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Lahaina educator recognized for innovative teaching program

September 6, 2012
Lahaina News

LAHAINA - Nancy Young, an Arts Pathway teacher at Lahainaluna High School, was recently awarded a $2,000 ING Unsung Heroes grant to fund her innovative idea and bring it to life.

Young submitted her program, "iPad Art History," in the 2012 ING Unsung Heroes competition.

"I waited for months to hear back on this grant, and I was excited to receive it and to know that only 100 are given out nationwide, and to know I'm still in the running for one of the top three grants," Young said.

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Her program is designed to help students create their own art history webpages using Apple iPad technology.

"I have four iPads right now. The grant will allow me to buy three more. I'd like to find funding to get at least 15 iPads, but we'll begin with the seven," she said.

"I have an art history website with over 100 artists already, and this year's students will make that website grow with more artists."

Students will be assigned an artist, art period or style to use as the focus for their individual webpages. They will research the subject and write a brief biography or history, including links to vocabulary-related material.

The design of the web pages must reflect the mood and sensibility of the artists they are representing.

The individual webpages will be compiled into a central website. Students will then explore the website and choose several images to create an "art history mash-up," using Photoshop to incorporate works by various artists.

Students will also have an opportunity to collaborate and critique each other's work. The goal of the project is to strengthen the visual arts department by using Apple iPad technology to spur integration and collaboration between students studying painting and drawing and students studying digital media.

"I have had my classes create webpages for an art history site for the past two years. Each student makes a page about an artist, and I put them all together into a big website... then students explore and use this website," Young explained.

"I thought it would be great if not only my digital media students would be using this site but the art and ceramics students as well. I can make this happen with iPads that the art students who have no computers in their room can borrow."

According to the company, by receiving the Unsung Heroes award, Young is recognized as an innovative educator in the U.S.

She is one of only 100 winners across the country. Young will now compete with other winners for one of the top three prizes: an additional $5,000, $10,000 or $25,000.

The ING Unsung Heroes program strives to uplift, inspire and honor educators who are making a significant impact on their students and the educational experience in the classroom.

According to ING, winning programs over the years have exemplified teachers who utilize innovative and engaging teaching methods and techniques to improve learning for America's students.

Young said iPads are very useful in her classroom.

"I have selected a number of art apps for the four iPads I already have. I want my students to use these to create art, edit photographs, create video stories and animations," she said.

"iPads are terrific for drawing and painting digitally and for working with photos. They are quickly becoming a professional tool in the arts and communication field. They are direct and engaging, and I am excited to have the chance to have students dive into their possibilities."

The teachers are called "Unsung Heroes" because many educators are often under-appreciated, underpaid and unrecognized, the firm noted.

The 2012 ING Unsung Heroes winners were selected from a group of more than 1,300 applications.

Young encourages teachers to apply.

"This is a grant that other teachers should apply for by going to the ING corporation and looking for the Unsung Heroes Award grants," she said.

"Not only do we need to be innovative, but we need to look for funding sources in the wider world."

To learn more about this year's winning projects, visit

"ING is proud of the hard work and dedication of all of our nation's teachers," said Maliz Beams, CEO of ING U.S. Retirement Services.

"It is a privilege to invest in the innovative ideas of educators across the United States who are preparing our children for the future. We hope the additional funds Nancy Young is awarded through ING Unsung Heroes will help sustain her program and continue to make an impact on the children in her community."



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