UFT events

‘We have a whole lot to offer’

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31st annual Paraprofessional Festival and Awards Luncheon

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Outstanding Paraprofessional Award winners with UFT President Mulgrew (top row, center), Paraprofessionals Chapter Chair Shelvy Young-Abrams (top row, third from right) and other chapter officers. More photos >>

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“I love my job,” said Elaine Gross of Brooklyn’s PS 222, one of hundreds of paras who packed the health fair. “I’m taking workshops to become a better para and to know my rights.”

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Colleagues Nancy Caceres (left) and Kathy Mei from JHS 190 in Queens want to learn more about working with autistic children and “to learn about everything!” said Caceres, who works in an overcrowded classroom. Mei works as a one-on-one Mandarin translator.

At the workshop Breaking the Conflict Cycle at the 31st annual Paraprofessional Festival and Awards Luncheon, it was clear that many paraprofessionals are keenly intuitive about what’s really going on inside a child who is acting out.

At another one of the workshops at the March 10 event, Educating Children With Autism, the compassion and commitment came across when paras talked about their special education students.

At the workshop Know Your Contract, paras empowered themselves by clarifying their responsibilities and learning how to advocate for themselves.

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UFT takes on bullying issue

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Educators, parents, students flock to fair for tips on how to make a difference

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A Brooklyn contingent of (in front of deck, from left) Michele Ferraro of PS 204, Dolores Lozupone of PS 185 and Linda Palmer of PS/IS 229, all chapter leaders, and PS/IS 229 Principal Robert Zappulla check handouts from Mark Fowler of the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding. More photos >>

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The JHS 194, Queens, team of PTA President Mindy Anich (center) and Parent Coordinator Anne Lippert (right) learn about the documentary movie “Bully” slated to open in theaters on March 30.

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UFT President Michael Mulgrew approves the message that exhibitor Elissa Verilli (behind desk) of the Child Mind Institute has for Ana Medina (right), a guidance counselor at PS 243, Brooklyn.

More than 350 teachers, counselors, social workers, principals, parents and students turned out for the UFT’s anti-bullying fair on March 1. The fair, which featured more than 40 exhibitors, is part of the union’s continuing citywide effort to end bullying in schools by providing school communities with the tools they need to ensure a safe learning environment for every student.

Ana Medina, a guidance counselor at PS 243 in Brooklyn, said she found the resources, programs, workshops and curriculum guides provided by the exhibitors “rich and varied.”

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Annual Breast Cancer Update

Around the UFT

Good news — much success from current treatment

Dr. Norton addresses participants.Miller PhotographyDr. Norton addresses participants. Esther Liss-Turner of the helpline staff asks a question.Miller PhotographyEsther Liss-Turner of the helpline staff asks a question. Regular mammograms and early detection are still the top strategies when it comes to getting the best outcomes for breast cancer, according to Dr. Larry Norton, the deputy physician-in-chief and director of breast cancer programs at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan. Norton addressed some 130 people on Dec.

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Meeting for new paraprofessionals

Around the UFT

First impressions

Manhattan paraprofessionals Arlene Wong (right) of Gouverneur’s Hospital Work-ba Cara Metz Manhattan paraprofessionals Arlene Wong (right) of Gouverneur’s Hospital Work-based Learning program and Mary Canada of PS 751 at the Bayard Rustin Educational Complex, Manhattan.
Cara Metz
Tung Wun Seid, Qianhong Liu, Bin Zhao, Shuhua Wang. Cara Metz First Chapter Executive Board member Tung Wun Seid (standing) with (seated, from left) Qianhong Liu and Bin Zhao of PS 310, Brooklyn, and Shuhua Wang of the HS for Language and Diplomacy, Manhattan.

This year’s crop of new paraprofessionals received a thorough and warm introduction to the UFT’s Paraprofessionals Chapter on Dec. 15. The session included a literature table with information on ergonomics, violence prevention, safety and health, and the features of the UFT Welfare Fund — not to mention a hearty “congratulations” on their choice of careers. Greetings came from UFT President Michael Mulgrew, who thanked the several hundred attendees “for dedicating yourselves to helping children,” while Chapter Leader Shelvy Young-Abrams (inset) surveyed the chapter’s work.

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Kids’ letters to Santa answered — and then some

Feature stories
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UFT Brooklyn Borough Representative Howard Schoor (third from right), district representatives and office staff arrive bearing gifts at New Horizons Shelter.

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A monetary cap for buying gifts was established “but everyone ignored it,” said Brooklyn UFT Special Representative Tony “Santa” Sclafani.

One of the children wanted a coat for Christmas. Others wanted bedsheets. Fifty dollars. A long-sleeved shirt “because it’s getting really cold.” A few bags of Chex-Mix snacks. Socks. A gift certificate to McDonald’s.

When the “Dear Santa” letters with their wish lists arrived from a Brownsville family shelter, there was hardly a dry eye at the Brooklyn UFT office.

“Please can I have a bit of candy and see Santa!” — Marcus

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UFT spreads holiday cheer for homeless kids

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UFT President Michael Mulgrew, Vice President Karen Alford and a group of children are tickled by the sight of Elmo.

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Queens teachers Diane Yodice (left) of PS 89 and Diane Chiauzzi of PS 153 see that the children are on task with their coloring.

A boy is smiling, with bendable glow wands stacked around his neck like a collar worn by sci-fi royalty.

A little girl is reaching up to put a big necklace of the glowing links around the neck of Brobee, the green-striped character from the “Yo Gabba Gabba” TV show, but can’t get it over his huge fuzzy head.

As the guy in the Brobee suit waves and prances, the youngest children take the little stuffed animals from their toy bags and hold them out to him as if for a blessing.

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UFT Hispanic Affairs Committee hosts Three Kings Day celebration

Around the UFT

Continuing a tradition

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Three kings Gustavo, Siramane and Philip lead children and parents to a wondrous room filled with toys. More photos >>

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Checking out their options are (from left) Jeremiah and Isaiah with their uncle Angel Moran on one side and Yasheika (in white) with her mom Yajaira Garcia and baby Valeria on the other side.

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Elizabeth Colon with her grandchildren Dangy and Michelle, who look pleased with their choices.

They may have been the three kings, but they seemed like Pied Pipers as they led entranced children (and their parents and grandparents) toward the beautiful gifts that awaited them.

On Jan. 6 — Three Kings Day — the UFT’s Bronx borough office was transformed for a festive children’s party. There was a reading of the story of the three kings (or wise men) in both Spanish and English and a tasty dinner, but the highlight came when each child got to choose a favorite gift from an enticing array laid out before them by the kings.

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Related topics: community service, UFT events
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