11/30/2012
Teacher Tribute
A Soiree Among the Stars

Need in Deed Says "Thank You!" to Teachers

Friday, November 30th was a clear and cold night, perfect for checking out the panoramic view of Philadelphia that only the 43rd Floor of the Comcast Center can provide. Need in Deed was delighted to welcome friends and supporters along with dozens of teachers representing traditional public, charter and faith-based schools from South Philadelphia to the far Northeast and everywhere in between. Guests gathered at Ralph’s Café for wine and hors d’oeuvres, meeting and mingling, as NID recognized and said thank you to all those who make our work possible.

The stars of the evening were our two My VOICE Web Award winners, Kelly Ann Coughlin and Tim Padilla. Kelly Ann teaches 8th grade at Harding Middle School in Philadelphia’s Frankford section, while Tim teaches 8th graders at Grover Washington Middle School in Olney.

Kelly Ann’s students have chosen to take on animal abuse as their service-learning issue this year. One student in particular, she writes, has been “an inspiration to me and our class for his advocacy in stopping animal abuse.” This student has rescued puppies and intervened when he saw a man beating a dog. As Kelly Ann says, “I’m just so proud of him and how he truly stands up for those animals in need, not just in his words, but in his heroic actions.” Congratulations to Kelly Ann and her students!

Tim, a second-year Network member, describes how different his experience has already been this year as opposed to last. Having chosen to study teen pregnancy, his students decided to break into single-gender groups to discuss this thorny subject. Though Tim was “slightly leery,” he trusted his students and soon found that “the conversation in both groups was more productive and engaging than any classroom discussion I have ever witnessed.” One group leader told him that “even the quietest girl in class, who NEVER speaks, contributed to the conversation.” Seeing the trust and confidence that NID work has inspired among the students and their teacher has truly inspired Tim. As he writes, “Need in Deed has created an experience for all of us unlike any other.” Tim and his students definitely deserve this award – congratulations!

One teacher, who had come as the guest of a Network member, was so inspired by Tim, Kelly Ann and other teachers that she wanted to join our Network right away! Thank you to everyone who shared the celebration, and a very special thank you to our friends at Comcast for once again being such gracious hosts and making the Teacher Soiree possible.