service League of Green Bay will be Board President Lauren Wooton and Immediate Past President Anna Burnette.
The Wisconsin Public Education Network is a loose, nonpartisan coalition of parents, community members, educators, board members, school districts, advocacy teams, and professional organizations united in the shared support and concern for the 860,000 children attending Wisconsin’s public schools. The organization’s advocacy is driven by a simple belief: that every single child in every single public school in Wisconsin deserves an equal shot at a successful future. WPEN’s grassroots efforts have members attending hearings, generating local action on education-related legislation, coordinating local-level days of action, and working with local teams to help pass school referenda. The relationship-based organizing model focuses on local-level action with statewide impact, providing thousands of Wisconsinites with the tools, credibility, and confidence needed to share their stories and concerns for public education. Accepting the award on behalf of the thousands of supporters connected under the WPEN umbrella will be Heather DuBois Bourenane, Marcia Engen, Chris Hambuch-Boyle, Jenni Hofschulte, and Melissa Prochaska.