December 2011 Issue
November 23, 2011


Source: NYSUT United

It's an honor

United Federation of Teachers member John Elfrank-Dana, a social studies teacher at Murry Bergtraum High School in lower Manhattan, is one of 26 teachers selected nationwide for the Toyota International Teacher Program. Elfrank-Dana will tour Costa Rica, visiting innovative sustainable agriculture projects at Earth University and engage in service projects at La Selva Biological Station, one of the most studied tropical rain forests in the world. He also will visit rural Costa Rican primary and secondary schools to observe classes and collaborate with teachers and students.

In print

Richard Beck, UFT, wrote The Fifty States Road to the White House: A Trivia Game Book. Suitable for middle school and high school students, the game book allows individual players or teams to become president by answering questions about the 50 states and U.S. presidents. Visit to download the e-book or order the paperback edition.

A novel by high school teacher Frank Nappi, a member of the Oceanside Federation of Teachers, is being reissued. His novel The Legend of Mickey Tussler will soon be available in paperback. The book tells the story of a 17-year-old autistic baseball player and was the basis for the film A Mile in His Shoes. The book's sequel, Sophomore Campaign, is also being reissued in paperback. For more information, visit

Chantal Lind, UFT, wrote Oceana: A Love Story, a novella about a female surfer who loves the ocean and a male golf pro. "In doing research for my project I took surfing and golf lessons. These experiences taught me how valuable it is for teachers to stretch and go out of their comfort zones so they can be more sensitive to the emotional realities of what it feels like to ask students to take risks and to keep trying when things are not easy," Lindh said. The e-book is available at