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Covington teacher named 2011 Unsung Hero | People

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Covington teacher named 2011 Unsung Hero
People, Schools
Covington teacher named 2011 Unsung Hero

COVINGTON, Ga. -- A teacher at West Newton Elementary School in Covington has been honored by the ING Unsung Heroes program.

Donna Wands received a $2,000 grant to fund "What's Cooking?", an idea that encourages students to make healthy eating choices and help their parents in the kitchen.

This year marks the 15th anniversary of the Unsung Heroes program, which honors educators who have not received due recognition for making a significant impact in their students' lives.

"ING is proud to celebrate this milestone of our Unsung Heroes program and is honored to recognize the hard work and dedication of our nation's teachers," said Brian Comer, president of public markets for ING U.S. Retirement Services. "We hope the additional funds Donna Wands was awarded through the ING Unsung Heroes program will help to sustain her program and continue to make an impact on the children she serves and her community."

Wands, a Conyers resident, uses "What's Cooking?" to teach students how to prepare simple and nutritious meals that can be eaten at different times by every member of the family. By having an active share in preparing each and every dish, the students will ideally be excited about sharing a recipe with family and friends.

Wands' students also prepare meals for a local homeless shelter as a way of helping their community.

"What's Cooking?" was selected from more than 1,400 projects nationwide. It now goes on to compete for one of the top three prizes -- an additional $5,000, $10,000 or $25,000.

Since honoring the first "unsung hero" in 1996, ING has awarded nearly $3.8 million to 1,600 educators for their innovative teaching methods, creative educational projects and ability to positively influence the children they teach.

People, Schools