“Ladora Pounds is shown receiving her Teacher of the Year Award during the Mo VFW Convention recently held in Springfield . Pictured left to right, Iris Joe Kelley, Mtn Grove VFW; Ladora Pounds, Teacher of the Year; Pat Janssen, Mo Auxiliary Americanism Chairman; Sheila Allen, Mo Auxiliary President; Nancy Cowan, Mo VFW Commander; and Jim Nail, Mo VFW Americanism Chairman. Mrs Pounds was nominated for the Smart/Maher VFW National Citizenship Education Teacher Award by the Mtn Grove VFW. The VFW Teacher of the Year award contest recognizes three exceptional teachers for their outstanding commitment to teaching Americanism and patriotism to their students. There is one award for each of these three categories – elementary, middle school and high school and Mrs Pounds was chosen to receive the award from among other elementary entries from across the state.”
The letter making her nomination read as follows:
“Mrs Pounds during her teaching career often goes out of her way to instill in her students the importance of civic duty and patriotism and to make them aware of the service and sacrifice of veterans.
While teaching at Success, Mo she had members of the Mtn Grove VFW visit at least once a year to speak to the students about their experiences. She continued that practice following her move to Mtn Grove Schools.
September 11, 2001 our country was attacked and we sent troops to Afghanistan. Mrs Pounds organized her class to collecting items to be sent to the deployed troops for Christmas. She asked the other classes at Mtn Grove Elementary to help. She contacted the Mtn Grove VFW for assistance in collecting names/addresses. The VFW packages and bears the cost of the postage. Each year since she has had her class collect items to send to troops wherever deployed and continues to partner with the VFW. She has her students write letters to go in the boxes. This tradition is ongoing with more packages sent this last Christmas season.
Veterans Day week each year she sets up a display in the hallway outside her classroom door. One table is the “Missing Man Table” and the other is items her students bring from their relatives whom are troops/veterans.
Constitution Day 2015 and she requested a member of the VFW to visit and read “America’s White Table” to all 6 kindergarten classes gathered in her classroom. The students listened intently while the book was read and then sang patriotic songs.
To prepare her students to be good productive citizens she realized that the need to be able to read is great. She brought her concerns to a member of the Mtn Grove VFW and he asked what could the VFW do to help. Brainstorming together they created a program called “Reading is First”. The purpose of the program is to help create confidence in the students and to have someone care enough to listen to them read – one on one. Many young students are from broken homes with no positive male role model and this is where the VFW comes in. The Mtn Grove VFW provides the positive male role models. Each week at least two members of the Mtn Grove VFW and one of the Auxiliary have visited her classroom and quietly listen and help the students learn to read. The program is in its third year and has shown positive results.
I summarize that LaDora Pounds has strived to make good productive citizens of her students.”
Her entry also contained five newspaper articles with accompanying photos.
The Mtn Grove VFW is grateful for the chance to work with Mrs Pounds through the years.