Skip to main content
Full Menu
News Stories

Manhattan Parent Newsletter - December 2019

News Stories
A group of about thirty adults in three rows, some seated and some standing, smile at the camera.

Parent and community-based organization leaders at our annual networking breakfast on Nov. 19.

Dear parents, grandparents, guardians and education activists,

The past two months have been full of UFT parent events! We held our 10th annual Manhattan parent conference on Oct. 26 and it was a resounding success. More than 300 parents were in attendance for the conference and our first-ever STEM/STEAM fair. See the photo gallery on the UFT website »

Two weeks later, on Nov. 7, more than100 Manhattan parents attended a UFT screening of the documentary "Backpack Full of Cash," followed by a lively discussion about school privatization. The next week, many of you joined me at the UFT Asian-American Heritage Committee's origami workshop. It was loads of fun!

Finally, two weeks after that, close to 200 of you came to our third annual community-based organizations breakfast, which connected parent leaders from across the city with UFT representatives and leaders of community-based organizations that partner with the UFT. The presentations, resources and networking were all phenomenal on this very successful day.

If you joined us for any of our UFT parent events this semester, thank you!

As for what's coming up in the future, I'm excited to get planning underway for our second annual special education advocacy conference. I'll be in touch with registration information and further details after the winter break. We've also scheduled our fifth annual Men in Education Symposium for Saturday, April 4, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at UFT headquarters, 52 Broadway in Manhattan. There will be workshops about mentoring, fatherhood and empowerment. For a flier and to register, see the event listing »

I've been leading training sessions for parent-led organizations such as the PTA, school leadership teams, district leadership teams and various committees on topics such as parliamentary procedure and meeting governance. So far, we've had these trainings in District 1 and 3, but I'd love to come to every Manhattan school district this school year. If you'd like me to present a training for your group, please reply to this email and let me know.

When parents are empowered with leaderships skills, our children win! I look forward to doing more of this hands-on, grassroots work with you in the coming months.

Check out more opportunities and news below.


Rob Robinson
UFT Parent-Community Liaison

News you can use

  • Tell the DOE not to share your contact information: The UFT worked with parent activists to win parents the right to protect their children's privacy. Now, if you don't want charter schools to have your mailing address, name, child's name and child's grade level, you can withhold this information. In December, schools will send home a paper opt-out form that you can fill out and return to your child's school. You also can opt out by completing an online form. You'll need your child's student ID number. If you don't have your child's student ID number, you can call your child's school to get it. Fill out the online opt-out form »
  • Help the effort to have a full-time counselor in every elementary school: Most public elementary schools in the city have a school counselor only part time or don't have a counselor at all. If you want to be part of a UFT campaign to get a full-time school counselor in every elementary school to assist with bullying, anxiety, concerns about school work or other issues, please fill out the UFT’s short survey and sign up for the campaign. Take the survey »
  • Get a free anti-bullying workshop from the UFT: The UFT BRAVE Campaign offers a wealth of anti-bullying resources to parents, students and educators. Those resources include free anti-bullying workshops for PTAs, students or staff. Request a BRAVE workshop now »
  • College help for undocumented students: The New York State Dream Act allows undocumented and immigrant students to apply for state-funded financial aid and in-state tuition at SUNY and CUNY schools. To learn about eligibility and how to apply, see the flier in English and Spanish »
  • Apply for scholarship money from the UFT: The UFT invites students to apply for the Armando Blasse Scholarship, spearheaded by the UFT African Heritage Committee. High school students are eligible to earn a $1,000 college scholarship. Elementary and middle school students can win funding for their schools. Applications must include a letter of recommendation, an essay and, for high school students, a report card. The deadline is Friday, Jan. 10. Download the application »
  • Summer law internship for high school students: The Thurgood Marshall Summer Law Internship Program is accepting applications from public high school students until Friday, Jan. 3, for its paid summer law internships. Learn more and apply »

Census 2020

The national 2020 Census starts in March, and there's a lot at stake for New Yorkers. Using data derived from the Census, the federal government distributes billions of dollars in education and school food programs. What's more, if New York doesn't get better at getting its residents counted, we could lose as many as two seats in Congress, giving other states a stronger say in national policy and a stronger voice in the dispersal of federal funds. To learn more about why the Census matters, read and share a UFT Census fact sheet »

Here are more ways you can get involved in the fight to make New York count!

  • Volunteer to get the word out: Help get out the word about the 2020 Census by volunteering as a Census ambassador in your neighborhood. Find out more »
  • Apply for a job: The U.S. Census Bureau is looking for employees to assist with the 2020 Census count, including Census takers making $25 per hour. These are temporary jobs with flexible hours. Learn more and apply »
Related Topics: Parent News