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June 19, 2013 at 11:51 AM EDT
NEA HIN Launches New School Safety Fund
Jerald L. Newberry School Safety Fund to Help Educators

WASHINGTON, June 19, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new fund will strengthen the ability of a national nonprofit to deliver school safety programs and services directly to educators.

The Jerald L. Newberry School Safety Fund of the NEA Health Information Network (NEA HIN) brings together financial resources to fund efforts that meet priority school safety needs of educators.  Programs will include training in emergency preparedness, real-time crisis management support, training about how to improve indoor environmental quality, and programs that advance safe and respectful school cultures. 

Like its namesake, the Jerald L. Newberry School Safety Fund has a keen focus on how best to support educators in tackling safety issues in their schools.  NEA HIN Executive Director Jerald (Jerry) Newberry, who is retiring after 17 years of service, has been a pioneer in school safety.

Dr. Cary Sennett, NEA HIN Board President, called the new fund a vital step towards achieving NEA HIN's goal of safe schools.  "NEA members—and parents across the country—want and deserve safe and healthy schools for their students and children.  Throughout his years of service, Jerry Newberry has worked tirelessly toward that goal," said Sennett.  "It is fitting the Fund is named after him and will continue his work.  NEA HIN looks forward to collaborating with diverse partners to move this critical work forward."

National Education Association President Dennis Van Roekel pointed out that NEA HIN's dedication to enhancing school safety complements the Association's mission to create great public schools.  "For every student to succeed, we each must play a role in that success," said Van Roekel.  "NEA HIN's work to create safe schools is an important contribution to meeting the needs of the whole child and to ensuring that students get the support they deserve."

Founding sponsors of the Fund include the National Education Association; IMPAQ International, LLC; NEA Member Benefits; and the NEA Foundation. The Fund is also supported by individuals and begins with a base of over $50,000.

Newberry expressed gratitude for the honor, but stressed that more had to be done in the field of school safety.  "Kids can't learn if they are hungry, or sick, or afraid," Newberry said.  "As we learn more about the vulnerability of children to social forces and environmental factors, it is clear that NEA HIN's work is essential.  Teachers and educators are eager to receive quality training and information that can help their students and improve their schools.  The goal of this Fund is to grow and bring together many partners to meet these real classroom needs."

NEA HIN has a long-standing commitment to safe schools.  Since the 1999 shooting tragedy at Colorado's Columbine High School, NEA HIN has filled an important need by providing to NEA local leaders and members guidance on school emergency preparedness and crisis management.  It made available an online crisis guide used by educators nationwide and promoted by organizations such as the National Association of School Nurses, the Learning First Alliance, and the American School Health Association.  In the past six years, NEA HIN has provided crisis support to NEA affiliates in over 100 incidents.

Working with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, NEA HIN also has provided training and materials to over 2,300 educators on how to improve school building conditions such as indoor air quality, with attention to triggers of asthma, a top cause of student absenteeism.

In partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, NEA HIN has reached millions of educators with information about how to prevent and manage food allergy reactions, a potential life-threatening emergency for students, whether in a classroom, in a cafeteria, or on a school bus.

Newberry is a graduate Emory and Henry College and received his Masters in Education from George Mason University.  Newberry taught middle school in Fairfax County, Virginia, and then directed the Fairfax County Public School's Health and Family Life Education program, reaching 185,000 students and 14,000 educators.  Over his tenure as NEA HIN Executive Director, Newberry helped raised more than $34 million, enabling NEA HIN to develop and implement programs to improve student and educator health, to address crisis needs, and to advance school safety.    

The NEA Health Information Network (NEA HIN) is a non-profit health and safety organization closely aligned with the National Education Association (NEA). The "go to" place on issues of health and safety, the NEA HIN advances information, programs, services, and policies that improve the health and safety of NEA members and the students they serve. NEA HIN works with NEA and NEA affiliates to provide school communities with vital and timely information that supports successful learning environments and student achievement. NEA HIN receives support through NEA, corporations, foundations, associations, and individual donors.

The National Education Association is the nation's largest professional employee organization, representing more than 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators, and students preparing to become teachers.

The Jerald L. Newberry School Safety Fund is dedicated to creating safe school environments so that every student can learn and thrive.  The Fund supports the delivery of expert information and technical assistance to National Education Association members on matters relating to the safety of students and educators and to the learning and working conditions of schools. Donations to the Fund are tax deductible.  Donate online at

CONTACT: Zak Kolsky 

SOURCE NEA Health Information Network

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