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    • BACK-TO-SCHOOL: Union partnership helps students start the school year off with 'a sense of pride and confidence'

      Six months ago, staff at Grace Smith House in Poughkeepsie reached out to the Wappingers Congress of Teachers, asking for help to get a boy’s bike. When union leaders dropped off the bike, they asked how else they could help the students sheltering there in safety from domestic violence.

      The answer: those kids would need personal care items and back-to-school supplies at the start of the next school year.

      In August, 60 stacked backpacks were delivered to students. The backpacks for the Wappingers area students, along with backpacks sent to others in an 18-county area of New York, were made available as a result of a joint effort between NYSUT and listeners of Northeast public radio station WAMC. The two organizations purchased nearly 1,100 backpacks filled with school supplies — taken from a typical list an elementary teacher sends home to parents — along with some personal care kits.

      In Albany, Laura Franz, president of the Albany Public School Teachers Association, reported that the share of donated backpacks provided to this urban, high-needs district were handed out to new teachers. They, in turn, were able to give them to students who showed up empty-handed at school, or without enough supplies.

      “We’re very grateful,” said Franz. “This helps new teachers who don’t know what they’re going to find.”

      back to school
      Secretary Treasurer Abraham and President Andy Pallotta greet Albany students with new backpacks for back-to-school. Photo by El-Wise Noisette.

      Backpacks were happily received by children in downtown Albany this past weekend as part of a community outreach where the students were also treated to free haircuts, edge-ups and fades at the local barber shop, Bricks. Hamburgers and hot dogs were served, along with mixtures of all-natural, healthy juice blends instead of soda. NYSUT President Andy Pallotta and Secretary-Treasurer Philippe Abraham joined Albany community leaders to meet students and share time with families.

      “Many families across New York struggle with providing basic needs, especially around back-to-school time when the costs of getting children outfitted for the new year can cost hundreds of dollars per student,” said Abraham, as local volunteers worked the barbeque grill and greeted families and passers-by. “By engaging with local communities and assisting these families, we are helping children start the year with a backpack, new materials, a fresh haircut and a sense of pride and confidence.”

      “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.”

      While the backpacks certainly help students with practical goods and a self- esteem boost — they also help educators. Pallotta reminds people often that teachers spend about $500 a year out of their own pocket for classroom supplies and to help students.

      “Tackling rising poverty in New York is one of our NYSUT social justice causes,” said Abraham. “In this manner, students and their families are able to have positive experiences with our educators prior to the start of the school year. These type of events let students and their families know that our union and our members care about them.”

      When the Wappingers Congress of Teachers brought the backpacks to students at Grace Smith House, they were taking action on their mission of deepening community outreach.

      back to school

      The WTC has taken part in NYSUT’s Local Action Project, and it was there they learned to develop pillars of what their union stands for. One of those pillars is community outreach, said Pasquale Delli Carpini, president (pictured above, second from right).

      “We gave these kids the opportunity to begin school in September with the tools they need to begin the school year like every other student,” said Delli Carpini. “It’s an indescribable feeling, to know you’re beginning to make a difference in someone’s life.”

      The local president and longtime Italian teacher said he comes from a little town called Gallo Matese in southern Italy, in the province of Caserta. “We lived off the land. I know what poverty is like,” he said. At age 12, he came to America. “This country has given me a lot. We have the opportunity to give back.”

    • NYSUT applauds Maine-Endwell’s Rachel Murat as New York State's 2020 Teacher of the Year

      ALBANY, N.Y., Sept. 10, 2019 — New York State United Teachers today lauded Rachel Murat — a celebrated longtime Maine-Endwell social studies teacher, high school mentor and community servant — on being named the 2020 New York State Teacher of the Year.

      Murat, a 2019 Teacher of the Year finalist, has taught numerous history and government classes and developed Maine-Endwell’s first Digital Citizenship course, aimed at ensuring students understand the importance and reach of their digital footprints. The Maine-Endwell Teachers Association member has spent her 24-year career not just teaching her students, but helping them grow into young adults ready for college and careers. In 2005, she helped develop a ninth-grade mentoring program to help students transition academically, socially and emotionally to high school.

      Taking her work beyond the classroom, Murat is founder and president of Maine-Endwell Assisting Local Spartans (M-EALS), through which the district provided food and other essential items to more than 115 families in the most recent school year, and hundreds more since it was founded in 2010.

      Among a long list of awards she has received throughout her distinguished career, Murat is an eight-time Maine-Endwell Distinguished Teacher, an honor bestowed by each senior class on the teacher who has had the greatest influence on their education.

      “Dedication to one’s craft is essential in any career field, but Rachel exemplifies the dedication that our educators have for both their careers and the people they serve: New York’s children,” NYSUT President Andy Pallotta said. “Whether it’s teaching students thoughtful digital citizenship or helping families dealing with food insecurity, Rachel is a shining example of how we all should seek to impact our communities to build a better New York and world.”

      Murat’s lengthy resume offers a window into what her colleagues, students and fellow community members say is her passion for education, tenacious work ethic and strong character. In nominating her for the 2020 Teacher of the Year award, one student wrote, “When she is in front of a classroom, or even simply just walking through the halls of the school, she makes it her mission to leave every person better than she found them.”

