Around the UFT

100 percent COPE contributors at PS 346, Brooklyn

Around the UFT

Mayor’s attacks solidify staff

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The mix of junior and senior teachers who made their school 100 percent COPE. Willensky is in the second row, center, in a blue shirt and white cartigan.

It’s rare when everyone in a large group agrees, but there are some issues on which everyone can agree. That was the case with the 73 UFT members at PS 346 in Starrett City, Brooklyn, as each and every one of them signed up to contribute to the Committee on Political Education (COPE), the union’s political action arm. How did they do it? “It took persistence,” Veronica Wilensky, the school’s chapter leader and Academic Intervention Services teacher, said. “Also the mayor helped our case. People are more willing to contribute after his attacks on the teachers and the schools.”

District 24 Scholarship Dinner Dance

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You can’t spell community without u-n-i-t-y

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Honorees taking their places for an official group photo are (standing from left) PS 19 Chapter Leader Richard Burke and Principal Genie Calibar, IS 73 secretary Ria Ferrara, Community Education Council President Nick Commaianni, District Superintendent Madeline Chan, Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley and Parker, and (seated from left) PS 68 Principal Anne Marie Scalfaro, students Jessica Peralta of IS 125 and Nicholas Shklanko of PS 58, and Connie Partinico, parent activist at PS 58. More photos >>

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Applause, balloons and a standing ovation for honorees at the District 24 celebration.

Friends, family, teachers, administrators, parents, community leaders and political leaders — a full house of 450 revelers — celebrated the 12th annual District 24 Scholarship Dinner Dance on April 14 at Russo’s on the Bay in Queens. UFT President Michael Mulgrew led the list of honorees that included two students honored for their outstanding good citizenship and service to the community.

The president visits: PS 130, Manhattan

Around the UFT

PS 130, Manhattan

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Over lunch, teachers and Mulgrew discuss the importance of enrichment programs to academic success. More photos >>

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Teacher Kenneth Siu asks a question.

In conversation with UFT President Michael Mulgrew during their lunch period, teachers at Chinatown’s PS 130 explained the importance the school places on extensive enrichment programs. Mulgrew was treated to a musical revue of Broadway songs by six classes of 2nd-graders on his April 11 visit to the high-achieving collaborative school. Teachers noted that singing makes it easier to learn new words, so the songs and performances are important for English language learners there. The school has a high proportion of children who have only Chinese speakers at home.

Foreign language teachers’ Spring Professional Development Workshops

Around the UFT

Challenging their creativity

Bruce Cotler

Christopher Barley of University Neighborhood HS engages Spanish teacher Tracey Greenspan of Sunset Park HS in a high-five as part of the workshop he led on “Bringing Drama into the Classroom.”

Bruce Cotler

Presenter Karen Cooper (right) of the Beacon School follows up on workshop ideas with Wendy Alleyne (left) of Queens Gateway of Health Sciences HS and Jessica Bautista of Frederick Douglass Academy.

It was not quite the Tower of Babel at the gathering of 100 foreign language speakers at the Spring Professional Development Workshops of the New York City Association of Foreign Language Teachers/UFT. After all, these UFTers are proficient in several tongues, so they managed very well at the double session of workshops at the April 9 event at union headquarters.

Visit to Transit Tech HS

Around the UFT

All aboard for education!

aboard-education-1Miller PhotographyAble to get a view from beneath the train car are (from left) Martinez, Roberson, Liu, teacher Melissa Silberman, Assistant Principal Paul Tropiano, Principal Neil Harris and teacher Anthony Cooper. aboard-education-2Miller PhotographyThe train cars give Transit Tech staff a unique way to drive education. Thanks to the students at Transit Tech HS and their two new R42 train cars — the kind that are in service in the city’s subway system — your chances of arriving on time just got better. That’s because the students at Transit Tech are being trained by their Career and Technical Education teachers using the up-to-date cars in the school’s new and improved Rail Car Lab. Two years ago, those cars replaced out-of-date Redbird cars at the school.

Brooklyn teacher brings students to Prom Boutique

Around the UFT

Stylish experience

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Adriana O’Hagan (left), chapter leader at Brooklyn’s MS 518, and the borough’s UFT District 23 Representative Ualin Smith check out the gowns that students can get for free at the 17th annual Prom Boutique.

