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Early Childhood Conference

The UFT’s 15th annual Early Childhood Conference on April 1 buzzed with energy as nearly 200 educators gathered to learn ways to engage their youngest students with play.

UFT holiday party and toy drive

The UFT welcomed 80 children from eight city shelters to a special holiday celebration organized in partnership with Coalition for the Homeless on Dec. 10 at union headquarters in Manhattan.

Your union is here for you

UFT Vice President for Elementary Schools Karen Alford writes that we are excited to return to our classrooms to do what we do best after recharging over the summer. And we won’t let budget cuts or layoffs stop us from providing our public school...

Early Childhood Conference

Spring was in the air on March 19 at the UFT’s 14th annual Early Childhood Conference, where laughter, play and learning emerged after a difficult winter for nearly 400 educators — a blend of in-person participants at UFT headquarters and remote...

The benefits of mindfulness

UFT Vice President for Elementary Schools Karen Alford writes that it’s been a stressful year, and the pandemic is still affecting all our lives. Some UFT members have gotten a jump-start on their own social-emotional wellness, with training in...

Early education during a pandemic

UFT Vice President for Elementary Schools Karen Alford writes that as always, it is the teachers in the classroom who are figuring out how best to serve their students in this unusual school year, with help from three hardworking union groups.

Pre-K teacher pays it forward by volunteering

For one volunteer, the annual UFT-Coalition for the Homeless Christmas party in December at union headquarters in Manhattan was a chance to remember — and pay it forward.

Welcome to your new union family

This September, 3,000 new teachers have joined the city Department of Education’s ranks. Their interests and backgrounds are as diverse as New York City itself. But whether they teach 3-year-olds on Staten Island or high school biology in Brooklyn...

Make a social-emotional connection

As early childhood educators, we know that social-emotional learning is just as crucial for our young students as number sense or early literacy skills.

VP for Elementary Schools

Karen Alford is vice president for elementary schools. She spearheads the union's United Community Schools initiative, which strengthens schools by offering wraparound health and social services in the school building for the entire community.