Western New York locals
Sixteen teams of western New York teachers not only racked up points and good will, they raised $2,500 in a first-ever spring kickball tournament benefiting a summer camp for children with special needs and economic challenges.
The tournament, dubbed "Teachers kick back to the community," was organized by educators from the Frontier Central Teachers Association and the Hamburg TA. Participants included teachers and School-Related Professionals from local unions at Orchard Park, West Seneca, North Collins and East Aurora; as well as Randolph Academy, Hopevale campus. The tournament was held at the Buffalo-Niagara Court Center.
Participation fees and the proceeds from gift basket raffles all went to support Cradle Beach, an Erie County camp that serves about 800 children from western New York. Residential summer programs at the camp include organized activities to promote socialization, independence, and decision-making in a recreational setting.
Organizer Lisa Potter, a speech language pathologist teacher and member of the Frontier Central TA said they plan to hold the event next year — and make it even bigger and better.
"We have all these teachers getting together when times aren't good ... it's been a great morale booster," Potter said.
Corinth Teachers Association
To celebrate literacy month in March, educators from Corinth Elementary School staged their version of Dr. Seuss' The Lorax for students in kindergarten through fourth grade. Set to coincide with the March 2 release of the animated film, the production included a host of educators behind the scenes and on stage.
"We chose this story for its important environmental message, and we knew it would be popular with the students," said fourth grade teacher and Corinth Teachers Association member Larry Deso. "We, of course, were stressing the importance and value of reading, while bringing a classic Dr. Seuss tale to life for the children."
Deso played the title character, the Lorax. Scenery was coordinated by art teacher Lisa Palmero, along with student teacher Erica Wardell and groups of fourth grade students.
"Our staff is always ready to pour their hearts and souls (and cats in hats) into their jobs, regardless of any negativity surrounding education at this time," said CTA President Alan Spieldenner. "We have a dedicated and fun-loving bunch here at Corinth."