How are paraprofessionals and school-related personnel reclaiming the promise? See how support staff at the Oregon School Employees Association's Centennial Chapter 113 helped their school district qualify to receive a truckload of more than 40,000 children's books.
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As one of First Book’s biggest partners, we’ve put 2 million books in the hands of children in need, and we’ve helped First Book expand its marketplace of registered users from 20,000 to 150,000. AFT members have organized First Book truck events in communities across the country—in this month alone, a total of 200,000 books have been given away at five events in Massachusetts, New York and Oregon.
Using a phone bank and other organizing tools, support staff at the Oregon School Employees Association's Centennial Chapter 113 spent months recruiting 2,000 classified employees, teachers and social service employees to sign up for First Book, a national nonprofit dedicated to putting books in the hands of children who need them most. The sign-up effort qualified the district for the distribution of a truckload of more than 40,000 children's books.
The AFT lost one of its most committed and passionate sisters on Dec. 5, when former AFT Vice President Maria Portalatin passed away. Portalatin started out as a paraprofessional in New York City, was a member of the original AFT Paraprofessional Committee and then the PSRP program and policy council, and served on the AFT executive council from 1980 to 2006.
Food insecurity in the United States is a bigger problem than many people realize. Nearly three in 10—and half of millennials—report they or someone in their immediate family has used government food assistance programs in the last two years. With those sorts of numbers, it's no surprise that people surveyed place a high value on school nutrition programs.
Paraprofessionals & school-related personnel
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