October 2012
September 27, 2012

Locals in Action

Source: NYSUT United
Caption: Blind Brook-Rye FT members mingle at a Community Meet and Greet to welcome parents, teachers and students to a new school year. From left, teacher Amy Blumstein, parent Patty Chernick, teacher Betsy Murphy and parent Deborah Lewis.

Blind Brook-Rye Federation of Teachers

Starting the school year on a positive note, more than 60 Blind Brook-Rye Federation of Teachers members gathered at a local park for a first-ever Community Meet and Greet to open the new school year. Their red "BBFT" shirts carried a double meaning:

the name of their local union and their "Building Brighter Futures for Tomorrow" slogan. "It was a huge success," said BBFT President Robin Willig. "We had parents, the PTA president, village trustees, the mayor, the superintendent, administrators, board of education members and, of course, some students who braved the adult crowd for a cookie and drink."

Willig said people said hello to teachers they hadn't seen in years or met teachers their children will have this school year.

"It started off the school year on a warm friendly note," Willig said. "It's a great way for us to learn more about our families outside the school environment. It's also a great way for parents to meet other families in the district."

Hastings Teachers Association

In addition to performing wonderful deeds in their town, members of the Hastings Teachers Association are performing in videos to let the community know who they are and what they are all about.

At www.hastingsta.org, you can view lively YouTube videos showing the TA in action — collecting and distributing food on a snowy day to replenish a local food pantry, or marching in a Little League parade. The videos include on-the-scene interviews and rocking music.

"All of our events are produced into a video," said Nate Morgan, president of the 160-member Hastings TA, which includes teachers, guidance counselors and psychologists in the Hastings-on-Hudson school district.

The local won best website and best public relations awards this year from the American Federation of Teachers; and best website and best electronic media from the NYSUT journalism competition.

This year Hastings TA is joining up in a NYSUT Bowling Extravaganza — a solidarity-building initiative in their NYSUT election district. All proceeds will be donated to Project Share, which hosts an annual Thanksgiving dinner for more than 300 homeless people in the Westchester County area.

The local's annual food pantry delivery follows a month-long food collection in faculty rooms, and a canned food drive at a local grocery store staffed by educators. "I'm always amazed, but never surprised, at members' generosity," said Morgan.