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PNS Daily Newscast - September 25, 2020 

Democrats reported to be preparing a smaller pandemic relief package; vote-by-mail awaits a court decision in Montana.

2020Talks - September 25, 2020 

Senators respond to President Donald Trump's refusal to commit to a peaceful transfer of power. And, former military and national security officials endorse Joe Biden.

Good Oregon Teacher + Video Camera = Cash Prizes

March 9, 2009

Portland, OR – It has been a tough year for teachers in Oregon. If you know one who needs a boost, get out your video camera. The "Working Wonders" video contest is open to anyone who wants to produce a short profile - no more than three minutes long - of a favorite Oregon teacher, community college professor or school employee. The goal is to call attention to everyday individuals in schools who make things better for students.

Last year's winning video showed a Portland elementary school drama and writing teacher, Julie Sparling, riding her bike to work.

"You know how videos online can be so viral? You just share it with one person, and they share it with another person, and suddenly you're doing a chain reaction of positive energy. It made me feel so valued and important."

Cash prizes, from $1,500 to $6,000 for the top three videos, will be split three ways - between the video producer, the teacher and the school. In Sparling's case, some of the prize money was used to create an after-school program at her school, Rosa Parks Elementary.

She says teachers are playing an even more critical role in their students' lives this year, because of the economy.

"We can feel that tension level rising in our classrooms. It's really an important time to help kids and just give them the stability of the routine of school, where they can come when home is in crisis."

The video contest entry deadline is April 3. It's sponsored by the Oregon Education Association. Contest rules and last year's winning videos are available at

Chris Thomas, Public News Service - OR