Around the UFT

A day to honor superheroes

Around the UFT
Miller Photography

The Grand Ballroom of the Waldorf-Astoria in Manhattan was packed with some 1,200 UFT activists on Nov. 7 for the union’s annual Teacher Union Day celebration. The event, which this year took place 50 years to the day of the historic first strike by UFT members, is a chance for the union to honor its own for their many important contributions to New York City public school education. Among those honored were AFT President Randi Weingarten, who received the Charles Cogen Award as well as a Superman-inspired UFT T-shirt from UFT President Michael Mulgrew.

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Related topics: UFT events

Preparing for the challenges ahead

Around the UFT

Election Day PD

Cara Metz

Keynote speaker John-Michael Keyes, of the “I Love U Guys” Foundation, embraces family worker Daniel Goodine, who lost two children to gun
violence in New York at the UFT’s Election Day Citywide Safety Symposium.

Bruce Cotler

Vincent Luppino, of Toyota Motors, instructs automotive technology teachers in a CTE workshop on the “controller area network” at the Center for Automotive Education and Training in Whitestone, Queens. The workshop was one of many held for CTE teachers across the city on Election Day.

Cara Metz

Inez Cruz, a UFT delegate from PS 255 in Queens, asks DOE representatives what the department is doing to combat gun violence in city schools.

“If it can happen, it will eventually happen here,” John-Michael Keyes, whose 16-year-old daughter was killed in a 2006 school shooting in Bailey, Colo., warned a packed audience of more than 800 public school educators, administrators and safety personnel during an emotionally charged plenary at UFT headquarters on Nov. 2.

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Related topics: CTE, professional development

Ghoulish games galore

Around the UFT

UFT Bronx office Halloween Bash

Pat Arnow

Adults (from left) Beverly Roberts, president of the Parkchester branch of the NAACP, Vargas, Maria and Nelson Lucena and Anita Brooks of the NAACP are surrounded by a happy mix of ghouls, superheroes and “Star Wars” good and bad guys. May the force be with you!

Pat Arnow

How about a nice little game of ringtoss onto spiders? Supervised by Bronx teacher Diane Lucas, of PS 103, students take the game quite seriously. Wouldn’t you if you had to aim for a creepy crawley?

Pat Arnow

Big Bad Wolf Ramie Homes (a teacher from PS 38) surprises Little Red Riding Hood Brianna Civatino, whose mom is a teacher at PS 36. The two just met at the event, but wouldn’t you say it was fate?

The UFT’s Bronx borough office teamed up with the NAACP’s Parkchester branch for its Oct. 31 Halloween Bash, which drew in 511 parents, teachers and students, who arrived transformed into ghouls and vampires, mummies, firemen, bounty hunters and one Little Red Riding Hood who encountered a Big, Bad Wolf. Children were treated to a backpack full of candy treats, played ringtoss with spiders and octopuses and tossed rats into a cauldron, but the highlight was probably the Haunted House, where teachers came back from the dead as eerie music emanated from within.

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Related topics: UFT events

Raising awareness

Around the UFT

Liberation Diploma Plus HS students tree-planting

Powers and his students make their contribution to the community.Miller photographyPowers and his students make their contribution to the community.

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Related topics: our schools

An apple tree grows in Brooklyn — and kale, too!

Around the UFT

Edible Schoolyard at PS 216, Brooklyn

“Grab our shovels and grab our hoes, gonna make our Edible Schoolyard grow,” sang students surrounding Chapter Leader Kathy Klein, who leads them in a rousing new song she wrote for the project. Looking on is UFT District 21 Representative Judy Gerowitz (back, right).
Just before planting an apple tree, students asked some questions of the many notables whose enthusiasm and support made their garden a reality, including (from left) film producer John Lyons, who got the ball rolling when he was “Principal for a Day” at their school; Alice Waters, who launched the Edible Schoolyard project first in California; movie star Jake Gyllenhaal, a supporter of the program; and Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz and Councilman Dominic Recchia Jr., who helped fund it.
Teacher Lisa Gonzalez and her 4th-graders get their hands dirty planting kale — an unfamiliar veggie to many students, but one they’re looking forward to trying.

 

“Look at this!” one 4th-grader said, marveling at the bright green bug on his finger. “What is it?” “That’s a caterpillar,” said his teacher, Lisa Gonzalez, as she led her class in planting kale in their brand new garden at PS 216 in Gravesend, Brooklyn. 

“I never heard of things like kale,” said 4th-grader David K, “but I’m excited that we get to learn to grow stuff and I want to eat all the vegetables that I grow,” he said.

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Related topics: our schools

Members across city show their true colors

Around the UFT

Think Pink

Miller Photography

Manning the raffle table at the Delegate Assembly to raise money for breast cancer research are (from left) paraprofessional Jay Futterman of PS 396 in Brooklyn, Tamika Talliver of PS 78 in the Bronx, District 4 Representative Servia Silva, UFT chair of the Strides walk, retiree Myra Ettenberg and Brooklyn Special Representative Theresa Samuels, the Strides captain for that borough.

