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How educators are helping

School communities have pulled together to care for and educate tens of thousands of newcomer students, many of whom have arrived in New York City with little more than the clothes on their backs. The UFT hosted a listening session on Oct. 25 to learn how members are helping these students in the absence of meaningful support from the Department of Education and the challenges that public schools face. Below are some of the initiatives that educators shared at the session.

He ‘showed them the way’

Ninety-nine-year-old Thomas Naegele retired from teaching industrial art at the HS of Art & Design in Manhattan 32 years ago, but his legacy lives on in two generations of art teachers that he inspired in his wake.

No longer alone

A pre-K teacher and the UFT chapter leader at PS 150 in Queens, Jeanine Bradley has found her voice as an advocate, both in the community and at her school, for people with Crohn’s and for her fellow educators. And she makes sure her students, no matter the challenge they face, never feel alone.

‘Lots of smiling faces’

At the PS 14 family resource fair in Queens, more than 400 PS 14 family members and students checked out information booths from 15 partner organizations, participated in activities like board games and dancing and took advantage of book giveaways and free flu shots. 

Teacher’s ‘superpower’ kicks in

Jouleni Cruz had parent-teacher conferences on her mind as she exited East-West School of International Studies in Flushing, Queens, and headed for her car on Sept. 28. Suddenly, she heard the sickening sound of a vehicle making an impact with something. She took swift action.

Teaching for the crop

The class trip for 1st-graders at PS 234 in Manhattan to Battery Urban Farm in lower Manhattan was a feast for the senses. The Battery Conservancy created Battery Urban Farm to teach students, residents and visitors about sustainable farming and healthy eating.