Connetquot Teachers Association
About 200 teachers and parents from the Connetquot school district on Long Island participated in rallies with the Educate NY Now! coalition, of which NYSUT is a member, to bring attention to the unacceptable cuts to public education. In October, Connetquot Teachers Association President Tony Felicio organized rallies at four of the district's 11 schools.
"Public education is under attack. Aid to school districts has been cut, class sizes have grown, school buildings have closed and important programs have been eliminated," Felicio said. "The combination of reduced state aid and the tax cap will force schools to continue making cuts which will affect the quality of education."
Educate NY Now! unites education advocates, including parents, students, educators, administrators, unions, school board members and community organizations.
Corning Teachers' Association
Members dug deep to make the Corning Teachers' Association's annual Make A Difference Week a success. CTA members from all 10 schools in the district collected household supplies for Heart to Heart of the Southern Tier, a local non-profit that provides holiday presents for local families in need. CTA members provided soap, shampoo, toilet paper and other household items not covered by food stamps that Heart to Heart collects to make baskets for the families.
David Rich, CTA vice president and a teacher at West High School, organized the collection this year with help from CTA members throughout the district: Tamara Smith, Erin Merrill, Cathy Nagle, Angela Nichiporuk, Amy Harpster, Adam Ruth, Stacie Martinec, Mitch Peck, Nicole Salyerds, Keli Terwilliger and Judy Smith-Coleman.
Retiree Council 10
Dozens of Retiree Council 10 members traveled to NYSUT headquarters last month to participate in the council's annual Joy Bear Workshop. Wielding hot glue guns, scissors, needles and thread, and looping scraps of lace, ribbon and bows, the group decorated some 40 teddy bears for donation to the Women's Health Center at Albany Medical Center. Patients undergoing chemotherapy receive the bears for comfort as they receive treatment.
"We all have friends and loved ones who have battled cancer," said project organizer Ann Cherney, a Hoosic Valley TA retiree. "We felt that, as an organization, this was an important and worthwhile project for us to participate in."
Retiree Ann Cherney holds some of the dozens of Joy Bears made by RC 10 members to help comfort cancer patients. Photo by Andrew Watson.