World Teacher’s Day

World Teacher’s Day Celebrates Contributions, Recognizes Challenges

“Those who know, do. Those who understand, teach.”

Aristotle

Celebrated annually on October 5th since 1994, World Teacher’s Day was created by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to commemorate the adoption of the 1966 “Recommendation Concerning the Status of Teachers.” The 1966 Recommendation set benchmarks for the rights and responsibilities of teachers as well as international guidelines for the recruitment, employment and training of teachers around the world. World Teacher’s Day has become a day to recognize and celebrate the contributions of teachers and to encourage mobilization around the challenges teachers face every day.

This year’s theme is “The right to education means the right to a qualified teacher,” chosen to reflect the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights which recognized education as one of humanity’s fundamental rights. In the 70 years since the Declaration, UNESCO has worked toward ensuring every child has access to quality education. The primary challenge to this goal is a continued worldwide shortage of teachers, most pronounced among vulnerable populations like girls, refugees and migrants, and the poor.

World Teacher’s Day is observed in over 100 countries throughout the world. Events include community celebrations that honor teachers and conferences and symposiums concerning issues facing teachers and education.

Business Voices on World Teacher’s Day

This yearly celebration, and the awareness it creates, provide an excellent opportunity for Business Voices teams to mobilize and help schools, teachers and students in their communities. Projects can be geared to help teachers as well as the schools where they work and the students they teach. The Business Voices toolkit includes charitable project ideas including school beautification days, supply drives and even using your business knowledge to coach teachers and school staff. Take advantage of this day that honors teachers around the world to create excitement and support for the teachers in your own community.

Austin Award

Beth Misner Awarded for Her Philanthropic Work with Children

This weekend, at the 7th Annual Austin Originals Benefit Concert, BNI Foundation founder Beth Misner was awarded the Community Activist Phyllis Richards Austin Icon for Children Award. The award, which is presented each year by the Austin Child Guidance Center, recognizes Mrs. Misner’s contributions to, and engagement with, the community, which have resulted in positive changes for Austin’s children.

Beth Misner, along with her husband, Ivan Misner, founded the BNI Foundation 20 years ago to support students, schools and educational organizations around the world. The BNI Foundation congratulates Mrs. Misner on this prestigious award given in recognition of her volunteerism and philanthropic spirit.

Opened in 1951, the Austin Child Guidance Center works to improve the mental health of children and their families by providing early intervention, diagnosis and treatment. In the decades since it’s establishment, The  Austin Child Guidance Center has provided treatment to more than 140,000 children and families.

BNI Manhattan Teams Up With Operation Backpack

BNI Manhattan Teams Up With Operation Backpack

In New York city, there are more than 16,000 homeless children who start each school year with no school supplies. Operation Backpack, organized by Volunteers of America, is dedicated to providing brand new backpacks with age-appropriate school supplies for children in grades 1-12. Last year Operation Backpack provided 18,000 backpacks full of school supplies to homeless children in New York.

Several BNI Manhattan members volunteered this month on to help stuff backpacks. Additionally, the BNI Manhattan 62 chapter has committed to providing 24 supply stuffed backpacks themselves. “Many of us in BNI have children and know how much it means when our kids go back to school each year with brand new supplies and a new backpack. I’m so happy that we as a BNI franchise and community of business professionals are able to support this effort, both financially and through volunteering.” said Jennifer S. Wilkov, BNI Manhattan’s Philanthropy Coordinator.

Volunteers of America is a nonprofit organization of nearly 16,000 paid, professional employees and 60,000 volunteers dedicated to helping those in need including veterans, at-risk youth, the frail elderly, men and women returning from prison, homeless individuals and families, people with disabilities, and those recovering from addictions. Learn more at voa.org.

Tax Free School Supplies

Tax Free School Supplies

This weekend many states offer sales tax free shopping on back to school items. This is the time to stock up for your school supply drives. Here are the participating states, their tax free dates and details:

Arkansas August 4 to August 5 – school supplies and clothing items priced at $100 or less.

Connecticut August 19 to August 25 – clothing and footwear priced under $100.

