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UFT provides support for phonics-based curricula

New York Teacher
UFT provides support
Jonathan Fickies

Teacher Enola Jung (center) of PS 179 in Brooklyn talks with other teachers at the HMH Into Reading training session on July 24.

Hundreds of UFT members, many of whom are teachers with 10 or more years of experience, took advantage of a free UFT Teacher Center course on the science of reading in July.

The course, which combined in-person and virtual learning, was part of the union’s effort to support educators as the Department of Education embarks on a major change in how reading is taught in elementary schools.

UFT provides support
Jonathan Fickies

James DiGennaro of the Jamaica Learning Center in Queens explains the help-wanted ad his group created for a new curriculum during the summer course.

Teachers who took the summer course titled “Reading for All: The Science of Reading Across Curriculums” were “energetic and open to changing their classroom practices” to teach one of the three approved phonics-based reading curricula, said Mary Vaccaro, the UFT vice president for education.

Michelle Grant, an English as a new language teacher at PS 280 in Jackson Heights, said the training gave her a toolkit and resources she can use to help her English language learners.

“At first I felt overwhelmed, but now I’m starting to feel more confident and at ease about how I can support my students in the 2023–24 school year,” she said.