Around the UFT

A lesson in civility

Around the UFT

No Name-Calling Week at PS 199, the Bronx

In front of a student’s “No Bullies in PS 199” art project are music teacher HaiMiller PhotographyIn front of a student’s “No Bullies in PS 199” art project are music teacher Haig Daquesian (seated left), parent liaison Nicholas Cruz and school staff member Rosario Velazquez (right).

Read more: Around the UFT
Related topics: our schools

Ingredients for good health

Around the UFT

CookShop Classroom at PS 18, the Bronx

Crunchy Apple Parfait


  • gloves (one pair per adult)
  • knives
  • chopping mats
  • apple corer
  • measuring spoons
  • large mixing bowl
  • mixing spoon
  • clear plastic cups/utensils/napkins for tasting


  • 2 32-oz containers of low-fat vanilla yogurt
  • 4 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 McIntosh apples 
  • 3 Granny Smith apples;
  • 1 box Grape-Nuts cereal


  1. Wash apples.
  2. Remove the core and cut the apple slices into smaller bite-sized pieces.
  3. In a large bowl, stir yogurt, honey and cinnamon together.
  4. Assemble the parfaits by layering yogurt, Grape-Nuts and apples. 
  5. Enjoy!
YIELD: 25 tasting portions

Ingredients for good healthMiller photographyChapter Leader Marie Sarabia seves cucumber on whole wheat to PS 18 students. “I’m learning to cook healthy for my kids,” said Cynthia Robinson, PTA president at PS 18 in the Bronx, one of 12 Bronx schools participating in the UFT’s Healthy Schools, Healthy Communities initiative.

Seven classes in grades K-2 are taking part in CookShop Classroom at PS 18, meeting once per week for 18 weeks to learn basic nutrition and prepare fresh dishes like orange-carrot salad and rainbow salsa.

Read more: Around the UFT
Related topics: healthy schools

Help sought for struggling homeowners

Around the UFT
UFT Secretary Michael Mendel asks the crowd: “What happened to the American drea

UFT Secretary Michael Mendel asks the crowd: “What happened to the American dream of owning your own home? Here’s one of the richest banks in America, and they won’t accommodate people who aren’t asking for a free ride, just a chance to readjust their mortgages and keep their homes.”

With home foreclosures up in the metropolitan area, UFTers joined New York Communities for Change, elected officials, Transport Workers Union Local 100 members and other area unionists and community residents at JPMorgan Chase’s Park Avenue offices on Feb. 9 to demand that Chase and other mortgage-holding banks help struggling homeowners keep their homes. Rally organizers said that they targeted JPMorgan Chase after the bank refused to accommodate all but 6 percent of long-term mortgage-adjustment requests.

Read more: Around the UFT
Related topics: parents and community

Performance ban lifted

Around the UFT

Jamaica HS student play on school’s closing

The student production finally reaches opening night.Bruce CotlerThe student production finally reaches opening night. 

Read more: Around the UFT
Related topics: struggling schools

Learning to navigate the process

Around the UFT

UFT new tenure guideline meetings

About 300 probationary teachers showed up at the UFT’s Manhattan borough office on Jan. 25 seeking help navigating the Department of Education’s new tenure guidelines for teachers. The meeting was one of a series of informational sessions that the union is holding in all five boroughs to provide information and support for probationary teachers, 6,000 of whom are up for tenure in June. “They were eager to learn how the tenure process would affect them,” said Manhattan Special Representative Mary Atkinson, who helped organize the Manhattan session.

Read more: Around the UFT
Related topics: new teachers

Learning through shared experiences

Around the UFT

UFT Teacher Center arts conference

The UFT Teacher Center and the Center for Arts Education kicked off their second year of professional teacher conferences on arts education on Jan. 23 at UFT headquarters with a session entitled “Bringing Arts and Culture into the Classroom Grades K-12.” Despite single-digit temperatures, more than 150 members turned out for the Sunday event.

Read more: Around the UFT
Related topics: professional development

Staff battles threats

Around the UFT

‘Fight Back Fridays’ at PS 3, Brooklyn

With the threat of more budget cuts looming, more than 60 teachers, administrators and other staff (right) at PS 3 in Bedford-Stuyvesant wore all black to work on Jan. 21 in one of a series of demonstrations at schools across the city that teacher-activists have dubbed “Fight Back Fridays.” Parents and students also participated. While PS 3 is not one of the 25 district schools threatened with closure, Chapter Leader Lisa North says the school faces other serious threats, including the possibility that a second school will be co-located in its building.

Read more: Around the UFT
Related topics: budget

Keeping everyone safe

Around the UFT

Laboratory specialists’ annual training

Electrical safety, the handling of compressed gases, identifying permitted and banned chemicals, acid neutralization tanks and lab fume hoods: most of these are not everyday topics of concern to most people. But in schools throughout the city, laboratory specialists use the ongoing training they receive in these areas to protect staff and students from accidents and mishaps. Health and Safety Staff Development Day for around 200 laboratory specialists was held starting late in January in UFT borough offices in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx.

Read more: Around the UFT

Learning to save a life

Around the UFT

UFT Providers’ CPR and first-aid training

Burke-Kaaleund shows fellow providers Laverne Ash and Lynda John how to properly take off gloves to avoid exposure to bodily fluids.
Lynda John demonstrates how to safely move an unconscious person, while Riley looks on.

Around a dozen UFT family child care providers gathered at union headquarters on Dec. 10 for the UFT’s first-ever provider-led CPR and first-aid training. Providers Brenda Riley of Brooklyn and Millicent Burke-Kaaleund of the Bronx previously participated in the union’s three-day “train-the-trainer” program, which teaches union members to train their colleagues in first aid, CPR and other related topics. They were assisted by UFT Health and Safety Coordinator Junior Linton. “When you’re given something, you have to give back,” Burke-Kaaleund said.

Read more: Around the UFT

Giving back to the community

Around the UFT

JumpStart Academy Annex food drive

Gary Schoichet

Student council members feeling good about the 500 cans of food they collected and gave out are (from left) Karen Villafuerte, Josephine Gonsalves, Krystal Ragnauth, Kavita Ramsingh, Brandon Garcia, Stephany Enamorado, Diamond Jones, Jasmine Figueroa and Sindy Pelaez, shown here with teacher Christine Rinando, who also led a school gift drive for children whose parents are incarcerated, and Scalia. More photos >>

“Giving food to people in need made me feel warm inside. It was definitely a wonderful experience,” said student council member Diamond Jones of John Adams HS’s JumpStart Academy Annex in Jamaica, Queens. “It was an eye-opener to see how many people are less fortunate and need food,” said fellow student council member Krystal Ragnauth. “I would do it again in a heartbeat.” And, in fact, they will, because the student council wants to continue collecting and distributing food throughout the school year.

Read more: Around the UFT
Syndicate content
User login
Enter the email address you used to sign up at
If you don't have a profile, please sign up.
Forgot your password?

Copyright © 1999 – 2015 United Federation of Teachers