Harlem Week is special for Charity Phalo-Davis. A teacher at the Bronx School for Law, Government and Justice in Morrisania, she strolled through the yard at PS 175 in Harlem with her husband, Quincy, and their 2-year-old son during the event’s Children’s Festival on Aug. 18.
“We attend every year and find out more information about events in the neighborhood,” she said. It’s also a way, she said, for the children in her class to get free back-to-school supplies, courtesy of the UFT.
The union has partnered with Harlem Week for the past 25 years to make sure students and their families are armed with the tools they’ll need to succeed in the new school year. This year, the union gave away notebooks, rulers, pens, pencils and highlighters to educators, parents and students.
“We think this is one of the most important ways to support students and to make sure parents know we’re invested in their success, too,” said Anthony Harmon, the UFT director of parent and community outreach. In addition to the UFT tent, the Children’s Festival featured activities such as crafts and face painting.
“It was very nice,” said Melba Perry, a paraprofessional at PS 287 in Brooklyn and another of the hundreds of people from around the city who attended the festival. She praised the union for giving out supplies to “children and families who can use the help.”
Harlem Week is a homecoming for Kasha Amar, a teacher at IS 232 in the Bronx, who also picked up notebooks for her students.
“I grew up in Harlem and I’ve been going to it all my life,” said Amar, who was happy to see the festival is still going strong. “Harlem Week is a tradition.”