      “Rachel serves as an inspiration for both her peers and those taking a look at teaching as a possible profession,” NYSUT Executive Vice President Jolene DiBrango said. “As educators, we all seek to lift up our students and help them achieve their full potential. Rachel’s experience is a model for how fulfilling education can be for both teachers and their students.”

      Murat succeeds 2019 Teacher of the Year Alhassan Susso, a government, economics and personal development teacher at the International Community High School in the Bronx.

      It runs in the family: NY’s Teacher of the Year Rachel @mrsmurat brings her dad Jim Beatty to the Regents meeting. The proud dad was a 4th grade Hamburg teacher, retiring after 37 years in education. @nysutEVP pic.twitter.com/SAFHvJH96E

      — NYSUT (@nysut) September 10, 2019

      Also today, NYSUT applauded the 2020 Teacher of the Year finalists: United Teachers of Northport member John Braun, Grand Island Teachers Association member Mary Howard, Watervliet Teachers Association member Jeanne Lance and Schenectady Federation of Teachers member Laura Macey.

      NY Teacher of the Year Rachel Murat is joined by finalists and ⁦@nysutEVP⁩ DiBrango. pic.twitter.com/M2nR8CAIsR

      — NYSUT (@nysut) September 10, 2019

      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.


    LTA Blog

    Stand Up For What All Kids Need







    Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposed budget for 2015-2016 lays out a punishing anti-public education agenda that attacks teachers and hurts students.

    Rather than provide what all kids need, the governor is pushing a Billionaires' Agenda that would decimate the state's public schools. His "my-way-or-the-highway" budget would:

    • hold school aid increases hostage;
    • woefully underfund the state's K-12 and higher education systems;
    • more than double the weight of standardized tests;
    • make permanent an undemocratic tax cap that has wreaked financial havoc on school communities;
    • eliminate funding for teacher training;
    • launch a back-door voucher plan that would siphon funding away from schools most in need;
    • underfund public higher education by tying funding to campus "performance" rather than enrollment;
    • smooth the way for the privatization of SUNY's five hospitals;
    • destroy prep programs for future teachers;
    • and fail to fully address the student debt crisis.

    Simply put, Gov. Cuomo's proposed budget - which serves the interests of his billionaire backers - is an attack on public education that fails to address what all students need.

    Things you can do right now to fight back.

    Every NYSUT member is needed to defend public education and the teaching profession from Gov. Cuomo's Billionaires' Agenda.

    Tell the governor to stop scapegoating... stop teacher bashing and focus on what #AllKidsNeed.

    Here's your to-do list.

    Take action on this week's campaigns.

    The latest actions will always be right here in the No. 1 spot.

    Call your state senator. Now.

    • Stop what you're doing and call your state senator with this message: stand up to the Governor's "Bigfoot" tactics and defend our outstanding New York public schools!
    • You can look up the number at the NYSUT Member Action Center.

    Sign up for MAC text alerts!

    Take 10 seconds and sign up for MAC text alerts on your phone!

    Here's how: Text the word "NYSUT" to the contact number 38470.

    Sign the petitions.

    Call out the governor.

    • Invite the governor to visit your class to learn what #AllKidsNeed. Tweet out an invite directly at him and be sure to include his Twitter handle @NYGovCuomo and the hashtag #InviteCuomo if you want your tweet to be seen and heard.
    • Not on Twitter? See step 8.

    Get connected to the MAC.

    • BY TEXT. Get real-time text messages about urgent news and actions by texting the word NYSUT to the number 38470.
    • BY EMAIL. Subscribe to the NYSUT Member Action Center email alerts for updates on this campaign. If you're registered via email as a NYSUT MAC e-activist you'll also be the first to know about upcoming rallies, protests and more.
    • BY APP. Download the NYSUT MAC App for your iPhone or for your Android phone. Be sure notifications are enabled to receive alerts on new action items.

    Get connected on Facebook.

    Get connected on Twitter.

    • Join Twitter and follow @NYSUT to be part of the social media army.
    • Once a day (or as often as possible) tweet your thoughts on what #AllKidsNeed - more science labs, music and art classes, school libraries, smaller class sizes and more. We're reminding the governor to focus on what matters! Follow the conversation in real-time for some great examples from parents and educators.

    Share the poster.

    Wear the button.

    Take part in community forums.

    • Keep an eye on nysut.org/allkidsneed for information on upcoming NYSUT-sponsored Community Forums to Save Public Education in every region of the state.

    Talk it up.

    • Get the conversation going - online and offline. Read "Where We Stand" and use it to craft social media messages, send letters to the editor, and brief friends and colleagues.
    • Circulate and share print materials and videos.

    Support "Take Action Tuesday."

    • Mark your calendar to support NYSUT's "Take Action Tuesday" every week. Be on the lookout for updates.

    Learn more at www.nysut.org/allkidsneed.


    Last Updated (Tuesday, 03 March 2015 16:10)


    Member Alert Program




    There are so many member benefits, that it can be hard to keep track of them all.
    The NYSUT Member Benefits MAP (Member Alert Program) email blast service keeps you informed through a brief email message every three weeks.
    You can join MAP on the NYSUT website, at http://www.nysut.org/49.htm

    Last Updated (Friday, 15 November 2013 16:58)


    Nysut Action Center Mobile App




    NYSUT action center now has an app for smartphones that makes it very easy to take action. It is available in the app store for free.

    Last Updated (Friday, 15 November 2013 16:38)

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