Project creates sense of community

Members across city show their true colorsYuderca Castillo (right), guidance counselor at the School for International Studies in Brooklyn, with students.

The School for International Studies in Brooklyn organized a Pink Glove Dance in October to raise awareness for breast cancer.

Using a Flip camera, an iPod and a portable speaker system borrowed from the principal, the school’s guidance counselor and parent coordinator went from class to class, office to office, filming members of their school community wearing pink latex gloves and jamming to the Jay Sean song “Down.”

“Our intention was to raise awareness about breast cancer,” said Yuderca Castillo, the guidance counselor. “What we did not expect was the wonderful sense of community, the laughter, and the openness that doing this schoolwide project has created.”

The school was inspired by a New York Teacher story [“Hot ‘Pink’ dance,” Sept. 9] about a teacher at PS 60 on Staten Island who organized a pink dance at her school.

To see the photo gallery, go to http://www.uft.org/galleries/photo/go-pink-2010.

To see the video, go to www.uft.org/news/pink-gloves-breast-cancer.

Schools across the city took time to bang the drum for breast cancer research during the month of October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Besides participating by the thousands in the Making Strides for Breast Cancer walk on Oct. 17, UFTers have been staging Pink Days at their schools to raise awareness and money for the cause.

PS 75 in the Bronx is one such school. On Oct. 20, staff at the school were decked out in pink buttons, bows and blouses, eating pink cupcakes and pink candy, as well as raising $2,000, according to Chapter Leader Phyllis Murray.

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Related topics: breast cancer awareness

Taking political action

Around the UFT

100 percent ‘COPE’ at PS 214, Brooklyn

In baseball, a .370 batting average is great. In school, 65 is passing and 92 is a sweet A. So how good is 100 percent for a political action fund drive? It’s excellent! And too rare! Yet, that’s what the staff at PS 214 in Brooklyn scored in this year’s Committee on Political Education drive, as every union member at the school signed on to contribute to COPE, the UFT’s voluntary political-action arm. above: The PS 214 staff with banner reading “Everyone at PS 214 ‘Copes.’” They do, indeed.

District 19 Representative Allan Weinstein and Chapter Leader Vicki Buccellato join delegate Virginia Blair to proudly display the full roster of school COPE members. Interested in contributing to COPE? The simplest way to contribute is by signing a payroll deduction form, which pledges you to pay a specified amount of your choice each month to the COPE fund. To sign up, see your chapter leader or contact COPE at 1-212-598-7747.
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Related topics: COPE, political action

Nice crowd, for openers

Around the UFT
UFT RTC Leader Tom Murphy addresses members in Shanker Hall. Miller Photography

Retired Teachers Chapter members packed the house for the school year’s first general membership meeting on Oct. 12 in Shanker Hall. Members heard RTC Leader Tom Murphy (above) discuss the upcoming elections as well as other issues of interest to members.

UFT RTCer Ben Friedman.Miller PhotographyRTCer Ben Friedman asks a question from the floor. UFT RTCer Beverly Twitty.Miller PhotographyRTCer Beverly Twitty.

UFT RTCer Abe Levine.Miller PhotographyRTCer Abe Levine.

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Important preparation

Around the UFT

Training for chemical emergency response

Trainer Keith Mundy of the International Chemical Workers Union leads a hands-on demonstration of how to properly put on a mask and respirator.
Debbie Ardinez holds the 35-pound weight of the respirator while Luincys Fernandez adjusts her straps. Together, they demonstrate the “buddy system” as they help each other don respirators and masks.

Twenty-four science teachers, lab specialists and an environmental safety worker gathered from Aug. 23 to 27 at UFT headquarters for a thorough training on chemical emergency response. They learned about emergency action and fire prevention plans, obtaining access to Occupational Safety and Health Administration hazard standards, the danger of exposure to hazardous chemicals in their workplace laboratories and how to properly wear protective equipment and respirators. Participants learned through discussion, group exercises and hands-on practice.

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Meeting the needs of children

Around the UFT

John F. Kennedy Jr. School renaming ceremony

Weissman with Caroline Kennedy.

The ceremony is highlighted by UFT member Norman Fischelman’s reading of a poem.

The former Queens Occupational Training Center was renamed the John F. Kennedy Jr. School, after the late president’s son, on Sept. 15 in a ceremony attended by staff, parents and notables including Caroline Kennedy, John Jr.’s sister, and Diane Sawyer, anchor of “ABC World News.” Beth Rudolph, the school’s principal, said it was the students’ “courage and desire” that led to the renaming. “They wanted their voices heard and their vision to be recognized. They wanted to name their school after someone they could relate to, be proud of, and who would serve as an inspiration,” she said.

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