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Citywide Parent Newsletter - April 2021

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Dear parents, grandparents, guardians and education activists,

I hope your family is having a good spring semester and starting to get vaccinated.

Since it's April, I want to recognize Autism Acceptance Month and take a moment to celebrate all the amazing neurodiversity in our city! Parents of students with autism are among the most active advocates I know. They go to incredible lengths to get their children the support they deserve. We’re thankful they are part of our UFT community.

I encourage everyone to check out the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) for more information about autism and INCLUDEnyc for resources for families of students with disabilities.

In unity,

Nicholas Cruz
UFT Director of Community and Parent Engagement

Bronx parents helping Bronx families

a group of five volunteers wearing masks smile in front of a tree

Angela Torres (second from left), the president's council president for District 8, and Maria Morales (second from right), the UFT Bronx parent liaison, join student and parent volunteers at a book and food giveaway in the Bronx on March 20.

Parent and student volunteers in District 8 in the Bronx give out food to families every Saturday afternoon. The UFT turned out to help on March 20, handing out oodles of books through the UFT First Book program. Way to go, Angela Torres and team!

Upcoming UFT events

  • Saturday, April 17: There will be a virtual Queens parent conference from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. with two workshop sessions on topics such as yoga and mindfulness, parent leadership, academic success and more. There will also be raffle prizes and entertainment. It will be a restorative, informative day to connect with fellow parents and learn how to be strong advocates for our kids. Register now.
  • Thursday, April 22: The UFT is co-hosting an online information session about St. John's University where you and your high school senior can learn about the university's academic programs, scholarships, test-optional admissions system and more. You can register for the 2 to 3:30 p.m. session or for the 5 to 6:30 p.m. session.
  • Saturday, April 24: The UFT Queens parent outreach committee will host an online information session about this year's upcoming Community Education Council (CEC) elections from 10 a.m. to noon. The CECs are elected bodies that offer parents the opportunity to support education and influence policy at the district level. We'll learn about the roles and responsibilities involved with serving on a CEC and get answers to questions about the election process. Register now.
  • Friday, April 30: The UFT Staten Island parent outreach committee will host an online presentation about setting up your Department of Education NYC student account and voting in Community Education Council (CEC) elections. From 5 to 6 p.m., parent advocate Sheree Gibson will walk us through the steps to create an online DOE student account, which allows parents to be more involved in and informed about their child's education, and explain upcoming CEC elections, which are a powerful way for parents to influence public education policy. Register now.

Free family fitness and health classes: Let's transition back to "groovement!"

I'm so excited to invite public school families to Transitioning Back to Groovement, a series of free, online fitness and health classes we're holding on six consecutive Saturdays, May 1 to June 5, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Get moving with dance-based fitness classes; return to the fundamentals of mental, spiritual and physical health; and learn some nourishing, budget-friendly recipes that kids will love.

These classes are designed to be engaging and fun for children and adults together. You may register for as many or as few as you like.

Register now

UFT BRAVEline is now open 24/7

The UFT's free anti-bullying mental health hotline, BRAVEline, is now open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can reach us by phone at 212-709-3222, via text by texting BRAVE to 43961 or via our anonymous online chat. Please help us spread the word to students and families!

The UFT's BRAVE campaign also offers free, online workshops for students, parents and school staff about preventing bullying. fcc To request a workshop for your child's school, talk to your PTA/PA president, principal, UFT chapter leader and parent coordinator, then fill out our workshop request form.

Related Topics: Parent News