Florida August 3 to August 5 – school supplies at $15 or less, and clothing and footwear at $60 or less.

Iowa August 3 to August 4 – clothing and footwear priced at $100 or less.

Maryland August 12 to August 18 – clothing and footwear priced at $100 or less.

Massachusetts August 11 to August 12 – school supplies and most other purchases up to $2,500.

Missouri August 3 to August 5 – up to $50 of school supplies, clothing at $100 or less and computers priced up to $1,500.

New Mexico August 3 to August 5 – school supply items priced at $30 or less, computers up to $1,000 and clothing and footwear priced at $100 or less.

Ohio August 3 to August 5 – school supplies and books priced up to $20 and clothing priced at $75 or less.

Oklahoma August 3 to August 5 – clothing and footwear priced at $100 or less.

South Carolina August 3 to August 5 – school supplies, clothing, computers, and  home items.

Texas August 10 to August 12 – school supplies, clothing and footwear priced at $100 or less.

Virginia August 3 to August 5 – school supplies at $20 or less, and clothing and footwear at $100 or less.

Wisconsin August 3 to August 5 – clothing and school supplies up to $75 an item, computers up to $750, and computer supplies priced at $250 or less.

GTS at Ashley Park Elementary

Global Support Team Takes Ashley Park Elementary Under It’s Wing

The BNI Foundation Global Support Team had a great year with it’s sponsored school, Ashley Park Elementary! This year the team made a concerted effort to really make a difference for the students and teachers. Below are highlights of the results of the team’s hard work, time and funds invested toward Ashley Park Elementary.

  • In September the team collected school supplies and BNI HQ donated book bags for the preschool classes
  • In December they collected PJ’s for the Preschoolers
  • In February they collected belts for the students
  • In March they collected Navy colored polo shirts for the students’ uniforms
  • In April they collected Khaki pants for the uniforms
  • BNI HQ sponsored a field trip for the 5th grade class to Laser Tag as well as a stop at BNI HQ for free ice pops from “King of Pops’ and a tour of the offices and a talk with CEO Graham Weihmiller
  • In May they held a teacher appreciation for the amazing teachers that work in very difficult situations day in and day out.  The team collected money and had a Coffee truck available at the school in the teacher parking lot to offer all of the staff free specialty coffees.  There were also donuts, bagels and other yummy treats in their teacher lounge.  The staff was blown away and so appreciative of this gesture.

Congratulations to the Global Support Team for a great year sponsoring a deserving school. Keep up the good work. Check out the video below and the gallery at this link.

Business Voices in Miami-Dade

Great Year of Accomplishments for Business Voices in Miami-Dade

Summer is here, classes are over and we would like to congratulate the BNI Miami-Dade region for an exceptional year of Business Voices activity.

  • $4,200 donated by BNI Results, BNI Excellence and BNI Coral Gables chapters and the BNI Miami-Dade region
  • Presented a big check to Beth Misner at BNI Pinnacle, host of “Ask the Founder” with Ivan Misner in October 2017
  • Mrs. Stay’s 4th Grade Class inspired the creation of the Join the Club campaign
  • Invited author Norm Dominguez to Fall LT&NE in August – he is donating $1.00 per book sold to the BNI Foundation
  • Peeked the interest of dozens of teachers, and administrators, who will be engaging with our Business Voices teams forming for Fall LT&NE

Givers Gain Grant Summer 2018 Cycle

Givers Gain Grant Cycle has Begun

The Givers Gain® Grant summer cycle begins today. Twice a year the BNI Foundation awards five $1,000 grants to schools and educational organizations to help fund projects that will benefits children and students. The ideal project will enhance the classroom or learning experience and benefit the largest number of children possible.

Schools and educational organizations that wish to apply for a Givers Gain® Grant must be referred by a Business Voices team. This means that the school or organization must be affiliated with a Business Voices team. Grants are awarded by the BNI Foundation’s Board of Directors after they are reviewed by the Business Voices Advisory Council. 

Most years the summer grant cycle would be the last one of the year. Thanks to the generosity of our donors during this year’s BNI National Conference, there will be third cycle in the winter! Stay tuned for more information about this extra batch of grants this fall.

