Student Initiative to Be Celebrated at 2013 Bammy Awards

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Academy of Education Arts and Sciences to honor students who apply their learning to challenging global problems.

Today, the Academy of Education Arts and Sciences, comprised of 212 of the nation’s most prominent education leaders and advocates, announced that the vital role of student Initiative will be recognized with a special award to an outstanding student at the 2013 Bammy Awards. The Student Initiative Bammy Award will be presented in collaboration with Choose2Matter (, an organization that encourages students beyond standardized tests and grades by challenging them to share their talents in order to solve global problems.

To date, students have launched initiatives on problems and topics that range from

  •     building a library for a rural village in Ghana;
  •     raising money to build wells for communities without water;
  •     starting and scaling non-profit organizations to support issues in education, the environment and other social causes; and
  •     developing innovative approaches to supporting others in crisis.

Because students are at the center of the education village and student initiative can make such a profound difference in the process of teaching and learning, the Student Initiative Bammy Award was added to this year’s honors. The Student Initiative Bammy Award will be presented to a student who participates in Chose2Matter’s Quest2Matter program.

“Our young people have a way of looking at the world that gives me hope and excitement. It is a way of seeing the world that can make the pivotal difference in the outcome of our future," says Angela Maiers, founder of Choose2Matter. "Students are willing to lead the change we need to see in this world. They want to express their passions in meaningful ways. The Quest2Matter invites them to do so.”

The student identified by the Choose2Matter organization will be recognized at the black-tie, red-carpet Bammy Awards event in Washington DC on September 21, along with lifetime achievement honors to Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, professor emerita Nancy Carlsson-Paige and education stakeholders in 31 categories across the field of education.

"We have an imperative to show students that their work matters, and ultimately that they matter as a person,” says Vicki Davis, a teacher at Westwood Schools in Camilla, Georgia, and co-founder of The Flat Classroom Project. She continues, “The Quest2Matter gives them that platform of meaning, relevance, and a way to impact the world. I have students volunteering and even some former students in college who jumped in to help lead in the Quest2Matter. This isn't a program...helping kids on their quest to matter is a way of life."

About the Bammy Awards

Based on the notion that it takes a village to educate a child, the Academy identifies, recognizes and celebrates the contributions of education professionals, para-professionals and support staff across the entire field -- from teachers, principals and superintendents to school nurses, advocates, researchers, early childhood specialists, education journalists, facilities maintenance staff, special needs professionals, school board members, parents and now students. The Bammy Awards acknowledge that teachers can't educate children alone and don't do it alone. The awards aim to foster cross-discipline recognition for the vital role played by every member of the education village.

The Bammy Awards were created in response to the relentless national criticism of America's public schools while all that is right in American education is largely ignored.

Modeled on the broad scope of the Oscars, Grammys and Emmys, the Bammy Awards are presented by the Academy’s Council of Peers and Board of Governors. The Academy accepts nominations in dozens of disparate categories, selects honorees, and brings together constituents from the entire education community to recognize the honorees.

About the Academy of Education Arts and Sciences

The Academy is comprised of over 212 prominent education leaders and advocates. Members of the Academy include a profoundly eclectic cadre of persons involved in education, including Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond, professor of education at Stanford University; Diane Ravitch, former Assistant Secretary of Education; Dr. Timothy Shriver, CEO of the Special Olympics; Dr. Freeman A. Hrabowski III, president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County; Dr. Mark Ginsberg, former head of the National Association for the Education of Young Children and currently dean of the College of Education and Human Development at George Mason University; Jay Mathews, veteran education columnist at the Washington Post; Dan Domenech, executive director of the American Association of School Administrators, Gail Connnely, executive director of the National Association of Elementary School Principals, JoAnne Bartoleti, executive director of the National Association of Secondary School Principals; Donna Mazyck, executive director of the National Association of School Nurses; and Rosemarie T. Truglio, Ph.D., vice-president of research and education for Sesame Workshop.

About Choose2Matter

Choose2Matter is a global initiative that challenges people to solve problems. The initiative helps people take effective action by connecting them with curated information and mentors who can guide them in their quest to matter.

This year’s event is made possible by support from Gojo/Purell, School Health, Responsive Classroom, PBS Learning Media, TCPN, Excelligence Learning Corporation, Gryphon House, Kaplan Early Learning, GameDesk, Redleaf Press, Choose2Matter, WriteSteps, Learning ZoneXpress, ChildCare Education Institute, New Tech Network, ECE PolicyWorks, Teachers College Press and Gesell Institute of Child Development.

Nominations for 2013 close on May 15th. To submit nominations or to learn more about the Bammy Awards, go to Send emails to info(at)bammyawards(dot)org, or call 818-539-5971.

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Jeannette Bernstein