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Cleveland teacher wins ‘Unsung Heroes’ award

WINDSOR, CONN. — Voya Financial, Inc., a provider of retirement plans for educators, announced that Lynn Bradley, a teacher at Cleveland Elementary School has received a $2,000 grant as part of the company’s 2016 Voya Unsung Heroes awards competition.

Through the Voya Unsung Heroes program, Voya Financial awards grants to K-12 educators nationwide to honor their innovative teaching methods, creative educational projects, and their ability to positively influence the children they teach. This year marks the program’s 20th anniversary. Since 1996, it has awarded nearly $5 million in grants to more than 2,000 educators across the United States.

“At Voya, we not only have the privilege of helping teachers plan for their retirement, we also have this unique opportunity to help them dream big in the classroom and inspire their students to do the same,” said Heather Lavallee, president of tax-exempt markets at Voya Financial. “We are proud to recognize those exceptional teachers who work every day to raise the bar of their profession and find new ways to spark a love of learning. As we help Americans plan, invest and protect their savings to build a secure financial future, we’re honored to help Lynn Bradley go above and beyond to prepare her students for their own bright future.”

Bradley’s innovative teaching idea, “Augment Our Reality,” is focused on helping beginning and at-risk students improve their literacy and math skills. Students involved in the program will be able to perform at their respective grade level while mastering the basics to succeed in subsequent grades. Using augmented reality, a technology enriching the real world with digital information and media, the students will engage in an exciting and interactive classroom environment. Students will experience an educational setting full of ongoing excitement, as they incorporate hands-on and experiential materials into their classwork.

The goal is that students will see dramatic improvements in their literacy skills, ultimately with many significantly increasing their reading and math ability.

Selected from a group of more than 1,350 applicants, Bradley is one of 100 winners across the country who will receive this award to help fund and bring her program to life. In addition she will now compete with other finalists for one of the top three prizes — an additional $5,000, $10,000 or $25,000 from Voya Financial.

To learn more about this year’s winning projects, as well as those from previous years, visit unsungheroes.com. Applications for the 2017 Voya Unsung Heroes awards are currently being accepted through the website until April 30, 2017.

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