Find more information, as well as the application link, on the Givers® Gain Grant page. Good luck to all of those applying.

Austin Child Guidance Center

BNI Foundation Founder Recognized for Contribution to Children

The BNI Foundation’s very own Beth Misner has been selected as a finalist for the 7th Annual Community Activist Phyllis Richards Austin Icon for Children Award. The award is presented each year by the Austin Child Guidance Center to recognize outstanding contributions to positive change for children by exemplifying excellence through community engagement. The award winner will be announced at the 7th Annual Austin Originals Benefit Concert on August 18th. This award is given every year to two individuals in the categories of Community Activist and Community Professional for demonstrating excellence in improving outcomes for children. Beth is a finalist in the Community Activist category, for individuals dedicated to positive outcomes for children through volunteerism and/or philanthropy, along with three other nominees.

Established in 1951, the Austin Child Guidance Center works to improve the mental health of children and their families by providing early intervention, diagnosis and treatment. The Center has a multidisciplinary team of psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, family therapists and professional counselors that provide individual, family and group psychiatric and psychological services, parental education, as well as training for current and future mental health professionals. The  Austin Child Guidance Center has provided treatment to over 140,000 children and families in its more than 65 years in operation.

Congratulations to Mrs. Misner and all of the finalists for this prestigious recognition of their work with children.

National Conference Special Awards

Special Awards Presented at the BNI National Conference

At this year’s BNI National Conference in Las Vegas, four special awards were handed out to deserving executive directors from around the country.

The Ivan Misner Excellence in Giving Award was presented to Norm Dominguez, Executive Director of BNI Arizona.

The Beth Misner Leadership Award went to Shelli Howlett, Executive Director of BNI DFW, BNI Austin and BNI San Antonio.

The final award was presented to four individuals. Dawn Lyons and Mike Macedonio, Executive Directors of BNI San Francisco, and Dr. Margie Cowan and Dr. Emroy Cowan, Executive Directors of BNI Colorado all received the Alice Astrouer Philanthropy Award.

Congratulations to all of the special awards recipients and thank you for all the work you do.

Mentoring

Mentoring Benefits Children from all Backgrounds

The benefits of mentoring young people have been widely documented. Increased confidence, improved attitudes about school and learning, strengthened interpersonal relationships, reduced risk of drug use;  these are all likely outcomes when a caring and devoted adult takes on a guiding role in a child’s life. Mentoring can have a strong positive impact on development and has the potential to change a life for the better.

Mentoring has been shown to be particularly beneficial to disadvantaged children. A 2014 study by the National Mentoring Partnership found that an at-risk child who is mentored is:

  • 130% more likely to become a leader at their school
  • 81% more likely to participate in extracurricular activities
  • 78% more likely to volunteer in their community
  • 55% more likely to go to college

However, regardless of income level or available opportunities, the mentor/mentee relationship has been shown to foster intellectual, emotional and interpersonal growth.

What Makes a Good Mentor?

Being an effective mentor requires more than knowledge and experience. A mentor of children also needs patience and a fair amount of generosity. Here are some other traits that children respond to in a mentor.

Supportive – One of a mentor’s most important roles is being supportive and encouraging when the mentee is experiencing problems and obstacles in their life by listening to their concerns and reinforcing their belief in their own abilities.

Good Listener – Young children and teens often feel that adults do not listen to them in a meaningful way. A good mentor validates their mentee’s ideas and concerns with thoughtful listening.

Encouraging – Although children do not always respond well to pressure, they do respond to having high expectations set for them. Mentors should push mentees outside of their comfort zone and help them achieve goals they may have imagined were out of their reach by helping them trust their own instincts and abilities.

Business Voices and Mentoring

The BNI Foundation’s Business Voices initiative provides opportunities for mentoring school aged children to business professionals that would like to share their knowledge and experience and help children reach their potential. The Business Voices toolkit includes everything one needs to get started helping students and schools in their community including instructions on running a speed mentoring session at a local school. Speed mentoring is a group activity gives students and business leaders a taste of the mentoring relationship. Take a look at the toolkit for even more ways to become involved and make a positive impact in a student’s life.

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