Press Release

AFL-CIO Awards Grants to Schools and Scholarships to Students To Commemorate Anniversary of March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom

For Release: 

Sunday, September 8, 2013


Janet Bass

The AFL-CIO today awarded $5,000 Adopt-a-School grants to each of 21 public schools across the country to support curriculum on the vital connection between workers' rights and civil rights. American Federation of Teachers members work at 19 of those schools.

The AFL-CIO also announced today that five children of AFT members will receive $5,000 Dreams of Jobs and Freedom scholarships to help pay for college tuition.

The grants and scholarships were awarded to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

"Education is the pathway to opportunity. An excellent public education for all children is an economic necessity, an anchor of democracy, a moral imperative and a fundamental civil right, without which none of our other rights can be fully realized," said AFT President Randi Weingarten. "These grants and scholarships will help today's students understand the civil rights and workers' rights struggles of the past so that they can be part of the next generation to help reclaim the promise of public education, and part of a society where there is no discrimination based on race, sex, ethnicity or sexual orientation."

The schools to receive an Adopt-a-School Award are:

Midwestern schools

William Penn Elementary School, Chicago
Adams Elementary School, Wichita, Kan. (It is already working on a First Book project to provide free books to students.)
Western International High School, Detroit
Woodward Career Technical High School, Cincinnati

Northeastern schools

Edmondson-Westside High School, Baltimore
Miller Street Elementary School, Newark, N.J.
Curtis High School, New York City
Warren G. Harding Middle School, Philadelphia
Anne Beers Elementary School, Washington, D.C.

Southern schools

Miami Northwestern Senior High School, Miami
Paul L. Dunbar Elementary School, Atlanta
Foster Traditional Elementary, Louisville, Ky.
Singleton Charter School (PK-8), New Orleans
Chrysalis Alternative High School, Taos, N.M. (It is already working on introducing a labor curriculum.)
Phillis Wheatley Middle School, San Antonio
Ridgemont Elementary School, Fort Bend, Texas

Western schools

Miguel Contreras Learning Complex, Los Angeles
Dorsey High School, Los Angeles
Sitton Elementary School, Portland, Ore.
Clackamas County Children's Commission Head Start, Clackamas County, Ore.
Memorial Preparatory for Scholars and Athletes, San Diego

The six recipients of the Dreams of Jobs and Freedom Scholarship who are children of AFT members are:

Mona Abutouk of Los Angeles
Marcus Erdman of McKean, Pa.
Yoseline Escalante-Buendia of Berkeley, Calif.
Julian Sit of East Elmhurst, N.Y.
Kaitlyn Steigerwald of Chicago
James Benedek of McKeesport, Pa.

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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.