ALBANY, N.Y. Sept. 8, 2019 — New York Stated United Teachers today is providing hundreds of fresh new backpacks, school supply kits and books to Albany students to go along with their fresh new haircuts as part of the annual Support for Scholars event put on by Central Avenue businesses and Albany community organizations.
NYSUT President Andy Pallotta, NYSUT Secretary-Treasurer Philippe Abraham and members of NYSUT’s Albany City School District affiliates were on hand Sunday morning to give away the free backpacks and school supplies, collected in partnership with WAMC Northeast Public Radio, and free age-appropriate books, provided through a partnership with First Book, Inc.
The annual event, organized by Brick’s Barber Shop, also includes free haircuts, refreshments and other giveaways for students of all ages provided by Brick’s, Will’s Barber Shop, Jay Allen Hair Studio, Juices Forever, Rocks, Shriners Al-Tabari Temple 121 and the 369th Veterans Association Inc. The event continues until 3 p.m. today at Central Avenue businesses located between Henry Johnson Boulevard and Lexington Avenue.
“As a child attending public school in Brooklyn, getting a fresh haircut and new school supplies was an annual rite of passage for me,” Pallotta said. “NYSUT is proud to join with the Albany community to ensure that all students have access to these things as the new school year begins.”
“We are proud to team up with WAMC once again and work with so many great businesses and community organizations in Albany to ensure students have what they need to succeed this school year,” Abraham said.
“WAMC is extremely proud to work with NYSUT to help provide students with backpacks and supplies for school again this year,” WAMC President and CEO Alan Chartock said. “No child should have to worry about having the tools they need for their education, and we thank NYSUT for getting these into our communities.”
Deryl McCray, co-owner of Brick’s Barber Shop, has organized Support for Scholars for more than a decade. Every year, Brick’s provides hundreds of free back-to-school haircuts for Albany children.
“I know appearance matters to kids heading back to school,” McCray said. “We want to help students in any way we can to feel comfortable and confident when they walk through the main doors at school. It’s incredible to see the support we’ve received for our mission to give back to the Albany community and get children ready for school, and Brick’s is thankful for the help our partners provide for this event.”
New York State United Teachers is a statewide union with more than 600,000 members in education, human services and health care. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association and the AFL-CIO.