Parent news

Manhattan Parent Newsletter - May 19, 2017

Celsa Lopez-Pacheco, the family leadership coordinator in District 1, showed me a diversity-themed bulletin board at our meeting.

Dear parents, grandparents, guardians and education activists,

I've been your Manhattan parent-community liaison for two weeks now. Every day has been full and productive! My first goal is to get acclimated to the office and make some key connections throughout the six districts of Manhattan. I met with many of the city councilmen that represent our districts, attended several UFT district representative meetings with chapter leaders to connect with these school-based leaders, and, most importantly, met with some of the DOE's family leadership coordinators who represent each school district.

The family leadership coordinators work with parent coordinators, who are most connected with parents and families at the schools. I've had excellent meetings with the family leadership coordinators in districts 1, 2 and 5, and will be meeting with the rest in the next two weeks. I want to find out which schools the family leadership coordinators and parent coordinators feel could most benefit from the support of the UFT to increase parent involvement. And, I want to see what resources, especially workshops, I can bring to schools that need them. The feedback has been awesome. We have a lot to do together! I'm very impressed by the work being done in District 1 around diversity issues, and I look forward to hearing all about the great work that all districts are doing. Highlighting your great work is always a focus of mine.

I expect to host two UFT parent workshops over the summer at UFT headquarters. And as ideas for these workshops take shape, I think of a saying I always return to: The answers are often in the room. This means that right among you, the parent leaders, there are some incredible ideas and thoughtful solutions. To that end, I've decided to form an advisory committee, the Manhattan Borough Family and Community Engagement Advisory Committee, which will consist of three parent leaders who have demonstrated family and community involvement in their districts. I'll be recruiting members through the family leadership coordinators, so, if you are interested in joining, please contact yours.

I want, and fully intend, to offer quality, relevant, useful workshops, events and resources that touch every diverse part of our borough. And my main objective is to make sure that the relationship between the UFT and parents at the school level is powerful, because that's where the magic happens. While I know this work, I also don't have all the answers. So, who better to turn to for ideas than you, the parent leaders?

Stay tuned for some superb things happening! And as always, the lines of communication are open. Email me at any time you like.


Rob Robinson
UFT Parent-Community Liaison

Upcoming events

  • Saturday, June 10: The Cooper Hewitt Museum will host a "Morning at the Museum" event for people with cognitive and sensory processing disabilities from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. The museum is at 2 E. 91st St. in Manhattan. This event, entitled "Adventures in Architecture," will guide families through the museum's exhibit about the jazz age in the United States. The program is free, but preregistration is required. See the website »
  • Saturday, June 24: BodySculpt of New York invites families to its 14th Annual Children's Sports and Fitness Expo from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at PS 92, 601 Parkside Ave. in Brooklyn. Registration begins at 10:30 a.m. This free event will feature sports clinics in archery, fencing, hip-hop and more; live entertainment, games and prizes; and for the grown-ups, workshops about health and nutrition, and free health screenings. For more information, see the website »

News you can use

  • Find fantastic parent resources at InsideSchools: InsideSchools, an online resource for New York City public school parents, has launched its new, mobile-friendly site. From your computer, tablet or cell phone, you can look up your zoned school by typing in your address, look up schools by district or neighborhood, find free and low-cost enrichment programs, access detailed guides to navigating the school system, and more. Check it out »
  • Are you proud of your child's artwork? Since May is Art Education Month and many students are creating end-of-year art projects, we want to capture some of their amazing work as we shine a spotlight on the great things happening in our public schools. Please submit photos of your child's artwork for the UFT to display on our website and on social media as part of the #PublicSchoolProud campaign. (If you are sharing photos from an iPhone, please select “large” size on your phone.) Submit your child's artwork »
  • Share your thoughts on the school planning and siting process: The City Council has formed a working group to address issues of school planning, siting and overcrowding. The group wants to hear from parents about their experiences with school planning, siting and/or overcrowding in their neighborhood. Submit your comments »
  • Free academic, arts and athletic summer camps: The Sports and Arts in Schools Foundation invites families to register for summer camps for students in elementary, middle and high school. Programs are offered at different locations throughout the city, for various grade levels and with various focuses. But, they are all offered on a first-come, first-served. basis. Find a camp near you and register now »
  • Apply for and keep track of state benefits online: New York State's myBenefits portal allows you to apply for and keep track of food assistance, health insurance, tax credits and other state benefits in one place. Create a myBenefits account »
  • Chancellor Fariña opens new Student Success Centers: Chancellor Fariña announced the opening of four new Student Success Centers, or career-planning hubs, which will serve 15 New York City public schools. They will be a great resource for students preparing for college. Find out more »
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