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“When I saw this dress I knew it was for me,” said Jazmine.

For too many girls, rites of passage like the school prom go uncelebrated. The gown and accessories are unobtainable, luxuries that belong to other girls, not to them.

Teacher Adriana O’Hagan has been working to change that..

For the past six years, this Spanish teacher and chapter leader at MS 518 in Brooklyn’s Brownsville has been matching girls with gowns via the Prom Boutique, a nonprofit group that offers dresses, shoes, bags and jewelry without the price tags..

ESL Bilingual Committee monthly meeting

Around the UFT

Exploring ways to teach global challenges

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In one of several breakout groups following the talks are (standing, from left) Ramon Vargas of PS 129 in Manhattan, Slater, Rubina Deliote of IS 93 in Queens and Levine and Gloria Altman (seated) of the Adult Learning Center in Great Neck, L.I.

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Sadowsky addresses group.

At the UFT’s ESL Bilingual Committee’s monthly meetings, the agenda is always “content driven, focusing on language arts and social studies,” said Chapter Leader Josie Levine. Its March 22 gathering was no exception. The day’s theme centered on ways that global social and economic problems can be taught and tackled in bilingual classrooms.

14th annual Virtual Enterprises International Trade Fair

Around the UFT

Winning in the marketplace

Bruce Cotler

Students who teamed up to form Bon Voyage Travel from Fort Hamilton HS in Brooklyn, with teacher Mary Grace Alfredo (second from left), placed third in the competition.

New York City public school students competed with peers around the world in marketing a variety of goods and services at the 14th annual Virtual Enterprises International Trade Fair on April 7. The “simulated global marketplace” held at the Armory on Lexington Avenue was a real-world opportunity to apply a blend of commercial resourcefulness, communications skill and high-tech savvy. UFT Vice President for Career and Technical Education High Schools Sterling Roberson participated in the ribbon-cutting ceremony marking the opening of the fair.

Early childhood conference at PS 69, the Bronx

Around the UFT

Child-directed learning approach on display

Pre-K teacher Lisanne Rivera (left) engages Reggio experts Jennifer Strange (cen Miller Photography

Pre-K teacher Lisanne Rivera (left) engages Reggio experts Jennifer Strange (center) and Lella Gandini (who came from Italy for the event) while students Jahara and Joshua continue exploring the water table.

Teacher Tiffany Vasquez works with student Laeyah in their art- and word-infused Miller Photography

Teacher Tiffany Vasquez works with student Laeyah in their art- and word-infused 1st-grade classroom. “We document our work,” Vasquez said, explaining that they give students inexpensive video and digital cameras to do so, which she will then edit to display on a smartboard.

As conference attendees walked into Tiffany Vasquez’s 1st-grade classroom at PS 69 in the Bronx, their eyes widened. It was as though they were stepping into an ocean, with blue curtains and intriguing sea creatures floating above their heads.

Ideas for what to study and how to decorate the room all came from the students themselves in Vasquez’s collaborative team teaching class.

It reflects an innovative approach to early childhood education that was the focus of a two-day conference at the Soundview school on March 29 and 30.

NYCATA Ecofest Environmental Art Competition

Around the UFT

Picture perfect

Art teacher Mario Asaro and a few of his students from MS 158 in Queens critique Miller Photography

Art teacher Mario Asaro and a few of his students from MS 158 in Queens critique the exhibit.

Celebrants enjoy the music of Peter Yarrow, a member of the famed Peter, Paul an Miller Photography

Celebrants enjoy the music of Peter Yarrow, a member of the famed Peter, Paul and Mary trio.

The winning artwork of 90 students from schools across the city was on exhibit through April 30 at the Apple Bank for Savings at West 73rd Street and Broadway, Manhattan. The entries of the finalists, students of 23 art teachers, were chosen from among the 500 works submitted for the annual Ecofest Environmental Art Competition sponsored by the UFT New York City Art Teachers Association in association with the West Side Cultural Center, which provided the awards of $25 certificates for art supplies. The artwork was judged in grade categories K-2, 3-5, and 6-8.

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