“Our Unsung Heros program continues to recognize teachers who go above and beyond to inspire today’s students in the classroom,” said Heather Lavallee, president of Tax-Exempt Markets at Voya Financial. “We are proud to honor teachers like Charlsie Wigley whose inspiring program is making a difference in the lives of young people. This commitment and passion for teaching closely aligns with our focus at Voya on helping all Americans prepare for their unique financial futures.”
Wigley received the grant for her “iMarch Films,” which focuses on creating an innovative interdisciplinary project that allows students at Chelsea Middle School to connect the past and present. Once the students read and learn about the Civil Rights Movement, students will go to the Civil Rights Institute where they will observe artifacts and gather further details on what took place at this time.
Students will then have a chance to be paired with a volunteer who participated in the Civil Rights Movement in the area. The students will interview the volunteer, and create an educational video on the volunteer’s story. The final video will then be featured in the school’s library, and on the Civil Rights Institute’s website. Wigley hopes she can use the grant to have the films shared within other organizations to raise awareness of these brave local unsung heroes.
Through Voya’s Unsung Hero program, K-12 educators throughout the country to honor their innovative programs and ideas and their ability to influence their students positively. The program has been able to award $5 million in grants to over 2,000 educators since the start of the program. Wigley was selected from a group of 1,200 applicants and will go on to compete for an additional prize of $5,000, $10,000, or $25,000.