November 2013
October 25, 2013

Locals in Action

Source: NYSUT United
Standing, from left: Alphonse Persico, sixth grade teacher and SEPTA first vice president; Monifa Salako, HCTA first vice president; Elias Mestizo, HCTA president; Genell Bradley, HCTA Community Outreach chair. Sitting, from left: SEPTA Co-president Beverly Barr and Emma Walker, SEPTA corresponding secretary.
Caption: Standing, from left: Alphonse Persico, sixth grade teacher and SEPTA first vice president; Monifa Salako, HCTA first vice president; Elias Mestizo, HCTA president; Genell Bradley, HCTA Community Outreach chair. Sitting, from left: SEPTA Co-president Beverly Barr and Emma Walker, SEPTA corresponding secretary.

Hempstead Classroom Teachers Association

The Hempstead Classroom Teachers Association, in conjunction with the district's PTA and Special Education PTA, plan to hold another health fair this year after a successful inaugural event last spring.

The first health fair was organized by the HCTA Community Outreach Committee. Twenty-seven community vendors promoted healthy habits and behaviors; diabetes and high blood pressure prevention and child safety. Attendees were also able to receive free dental exams.

During the last few years, the HCTA (a 2007 graduate of NYSUT's Local Action Project) and PTA/SEPTA have joined forces to help the Hempstead community with issues that directly impact student learning. The groups unite under the Hempstead Parent Teacher Partnership. The local, led by President Elias Mestizo, allocated funding from its Local Action Project fund and VOTE-COPE rebates to cover the majority of costs for the health fair; however, it was membership involvement that made the event a success, Mestizo said. The event featured student performances as well as Zumba lessons for adults.

Buffalo Teachers Federation

Following the success of the local's first "A book of their own" distribution program, in which 34,000 students from pre-K through grade 12 received new books, members of the Buffalo Teachers Federation are looking forward to this year's program.

"When I was a child, we had a very old set of The Book of Knowledge that I would open to explore science and the world around me," said BTF President Phil Rumore. "To this day, I remember the ancient set of books and the wonders it unfolded. We want each of our students to share that wonder by having their very own book."

The program was initiated by Rumore and coordinated by Barbara Bielecki, BTF treasurer and presidential assistant. The local worked through the First Book program, with assistance from the American Federation of Teachers, NYSUT and The Teacher's Desk. First Book provides free or low cost books to Title 1 and Title 1-eligible schools.
Teachers at each school in the district selected book titles for each of their students. Each school also had at least one teacher who volunteered to collect the lists, send the information to First Book and arrange for the book distributions.

For more information on First Book, or to sign up for your classroom, visit www.firstbook.org.

Central Islip TA

The Central Islip Teachers Association, led by President Michael Romano, in May awarded more than $55,000 in scholarships to 26 deserving seniors. Jennifer Cicero, who leads the union's community liaison committee, often expresses her gratitude to members who donate to the CITA scholarship fund. In a recent newsletter, she shared heartfelt letters of thanks from students:

"Whether I am a famous artist, an artist no one ever hears about (hopefully not the case), or my dream job as a forensic artist, I will always remember the amazing people who helped me to reach my goal. Thank you."

"Thank you for selecting me as a CITA scholarship winner! I admire the time and energy you all put forward to ensure that the students of Central Islip High School have a bright future."