We are retired education professionals who have determined to extend our involvement in the mission of Polk Education Association and the Florida Education Association and their affiliates.
The initial members who founded PEAR in 1987 have grown to over 140 members: And we are still growing! Also, we are part of the over 4,600 FEA-Retired members in Florida and over 335,000 NEA-Retired members nationwide.
Some PEAR Benefits
Least expensive Medigap insurance
Political power through lobbying
Work with partner organizations at the national level to protect Social Security, Medicare
Long Term Care Coverage
Million-dollar liability insurance for substitute teachers
Low interest credit card
Help with refinancing or buying a home
Vision, prescription, and travel discounts
Group Auto and Home Insurance
Travel, hotel and car rental savings
The FEA Access card program provides savings up to 50% off at over 300,000 locations nationwide. You save money at home or when you travel.
We are: Still Involved Still Serving
PEAR members are busy in the community volunteering in a wide range of projects.
Again in 2023 PEAR was honored by FEA-Retired for an outstanding number of volunteer hours reported.
Thanks to all who give of their time to support others!
PEAR embraces the mission of our state organization and seeks to apply it in our county. "It is our mission to enhance the commitment to a unified vision for the (Polk Education Association retirees) Florida Education Association retirees and to establish strategic directions to providing retirement with dignity, promoting quality public education, and advocating for human, civil and economic rights for all.
Congratulations to PEAR
PEAR receved two awards at the FEA-Retired Annual Meetig this year: for Outstanding Volunteer Hours and Excellence in Communication with members. Both are continuing awards from previous years. PEAR President Bernie Warren is shown receiving the Communication Award.
CONGRATULATIONS TO PEA
Our super fantastc PEA BROUGHT HOME THREE MEMBERSHIP AWARDS from the recent FEA Delegate Assembly; A GOLD Award for Membership Status and two Special Platimum Awards. One for the HIGHRST NEW MEMBER INCREASE and one for the HIGHEST NET INCREASE IN MEMBERS. The cake was served at the PEA Board Meetng on October 19. PEA officers Secretary-Treasurer Kat Nickell, Vice President Jim Palmer, and President Stephanie Yocum are shown holding the three Award Plaques.
PEAR HAS MANY STRATEGIES FOR SUPPORTING POLK COUNTY STUDENTS AND EDUCATORS
Scroll down the page for a list of those strategies. BUT first take a look at recent results.
PEAR Vice President Lorinda Lehning is shown with Jean Regan holding a bundle of paper won by Nicole Wallace, a First Grade teacher at Dr. NE Roberts Elementry School in Lakeland. Nicole was on the ZOOM platform and her coworker accepted the bundle from PEAR on her behalf.
PEAR support of and participation in the HEARTH PROJECT is major and ongoing. School supplies are collected by PEAR members for donation to the Project throughout the year. We have also provided hygiene kits.
Members can drop off supplies at the PEA OFFICE in Bartow, 730 E Davidson Street. Also, anyone can send checks for supplies to PEAR at the Bartow address and supplies will be purchased and delivered to the HEARTH PROJECT office.
Each school year between 3 and 4 thousand of our 114,000+ Polk County Public School students experience homelessness and additional students are at risk of being homeless. PEAR is proud to be apart of this service to our students by providing school supplies and hygiene products. We know that when students have the tools needed to learn, the work of the teacher is easier.
PEAR recognizes that copy paper is "pure gold" to class room teachers. Therefore each school year as many as 80 reams of copy paper are put in the hands of teachers. That works out to an over $600 value of direct support to teachers.
PEAR supports the Jack Kinnaman Scholarship Fund. Named for the original Cat-in-The-Hat educator, this NEA Foundation administered fund provides scholarships of $3,500.00 to individuals preparing for a career in education. In recent years three Florida students have received scholarships in this nation wide program. Our current contribution is $1.00 per member.
PEAR works with FEA-Retired to award grants to active FEA members to provide that little extra that will enhance the learning experience for students. The grants are awarded on the basis of innovative ideas of engaging students in learning activities that stimulate and motivate. Grants are awarded toward the end of the first semester. The grant is for $150.00. PEAR and PEA also awards grants to a PEA member.
PEAR members volunteer in many settings. Some PEAR members volunteer in schools, in churches, in children and youth organizations, clubs, political campaigns, nursing homes, and free clinics, in service to neighbors and those who no longer drive. Really the list of volunteer opportunities is endless, PEAR members are all about staying Involved and continuing to Serve.
PEAR initiated a forum for school board candidates several years ago and has been joined by PEA in sponsoring an event each election cycle. Many PEAR members choose to donate to the PEA Political Action Committee. A significant number of members are actively engaged in political actions in the county, state, and nationally. We are particularly engaged in issues related to retirement and public education.