Tours to highlight AFT members who are making a difference

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Despite cuts in school funding and the ongoing attacks on education professionals and their rights, teachers, paraprofessionals and school-related personnel continue to do incredible work on behalf of their students. Even in the face of obstacles created by those who would denigrate and defund public education, AFT members continue to work with their colleagues, school systems and the community to improve teaching and learning.

As students and educators across the country begin the new school year, AFT president Randi Weingarten and AFT executive vice president Lorretta Johnson will be visiting schools in several states to highlight the outstanding contributions of AFT members. The visits will show how these dedicated professionals are making a difference in the lives of students every day.

Weingarten kicks off her tour Aug. 29 in West Virginia where she will be in Charleston to meet with Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin as well as visit West Side Elementary School, the state’s first community school. She then will travel to rural McDowell County for a tour of Mount View High School and a roundtable discussion with members of the community.

Johnson will be in Washington state on Sept. 2 with a first stop in Tacoma, where she will visit the Tone Resource Center, a program that helps link homeless families and children with the services they need. Next stop is in Kent, where the AFT executive vice president will visit Scenic Hill Elementary School, which has a unique recycling program started by a custodian. Then, on to Seattle where she will tour an early childhood center.

Other stops on the tours include Austin, Texas; Detroit; Hartford, Conn., Long Island, N.Y., and Palm Beach, Fla.

To read coverage of the tours visit www.aft.org/difference.  [Roger Glass/videos by Matthew Jones and Brett Sherman]

August 25, 2011