YSA recently awarded three 8th grade teachers with the 2006 Youth Service America Award at the 2006 Disney Teacher Awards Gala. Below is the press release which provides more about the winners and the award.
Louisiana Middle School Teachers Win the Youth Service America Award
8th Grade Team Teachers Amanda Mayeaux, Kathryn Pilcher and Monique Wild
Presented with Award for Building Community and Inspiring Readers
**Check out photos at: http://www.tricomassociates.com/disney/index.html
Anaheim, Calif. – Amanda Mayeaux, Kathryn Pilcher and Monique Wild, eighth grade team teachers at Dutchtown Middle School in Geismar, La., have won the 2006 Youth Service America Award for their service-learning program designed to improve literacy. Faced with the low literacy rates in their state, the teachers were inspired to make a difference and challenged their students – all of whom had been held back at least twice since Kindergarten – to spread the joy of literacy among their peers and to improve their own skills in the process. They received the award from Disney and Youth Service America at the 2006 Disney Teacher Awards Gala.
"We are thrilled that the Disney Teacher Awards recognizes innovative teachers who build bridges between classrooms and the needs of communities. Their program inspired us to recognize teachers who go above and beyond to connect their students with the larger world around them," said Steve Culbertson, president and chief executive officer of Youth Service America. "As these teachers have shown, learning to become a good citizen fits right alongside learning to read. It must be taught early and practiced often."
As their project, heading into its third year, has grown, the teachers and their students have connected their school with the greater community, as well as with other schools and individuals across Louisiana and beyond. Through a Web site, media outreach, advertising, community collaborations and a lot of hard work, their students have built a worldwide community of readers and seen the power that a small group of individuals can have when they work together for the greater good.
Mayeaux, Pilcher and Wild’s class consists of students who are at serious risk of dropping out of school because they have been held back twice between Kindergarten and 6th grade. To help their students transition into high school, the team developed an integrated 7th- and 8th-grade class that focuses on creating an environment that builds confident learners and leaders in their community. Over time, and with the dedication and trust of the three women, these students extend learning beyond the walls of the classroom.
"We are pleased to present this award with Youth Service America to a group of teachers who are making a difference in the lives of their students as well as within their school and community," said Terry Wick, vice president of Disney Worldwide Outreach. "This award offers all of us a chance to recognize teachers for their creativity in motivating their students to make a difference in their own communities."
Youth Service America is an international nonprofit resource center that partners with thousands of organizations committed to increasing the quality and quantity of volunteer opportunities for young people, ages 5-25, to serve locally, nationally, and globally. Founded in 1986, Youth Service America’s mission is to expand the impact of the youth service movement with communities, schools, corporations, and governments. Youth Service America envisions a global culture of engaged youth who are committed to a lifetime of service, learning, leadership and achievement. YSA organizes National & Global Youth Service Day, the largest volunteer event in the world. For more information, visit: www.YSA.org.
The Disney Teacher Awards program is part of Disney Worldwide Outreach. Disney brightens the lives of children in need around the world through global outreach programs, local community initiatives and the Disney VoluntEARS program. Last year, Disney donated more than $190 million in cash and in-kind support to worthy charities around the world. Disney VoluntEARS contributed more than 442,000 hours of service, and the company drew upon its unique magic to make wishes come true for children and families. For more information on Disney’s outreach efforts, please visit
www.disneyhand.com. For more on the Disney Teacher Awards, please visit