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Staten Island Parent Newsletter - December 2019

News Stories

Dear parents, grandparents, guardians and education activists,

I wish you a happy, healthy holiday season! Thank you for being a part of the UFT parent and education advocates' community. I look forward to continuing our work in the new year.

Check out the news you can use below.


Marie Rodriguez
UFT Parent-Community Liaison

Staten Island news

  • New member discount at the Jewish Community Center: The Joan and Alan Bernikow Jewish Community Center at 1466 Manor Road is offering a deal to new members this January. Sign up for a monthly wellness membership with a $0 enrollment fee and get a free personal training session. Find out more »
  • Art in schools: IlluminArt, a community organization based on Staten Island and a UFT community partner, empowers students of all ages to use theater and the arts to creatively express thoughts and feelings about critical issues, facilitating conversations for positive change. IlluminArt programs include art residencies in schools covering pray-writing, dance, improv comedy, puppetry and mural-making; live performances by professional actors about social issues such as bullying, discrimination, substance abuse and more; and an arts empowerment program geared toward children affected by addiction in the family. To learn more about IlluminArt and bring its programs to your school, visit the website »

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 »

Opportunities for students

  • 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 »

Education news and resources

  • 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 you can fill out and return to your child's school. You also can opt out by filling out 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 »
  • Family screen time resource: Common Sense Media and the Brooklyn Public Library have created a resource for families to learn about screen time guidelines and set their own limits for screen time at home. Check it out »
  • 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 »
Related Topics: Parent News