Estes teacher honored for her innovation

Joni Rubinstein, a teacher at Estes Elementary School in the Marana Unified School District, is one of three Arizona educators and 100 across America chosen for the 2010 ING Unsung Heroes Award.

Rubinstein wins $2,000 as a finalist. Three finalists nationwide will be chosen as top winners, with additional grants of $25,000, $10,000 and $5,000.

ING Unsung Heroes grants go to K-12 educators utilizing new teaching methods and techniques that improve learning, a release said. Each year, educators submit applications for an ING Unsung Heroes grant by describing projects they have initiated or would like to pursue. Each project is judged on its innovative method, creativity and ability to positively influence the students. Winners are selected by Scholarship America, a national non-profit educational support and student aid service organization.

Students at Estes Elementary School are learning through Rubinstein's winning project "Sustain with Rain: Water Harvesting for Desert Dwellers." It uses culvert-style rainwater tanks installed to collect rainwater. Water collected will be used for irrigating the school's garden and sustaining the landscape.

OV Legion auxiliary looks for members

The American Legion Auxiliary, Oro Valley Unit 132, is actively seeking new members.

Members of the new unit, chartered in May, are "eager to meet other women who are interested in supporting our military and the community," a release said.

Military veterans, or women who are the mother, wife, daughter, sister or granddaughter of someone (living or deceased) who served during any period of military conflicts dating back to World War I are eligible for membership.

The unit meets from 6 to 7 p.m. on the fourth Thursday of each month from September to May at California Design Center / Studio C, 11085 N. Oracle in Oro Valley. Visitors are welcome.

The American Legion Auxiliary is the world's largest women's patriotic service organization, with nearly 1 million. Auxiliary members are "joined in the fellowship of volunteerism, patriotism and dedication to veterans, military personnel and their families, and their local communities."

For more information, contact unit vice president Onita Davis at 229-1064,, or Box 69246, Oro Valley, 85737.

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