Niagara County educators
Nearly 150 teachers from locals in Niagara County participated in the 2012 Niagara County Teachers Charity Softball Tournament, a competition to raise funds for Niagara Hospice. Locals included the Starpoint Teachers Association, Niagara Falls Teachers, Wilson TA, Barker Teachers Union, Newfane TA, Lockport Education Association, Niagara Wheatfield TA, Lewiston Porter United Teachers and Orleans Niagara BOCES TA. More than $2,300 was raised.
Niagara Falls emerged from the double elimination tournament as champions by defeating Starpoint 16-14. Niagara Wheatfield claimed third place by defeating a tough Lewiston Porter team in the consolation final.
Many wise people have said that the best route to success in life is to start by just showing up. That's exactly what educators belonging to the Arlington TA do when they show up twice a month at the food pantry in Poughkeepsie to serve food.
Colleen Napora, a special education teacher and ATA member, said eight to 12 educators volunteer on the second Monday and Friday of every month. Each ATA volunteer wears a union shirt while working, so people can see teachers giving back.
The local started the project after attending NYSUT's Local Action Project, a three-year program for locals with the goal of improving participation, community outreach and coalition building. Arlington teachers chose to volunteer at The Lunch Box, Dutchess Outreach's soup kitchen in Poughkeepsie. The pantry offers services to many people in the Arlington area of Dutchess County.
"Often times we bring in food they need for donations," said Napora, one of about 750 members of the ATA, led by Robert Maier. "I have had awesome feedback from the members — many people have volunteered several times because this is such a rewarding experience," she said.
The local union uses its Facebook page to advertise the need for volunteers. Napora said students and teachers from other districts have asked to help as well.
"This year we hope to expand our volunteer efforts and see where else we can help them, or other organizations in the community," said Napora, a National Board Certified Teacher.
Central NY locals
NYSUT members from a dozen locals spread an important anti-bullying message at this year's State Fair in Syracuse. For 12 days, in-service and retired educators staffed a booth in the Center of Progress Building and distributed pencils, rulers and thousands of brochures with tips from NYSUT's "Stop Bullying!" campaign.
Volunteering at the fair were educators from locals in the Solvay, Jamesville-DeWitt, Marcellus, Baldwinsville, East Syracuse Minoa, Jordan Elbridge, West Genesee, Fulton, Fayetteville-Manlius, North Syracuse and Westhill school districts and members of Retiree Council 7.
For more information on the "Stop Bullying!" campaign, visit www.nysut.org .