Nov. 20 is the day we honor NYSUT's School-Related Professionals — school bus drivers, attendants and mechanics, cafeteria workers, clerks and staff, custodians, maintenance and security personnel, nurses, teacher aides, paraprofessionals and teaching assistants who contribute in myriad ways to the education of the whole student.
"These NYSUT members are the hidden heroes of our schools," said NYSUT Vice President Kathleen Donahue, whose office oversees the union's programming for SRPs. "Honoring their contributions to our students and celebrating the work they do is critical. We urge every school district to use this day to recognize the work of all school employees."
This year, SRP Recognition Day occurs after American Education Week (Nov. 11-17), so you may want to use some of your in-school activities that week to have students create a special thank you for SRPs. Whatever celebration you plan for Nov. 20, be sure to say "thank you" to every SRP you see that day.
NYSUT has SRP celebration packets available for local leaders. Each packet includes a guide that outlines easy and creative ways to plan and promote a celebration, a poster and "SRPs Make a Difference" pins. To order, SRP leaders should email NYSUT SRP Coordinator Margaret MacCartney at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Local leaders who are not SRPs can request celebration planning items, including "Proud to Support SRPs" stickers. In your request, be sure to include your name and union leadership title, your local's name, the number of buttons (or stickers) you need and the address to send your packet. Order by Nov. 1 to ensure delivery by Nov. 20.
New York's state SRP Recognition Day — always the third Tuesday in November — was signed into law in 2007 after extensive lobbying by NYSUT. Visit www.nysut.org to learn about the historic accomplishments of NYSUT SRPs via a downloadable poster, "School-Related Professionals: A History of Achievement."