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Educator of the Month

Each month, Anna’s Friends selects a parent or educator (in public, private, Christian or homeschools) as the Educator of the Month. If you would like to nominate someone, message me via facebook or email me: [email protected] There are no criteria other than someone that has a dedication towards helping children (whether their own or who are under their care as an educator) become all that God intended. We implemented this fun program in July 2018 and would like to continue it moving forward.

Previous Educator’s of the Month:

June 2019: Janice DiCarlantonio, HoneyUrHome Real Estate Team

Janice has twin girls, nine-years old.  She and husband Ernesto, have been a homeschooling family since the beginning…about 4-ish years.  She states, “Before we were married, my husband came to me with the idea of homeschooling…I was appalled and thought NO WAY!  I mean REALLY WHO HOMESCHOOLS?  I went to public schools and I turned out fine…I have a Bachelor degree in Engineering.  We laugh about those moments now.  Homeschooling is not about the education you give your children….that is just the medium that God uses to bring families together in ways that are simply not possible in any other way.  I found that I truly had a relationship with Jesus when I found myself at homeschool convention after homeschool convention (I was attending before I was homeschooling) face to face with other Mom’s who were willing to pour out in me and they believed in me.  They did this because they believed in Jesus not because I am some super awesome person, but because I am a child of God.  That genuine heart is what seeped into my own heart and because of that I have more peace in my homeschool than I ever have before.  Is it perfect?  Am I doing anything different?  Is it a new fangled curriculum?  Is it a new homeschool room?  No, it’s just knowing that if I listen closely I will be guided by the Holy Spirit to say the right things to pick the best books or curriculum, to organize the school room, to know that I just need to relax and enjoy the time I have been given to home school.  I am a lucky Momma…I GET TO HOME SCHOOL!!!

April 2019: Jerome Elam, CEO of Trafficking in America Task Force, Inc.

Jerome Elam is one of those dads! When I first met Jerome’s family it was easy to see that he was a good father. His dedication to his children (and children everywhere) is exemplary. When you are around this dad with his children, it is easy to see that his children trust him, respect him, and love him. They are carefree and happy, just as children should be. I asked Jerome once, “Do you like being a dad?” His response was immediate, and brought tears to my eyes and a warmth to me heart that is always present when I am with his family. Jerome’s eyes lit up at the question and more so when he answered, “There’s nothing I’d rather do than be a father.” Given his background, I didn’t expect this enthusiasm. As a survivor – he’s more of an over-comer – of child sex-trafficking, Jerome has taken the tragic abuse he endured as a child and turned it into a blessing. He travels the world educating about the modern epidemic of human trafficking, all the while, being a dad to his beautiful children, educating them about the goodness of life.

February 2019: Brendon Journey, CEO of Legacy of Hope International

Brendon Journey is the CEO of Legacy of Hope International. After several years of friendship, serving as a volunteer, and fundraising in Florida, Bren traveled to Cambodia to learn more. Her heart’s desire is for all to know there is hope from depression, oppression, and abuse. While learning from and serving survivors of trafficking here in the States and abroad, she realized how connected the world was. Brendon, with the help of others, developed one of the first kid friendly notebook curriculum’s to prevent Human Trafficking in Cambodia. The curriculum continues to grow and expand as fellow workers share their wisdom and update as needed. Brendon holds a Masters in Public Health from American Public University and a Bachelors in Biblical Studies from Southeastern University. She has served as Fundraiser, Research and Public Health Director, and former Vice-President of LOHI stateside.

November 2018: Sandy Reighard, ESE Teacher, Lecanto Primary School

My first day as a substitute teacher was in the special needs class. I did not know what to expect nor if substitute teaching was going to be for me. The first day on the job, I was inspired beyond measure by the young woman that teaches this class. Her love of the 10 children she has in her care on a daily basis is admirable and her dedication to their development makes me proud to work along side her. I am more than proud to honor Ms. Sandy Reighart as Anna’s Friends Educator of the Month! We need more teachers like you, Sandy!! Thank you for all you do for the children!

October 2018: Paola Garcia, Founder of Faces of Child Abuse

I met Paola in 2011. We were colleagues in the anti-human trafficking arena. Paola asked me to come to Texas and help her plan a press conference. After months of planning over the phone I traveled to TX and participated with her in the event. It was awesome meeting her face to face and discovering that she was a homeschool parent of 4. not only does Paola take great care and love in educating her children, she continues to stay involved in helping children in her state. She has written curriculum for schools, The Blue Ribbon Program, a movement to against child abuse. Congratulations Paola! You are a role model for parents everywhere.

September 2018: Grandmothers

This month I decided to honor GRANDMOTHERS! These wonderful ladies take special care to be involved with their grandchildren’s education. I’ve had more grandmothers contact me with questions about the Anna’s Friends series than parents. These are the ones who are signing up for the bi-monthly on-line lessons. These are the ones that share with me about their grandchildren’s character traits and how to determine which of their gifts are predominate. These are the ones that tell me how much they enjoy learning about the motivational gifts. So THANK YOU Granma!! You ROCK!!!

August 17, 2018: Tammy Seagraves, Graceful Gospel Dance Academy

Tammy was looking for a new way to implement a daily devotional based on the theme of SURRENDER for her 150+ students. Since the motivational gifts are indeed about surrendering our all to let God use our gifts, the teachings fit in nicely. Romans 12:1 “Therefore I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies [dedicating all of yourselves, set apart] as a living sacrifice, holy and well-pleasing to God, which is your rational (logical, intelligent) act of worship” This is real surrender! I love when educators think outside the box to help their students grow in the love of God in fun and creative way! Tammy is going to be using the Anna’s Friends series to create daily devotions for her students.