September 2016 Issue
September 27, 2016

Resources for you

Source: NYSUT United

Contest salutes classroom pets

The Pets in the Classroom grant program invites prekindergarten through eighth-grade teachers to enter the Pets in the Classroom Habitat Contest. Through Dec. 10, teachers can submit pictures of their classroom pet's habitat. All entries are featured on the Pets in the Classroom website, and people are invited to vote for their favorite habitat.

The teacher whose entry receives the most votes when the contest ends is chosen as one of the contest winners. An additional teacher is chosen as a winner based on random selection. Each winner receives a $100 Amazon gift card.

Studies show that pets have a positive effect on children, improve school attendance, teach children responsibility and build self-esteem.
For more information on the grant program or contest, visit

hispanic heritage monthNYSUT poster celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

NYSUT celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month with a free poster honoring Juan Felipe Herrera, the first Latino to serve as United States Poet Laureate, a position he assumed in 2015. Herrera, as laureate, launched the project "La Casa de Colores," which invited citizens to contribute to an epic poem.

The child of migrant farm workers, Herrera is a leading voice about the Mexican-American and indigenous experience, and the author of 28 books of poetry, young adult novels and children's collections, including Crashboomlove, a young adult novel in verse for which he won an Américas Award. Herrera also wrote poems, as laureate, celebrating the lifework of Dolores Huerta, United Farm Workers co-founder, as part of a Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery exhibition.

Printable posters can be downloaded at and ordered via email at Please reference project number 514A_16 and include your name, mailing address, number of copies needed and a contact phone number. Orders without that information cannot be processed.

Free lesson plans on voting, elections

Share My Lesson, which offers more than 300,000 free online lesson plans and professional development, has everything you need to discuss the upcoming presidential election in your classroom — pre-K-12. A few lesson titles include, "Elections and voting: Election in the U.S.," "Understanding the election process," and "Role of technology in Election 2016."

The site, launched by the American Federation of Teachers four years ago, also features several back-to-school collections and professional development resources including webinars.

For more information, visit

News from NYSUT in your inbox

Every week, NYSUT publishes an electronic Member Briefing that is full of union news, tips and resources, plus ideas for ways you can Be the Union. Not receiving the Member Briefing in your inbox? Register your home email address at My NYSUT, which you can find in the upper left corner of the home page at

Follow the instructions to register and before you know it you'll be receiving the weekly Member Briefings

ELT online seminars to fit your schedule

No time for site-based training? NYSUT's Education & Learning Trust offers on-demand, online seminars so you can learn on your schedule. Open to teachers and school-related professionals, the programs fulfill Continuing Teacher and Leader Education (CTLE) requirements.

New this fall for SRPs: "Supporting Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder," and for teachers: "Academic Language for English Learners: What Teachers Need to Know." For more info, or to register, visit

Letters: A test of humanity

Here we are just a few months away from the presidential election and many of us continue to be stunned by Donald Trump's behavior. Trump can belittle Sen. Rubio, Carly Fiorina, Mexican immigrants, Muslim refugees, individuals with disabilities, grieving military parents, just to mention a few. Yet supporters still stand by him. Why is there such loyalty? Is it possible that we each have hidden resentments that cause us to accept and like this behavior? Each of us must struggle with these questions and decide who we are as well as what kind of society we value.

Supporters continue to say that Trump is smart and generous. Listen to his children and the praises they exult upon their father. However, let us not forget many fathers in political positions of power were kind to their families, but at the same time, mistreated the loved ones of many others.

The test of our humanity comes not in the form of how good we are to the ones we love, but rather, how we treat the ones we do not.

— Cynthia Graham, Watertown

Letters are published at the discretion of the editor, who takes space, relevancy, fairness, legal liability and accuracy into account. To submit a letter, email, fax to 518-213-6415 or mail to Letter to the Editor, NYSUT Communications, 800 Troy-Schenectady Road, Latham, NY 12110. Please include your name and hometown or union.

Coming up

Oct. 2, 15, 16, 23
Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walks.

Oct. 5
NYSUT day on the picket line in support of locked out Honeywell employees in Green Island.

Oct. 6
Reclaiming our schools walk-ins. Join the national Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools effort in your community. Locals can set their own agendas around local issues. Visit to get started.

Oct 21–23
SRP Leadership Conference, Saratoga Springs.

Oct. 28–30
Community College Leadership Conference, Saratoga Springs. There's still time to register. Go to

Nov. 8
Election Day. Polls open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. To find voter information and your polling place, visit

Nov. 11
Veterans Day

Nov. 15
NYS School-Related Professionals Recognition Day. For more info and a link to resources.

Nov. 25
International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. To find out more, visit

Dec. 2–3
NYSUT Board of Directors meeting, NYSUT headquarters, Latham.

Dec. 23–30
NYSUT offices closed