May 2011 Issue
April 27, 2011

Short takes: Passing the hat for unity

Source: NYSUT United

Passing the hat for unity

Delegates took up a collection to support our sisters and brothers fighting the ongoing attacks on collective bargaining, economic fairness and worker rights. The AFL-CIO, with support from AFT and NEA, established a national fund to gather and direct resources to fight attacks in battleground states.

President Dick Iannuzzi presented a check for $25,000 from NYSUT to state AFL-CIO President Denis Hughes. The passing of the hat generated $14,623 for the fund. Local treasury checks and individual contributions are strongly encouraged. Please make your checks payable to AFL-CIO Unity Fund, 815 16th St. NW, Washington, D.C., 20006.

Tribute to Triangle victims

Delegates observed a moment of silence in recognition of the recent 100th anniversary of the deadly Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire. The blaze in New York City on March 25, 1911, claimed 146 lives and, said NYSUT President Dick Iannuzzi, "sparked an outcry for safe working conditions" across the country. "Today, more than at any time in a very long time, we appreciate the value of the union for the service it gives to its members," he said.

Flipping for their Flips

Three lucky members who took part in the various political action activities during the RA took home Flip video cameras after having their names drawn in a raffle. The winners were Colleen Reilly of the Averill Park TA, Dennis Contri of the Vestal TA and Meredith Inkeles of Wappingers Congress of Teachers. Also, many delegates were winners in drawings at the Benefits & Services on Display. For the complete list of winners, visit

New AIDS campaign

Check out www.HIVStopsWith to learn about issues related to HIV/AIDS and about local services and events. The site is part of a New York State Department of Health campaign. For more information about HIV/AIDS, call the New York State HIV/AIDS Hotline at 1-800-541-AIDS (Spanish, 1-800-233-SIDA).

Class begins with breakfast

A new program called "Breakfast in the Classroom" aims to help curb student hunger by moving the morning meal from the cafeteria to the classroom and serving it free. Launched by Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom — a partnership of the National Education Association Health Information Network, Food Research and Action Center, National Association of Elementary School Principals Foundation, and School Nutrition Foundation — the effort is funded by the Walmart Foundation. While most schools participate in the federal School Breakfast Program, fewer than half of children who are eligible are eating breakfast.

"Breakfast in the Classroom removes the barriers to participation. (Breakfast is) served after the opening bell rather than before the day begins, and is served to all students free of charge," said NEA Health Information Network Executive Director Jerry Newberry.

Visit for more information.

Teaching health and safety

With this year being the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, students have an historical example to learn about health and safety issues. They can debate the proper role of government in establishing safety and health regulations for the workplace; the rights of workers to organize and bargain collectively ( for wages and safe working conditions; and the continuing problem of sweatshops and child labor (

Free vaccination brochure

Protect your children, protect your school, protect your community. A brochure offered through the NEA Health Information Network has been written to help make the topic of childhood vaccination less confusing.

Many adults have questions about the importance and safety of vaccinating children. The information in the booklet will help parents and educators understand the purpose, benefit, and timing of the vaccines that are recommended for children.

It's available free in hard copy by calling 877-250-5795 or can be downloaded as a PDF by visiting

Dating violence prevention

PBS Teachers, an online program offering resources for educators through the Public Broadcasting Service, offers a series of lesson plans that examine facts and issues about dating violence, and shows how students can use that information to impact the entire school population by planning a Dating Violence Awareness school campaign.