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Ms. Cain celebrates her grant with students Lisa Cain, a special education teacher at Bardstown Primary School is the winner of a grant offered through Voya Financial. Cain is one of two winners in the state and one of 100 teachers in the nation awarded for their innovative teaching ideas.

Through the Voya Unsung Heroes program, Voya Financial awards grants to K-12 educators nationwide to honor their innovative teaching methods, creative educational projects, and ability to positively influence their students. Since 1996 the Voya Unsung Heroes program has awarded more than $5 million to help educators turn creative teaching ideas into reality.

In the Unsung Heroes awards competition Cain won $2,000 for her teaching idea, “Action! Ready, Set, Read!” which focuses on increasing reading comprehension of struggling students at Bardstown Primary School. Cain recognizes the importance of detecting comprehension impairments in primary grades, and has designed a “reader’s theater” to identify the specific grammar and decoding areas of opportunity for each student. Through this project, students will attain specially designed scripts that address language disorders and reading difficulties, as well as gain confidence through becoming engaged, proficient readers. The project is specifically designed to link the isolated strategies taught by Speech Language Pathologists to those of teachers. The students’ performances will be shared with friends, classes, the school and families at a celebration of reading.

“Our Unsung Heroes 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 Lisa Cain 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.”

Selected from a group of more than 1,200 applicants, Cain will now compete with the 99 other finalists for one of the top three prizes – an additional $5,000, $10,000 or $25,000 from Voya Financial.

For more information about this year’s winning projects, as well as those from previous years, visit the Voya Unsung Heroes website ( Applications for the 2019 Voya Unsung Heroes awards are currently being accepted through the website until April 30, 2019.
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