June 2015 Issue
May 21, 2015

Locals in Action

Source: NYSUT United

Garden City Teachers' Association

Teachers, students and community members participate in the Garden City Teachers’ Association “GC for a Cure,” a one-mile fun run/walk and 5K race to benefit cancer research.

Teachers, students and community members participate in the Garden City Teachers' Association "GC for a Cure," a one-mile fun run/walk and 5K race to benefit cancer research.

The Garden City Teachers' Association, led by Kevin Pollitt, held its sixth annual "GC for a Cure." The 5K race and one-mile fun run/walk raised around $25,000 for cancer research and awareness.

This year's event attracted more than 1,000 participants — the largest crowd since the race began in 2010, said GCTA member Trish Roberts. Participants included runners, walkers and volunteers.

"This event wouldn't be possible without the help and support of all those who participated and volunteered throughout the year planning, preparing, advertising and fundraising," Roberts said.

In addition to community support, the local secured nearly two dozen sponsors. Teachers, administrators, students, parents, community members and local merchants also donated more than 40 raffle baskets, valued at more than $100 each.

Proceeds from the race will go to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and The Michele White Scholarship Fund. For more information, visit www.GCforacure.com

Bolivar-Richburg FA, Cuba-Rushford TA, Whitesville TA

In a symbolic gesture, three small Southwestern New York local unions banded together and presented state Sen. Catharine Young, R-Olean, with an unusual gift: 5,000 Life Savers candies.

Teachers from Bolivar-Richburg FA, Cuba-Rushford TA and Whitesville TA wanted to let Young know they are counting on her to make sure the new teacher evaluation system is fair and de-emphasizes standardized testing.

"The Life Savers are to symbolize that it is a matter of life or death for teachers' careers," Bolivar-Richburg FA President Andrew Bogey told the Olean Times-Herald.

Young told the teacher leaders the Legislature strongly opposed the governor's plan to make student test scores on state standardized tests count for half of a teacher's evaluation — and that's why the state budget left it to the Regents to develop regulations.

Young said she would invite Western New York Regent Catherine Collins to a local forum to hear directly from educators on the issue.

Rochester Teachers Association

The Rochester Teachers Association is gearing up for the June 14 5K teachers challenge. The event, now in its second year, is held to raise money for much-needed supplies for public school students. The RTA is a major race sponsor.

Hilton CSTA teacher Christina Neu, a member of the nonprofit ROC City Values, organized the inaugural event with RTA teacher Kristen French. ROC City Values is dedicated to promoting positive core values in the City of Rochester.

Last year, "organizers were hoping to get 100 runners; 500 people signed up to walk/run. It was a huge success and great day," said Dawn Hohmann, a science teacher and communications consultant for the 3,500-member RTA, led by Adam Urbanski.

"Teachers get little to no money for supplies. I easily spend $500 – $1,000 of my own money for supplies. We have a high concentration of poverty in Rochester," Hohmann said.

Rochester TA members made up several teams in last year's inaugural event, as did teachers from other schools in the surrounding suburbs. Schools with participating teams each received a $120 gift card — the six schools with more than 20 competitors were each given a $328 gift card to purchase school supplies.

"I was overwhelmed by the community support for our students and teachers," said Margaret Sergent, RTA second vice president. "Any school that participated made a sign. The grass was full of them!"

The race, now called the Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield Teachers Challenge, starts at 8:30 a.m. June 14. Visit www.roccityvalues.com/2015-the-teachers-challenge-5k.html.