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Briefs: STEM grant, choose a book

Funding from a teachers union, a foundation and a utility will provide $400,000 to help train teachers in science, technology, engineering and math, Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia announced Tuesday.

The National Education Association is providing $200,000, with $150,000 coming from the Morgridge Family Foundation and $50,000 from Xcel Energy. The money will go to the New Jersey Center for Teaching and Learning for expansion of its STEM training programs into Colorado.

The NEA hopes to raise $1.5 million for expansion of the program to other states. Colorado is the first state to participate in the program.

The announcement was made at Northglenn High School, which is transitioning into a STEM school.

Help choose the book

The One Book 4 Colorado campaign has launched its selection process for the children’s book that will be a focus of efforts to increase student reading this year.

Members of the public are invited to visit the campaign’s website and vote for a book. The choices are: “Duck on a Bike” by David Shannon, “Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale” by Mo Willems and “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom” by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault.

The website also has videos of Colorado celebrities, including Gov. John Hickenlooper and Olympic medalist Missy Franklin, reading excerpts in English and Spanish.

The public can vote on the books through Jan. 31. The winning title will be announced May 6 after the group’s steering committee weighs public comment and recommendations from educators and participating groups.

More than 70,000 copies of the 2013 book will be distributed to children across Colorado at local library events, during Reach Out and Read clinics and at doctors’ offices, and through participating preschools. The book will be available in English and Spanish and will be accessible to children with special needs.

Legacy Foundation calls for entries

The Colorado Legacy Foundation has launched its Ignite Innovation Challenge, a contest that invites Colorado educators to submit video entries that answer the question, “How are you dramatically personalizing learning?”

Entries may be submitted over the next 32 days, and there will be cash prizes for the three top winners as decided by a panel of judges. Go here to learn more and submit your entry.

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