Just as the students and communities that AFT members serve are as varied and diverse as America itself, the ways that AFT locals are using their grants are creative, wide-ranging and inspiring. The campaign is focused on strategies that strengthen and improve public schools—and to help translate that vision into reality, the AFT has announced 40 back-to-school grants to its local affiliates, totaling more than $500,000.
From IT to plumbing, education to culinary arts, career and technical education provides pathways to learning for so many students—and a workforce for the communities where they live. Learn more about why the AFT is making experiential learning and in particular career and technical education a foundational element of our Real Solutions for Kids and Communities campaign.
Oregon Gov. Tina Kotek signed House Bill 2697 into law on Aug. 15, marking a historic win for healthcare workers and patients. The safe staffing legislation was made possible by members of the Oregon Nurses Association and the Oregon Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals. The measure is the most significant legislative improvement in patient care in a generation and puts Oregon at the forefront of the nation’s safe staffing laws.
Mental and behavioral health professionals at Legacy Health’s Unity Center for Behavioral Health in Portland, Ore., voted to join the Oregon Nurses Association on Aug. 23 after months of organizing. The majority of the 62 healthcare professionals voted to unionize to improve staffing and safety, boost patient care standards, have a voice in healthcare decision-making, and ensure equitable pay for frontline mental health employees.
Chances are that our educators work in a school district with a serious shortage in personnel. By now, many teachers and school support staff have left education out of frustration, exhaustion or both. These past few years have been extraordinarily challenging. To address this crisis, the AFT and Educators Thriving have collaborated on a new report, “Beyond Burnout: A Roadmap to Improve Educator Well-Being.”
The AFT has always been a solutions-driven union, and our new campaign, launched during the opening session of TEACH on July 21, proves this in spades with a fresh, practical and detailed approach to strengthening public education.
Community schools are comprehensive, democratic institutions. Built on partnerships, they connect teaching and learning to community development and problem-solving. These neighborhood centers serve the educational, social service, health and recreational needs that are crucial for student success, contributing to both improved student learning and increased community well-being.
It can be scary to see bad information spread so easily among young people, but there are ways to equip your students with media-savvy skills. At “Recognizing and Dismantling Disinformation with Secondary Students,” a workshop at the AFT TEACH conference, attendees got a tangible road map to ensure everyone is better insulated from “fake news.”
How can we support all students in becoming joyful and confident readers when they enter the classroom with many diverse language experiences? Educators have differing perspectives and experiences when it comes to teaching reading, but they share the need for strategies, resources and support to be successful in reading instruction. Attendees at the pre-TEACH literacy mini-institute session “Teaching Reading Today: Knowledge, Tools and Strategies to Navigate Fast-Moving Waters” received just that.
AFT members work hard—now more than ever—to educate, heal, help and serve our communities. Sometimes our own stress is compounded by a personal or workplace trauma; still, we struggle to be fully present for others. Now the AFT is offering a new, free benefit—trauma counseling—to provide help and healing for our members, whenever needed, wherever a member may be.