NEARI Awards & Grants

Meet 2025 recipient Angela Boisclair!


The NEARI Teaching Excellence Award is to recognize, reward, and promote excellence in teaching and advocacy for the profession.


All current NEARI teacher members with a minimum of three (3) years of teaching experience and membership in NEARI.


All applications must be submitted through the online application system opening Jan 8, 2024, and closing February 16, 2024. The nominaton package must include:

  1. Resume
  2. Nominee Statement (illustrating the five award criteria)
  3. Endorsement Letter(s) - up to three letters
  4. Digital Photo


The awardee will be notified by March 4, 2024.

Award Selection Committee

The NEARI awards committee will consist of officers and members of NEARI.


The NEARI awardee will receive expenses-paid travel to Washington, DC, for the NEA Foundation’s Salute to Excellence in Education Gala, to be held in February of 2025. Five awardees are selected for the Horace Mann Awards for Teaching Excellence and receive $10,000 each plus expenses- paid travel to the Gala for themselves and a guest. The NEA Member Benefits Award for Teaching Excellence recipient, selected from the five Horace Mann awardees, receives $25,000 in cash and a commemorative gift.

Nomination Package Requirements


The resume provides a brief, factual overview of the nominee's career, including positions held, degrees attained, honors received, etc. The resume may also describe personal achievements or activities that are not noted elsewhere. Two pages maximum.


The nominee's statement must be written by the nominee, as a first-person narrative. The statement should include specific examples to illustrate all five of the award criteria.


How have you grown as an educator throughout your career? Cite examples of ways you have developed your skills and/or adapted your practice over time. What strategies or methods do you use to support student learning and student success? Share a story about how your work has made a difference for a student or a group of students.


How has your involvement in the National Education Association Rhode Island contributed to your success as an educator? How would you persuade a new colleague to join or become more active in NEARI? In what other ways do you serve as an advocate for the profession and for public education? Please include examples in your statement.


How do you address issues of diversity, equity, inclusion and justice in your interactions with students? What is the result of such efforts? How does your approach to diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice affect your work? Please include examples.


How have you been intentional in engaging families and community members to support student learning and success? How do you build relationships with parents and community members? Please include examples.


What experiences or activities have been most beneficial to your professional knowledge, skills, and practice? How have you contributed to the professional development of your colleagues? How has your professional growth made a difference for your students, school and community? Please include examples.


Letters of endorsement are written by the nominee's local affiliate president, colleagues, current or former students, parents, or community members. Letters should be signed, if possible, and the salutation should address the NEARI Award Selection Committee. Up to three letters, two pages maximum each, double-spacing preferred. Letters must be submitted with all other materials.


A JPEG photo (at least 72 pixels per inch and 400KB) of the nominee should be uploaded as part of the online application. Selfies are not recommended.

By submitting this photo and application, the awardee consents to the unlimited use by NEARI, the NEA Foundation and/or the National Education Association (NEA) of his/her image in any form, including but not limited to, digital media, film, audio recording or still photography, in connection with any NEARI, Foundation and/or NEA publicity or communications effort. These efforts may include, among other things, publications, videos, and websites.

Criteria for Selection

Must be a NEARI/NEA member (including teachers, education support professionals, and higher education faculty and staff). Additionally, educators of all cultural backgrounds, ethnicities, heritages and races, gender and sexual orientations, abilities, and ideas are valued and encouraged to participate.

Nominations will be judged by the assembled awards selection committee using the following rubric:

Criteria SectionMax Value
Professional Practice15 pts
Advocacy for the Profession15 pts
Commitment To Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice10 pts
Family and Community Engagement5 pts
Leadership in Professional Development5 pts

Application is closed.


NEARI has received a Community Advocacy and Partnership Engagement (CAPE) grant from NEA. These funds are to assist local unions in forming their own Racial and Social Justice Committees and to form partnerships with local community groups to address racial and social justice needs in the school community.


Locals do not need to currently be engaged in any racial and social justice work currently to be eligible to apply.

Grant Funds

Grant amounts will be between $3800-$6000 depending on the number of locals who apply. The grant will allow a maximum of 8 locals for funding.

Recipient Requirements

Local Unions who receive grant funds will be required to do the following:

  • Create a needs assessment for the work the local RSJC plans to do
  • Develop a plan of action to meet objectives of local RSJC
  • Attend CAPE Beginning of Year Convening (late August 2024)
  • Complete Quarterly report to be submitted to NEARI and the local Union
  • Present twice during year to local Executive Board to update local on progress
  • Engage in training opportunities and NEA mico-credential programs
  • Participation in NEARI events to share the work of the local RSJC

Local Unions may use the grant funds for a variety of expenses involved in forming a local RSJ Committee including the following:

  • Stipends for Committee chairs
  • Event space
  • Event materials
  • Guest speakers
  • Curriculum materials

NEARI and the NEARI RSJC will serve in a support role and assist local RSJC partnerships in the following ways:

  • Support in completing the needs assessment
  • Connecting locals with community partners and non-profits
  • Research on best practices
  • Technical and communication support
  • Support on quarterly report
  • Space and agendas for full CAPE convenings

If you are not the local union president and are interested in applying for these grant funds, please discuss and consult with your local union president and Executive Board prior to your application. Funds will be dispensed to the local treasurer and will be dispersed from the local.

Apply today

Deadline for applications June 10, 2024

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2025 ESP of the Year

Providing support with kindness, caring, friendship, and commitment. It’s what an Education Support Professional does each day and every year we honor one among the many who exemplifies the ESP vocation.

The Education Support Professional (ESP) of the Year is a member who demonstrates outstanding accomplishments and reflects the vital role ESPs play in public education.

Nomination period is now open through July 19, 2024!

See the ESP of the Year page for details

NEA Awards & Scholarships

The NEA-Retired Jack Kinnaman Memorial Scholarship was created in memory of Jack Kinnaman, vice president and former advisory council member of NEA-Retired. In addition, Jack represented NEA-Retired on The NEA Fund for Children and Public Education, and in numerous active and retired local, state, and national association positions. He is most fondly remembered as supporting reading among younger students. Jack cared about students, especially those who were financially impacted and needed a helping hand, and it is his family's wish that the scholarships created in Jack’s honor go to such students.

Five scholarships of $3,500.00 will be awarded, and only students who have been a member of the NEA Aspiring Educators Program for at least one (1) year are eligible to apply.

Application Requirements

Applications are accepted December 1, 2023-April 15, 2024 at 5:00 p.m.

Details and further requirements here

NEA Foundation Grants and Fellowships

Envision Equity Grants enable educators to test creative new ideas and innovations, demonstrating exemplary teaching and learning, while advancing students’ cultural understanding and appreciation, anti-racism commitments, and understanding of civic engagement and democracy.

Summer 2024 now open - Deadline to apply is May 1, 2024

Educators frequently need outside resources to engage in meaningful professional development due to limited district funding.

Summer 2024 now open - Deadline to apply is May 1, 2024

The NEA Foundation believes public education should stimulate students’ curiosity and excitement about learning and help them become successful 21st-century global citizens.

Summer 2024 now open - Deadline to apply is May 1, 2024

Bring the world to your classroom!

Through the NEA Foundation Global Learning Fellowship, public school educators develop the knowledge and skills to integrate global competency into their daily classroom instruction, advocate for global competency in their schools and districts, and help students to thrive in our increasingly interconnected world. Fellows transform their classrooms to give students a global perspective.

The field study country for the 2025 cohort is Costa Rica.

Application period for the 2025 Global Learning Fellowship is open!