Heroes on the frontlines of COVID-19 Meet our heroes

Jose DeJesus, registered nurse, Health Professionals and Allied Employees (New Jersey)

“Taking care of COVID-19 patients is exhausting, but the nurses aren’t calling out sick. We are here because of our oath and our calling. It’s frustrating and scary, but we take care of each other in the midst of this madness.”

Jill Cohenour, Montana Federation of Public Employees

“Our clinical laboratory specialists who are now running statewide testing of COVID-19 had practiced their pandemic response, together with state and federal labs, to prepare for just such a crisis. The preparedness of these valuable union public employees is an asset to Montana.”

Yolanda Fisher, food service manager, Alliance/AFT (Dallas)

“With so many of the stores being empty and parents who can’t afford to go out and stock up on food, if we didn’t do this, there are kids who would go hungry. I don’t want any child to go hungry while schools are closed.”

Kim Pendry, Title I math teacher and member of AFT-McDowell County (West Virginia)

“The AFT and First Book’s very generous book donation benefited our community. Seeing the smiling faces of the parents and students getting these good quality books brightened my day. Even the parents were anxious to start reading them.”

Michael Shunney, West Warwick Teachers’ Alliance (Rhode Island)

As of April 8, industrial technology teacher Michael Shunney, his students and a team of helpers using 3D printers have created, assembled and distributed 573 face shields that went to: nurses and doctors, EMTs and firefighters, police officers, visiting nurses and healthcare professionals, and West Warwick Public Schools employees serving breakfast and lunch for students at three district schools and two mobile sites

Heroes on the frontlines of COVID-19

Learn More

American Federation of Teachers

The AFT’s resources cover everything from face masks to free food for students. It also includes webinars about how to convert classes to remote learning, and opportunities to influence coronavirus policy in Congress.

Share My Lesson

The AFT’s Share My Lesson helps educators and parents access free resources, lesson plans and ideas on distance learning for all grades and content areas. It also has suggestions for reaching students with disabilities and English language learners, and for dealing with stress and mental health issues during this time.

AFT Academics

Solidarity Academy webinars give higher education members information and provide a forum for discussion on issues affecting higher ed employees during the coronavirus pandemic. These include how to quickly convert classes to high-quality remote learning, how the coronavirus is affecting adjunct and contingent faculty,  and how the pandemic is affecting international students. 

Forgive My Student Debt

Forgive My Student Debt provides up-to-date information to manage student loan debt during the pandemic, including advice from the AFT and our partners about new federal provisions affecting federal student loans. AFT members can also sign up with Summer, the AFT’s trusted partner for student loan management.

First Book

First Book is a nonprofit dedicated to ensuring that all children in need have their own books. While schools are closed, it has focused on reducing inequities in learning opportunities by distributing 8 million books to children who don’t have reliable access to online learning.

Wide Open School

Wide Open School is a free collection of online learning experiences and activities for kids, curated by the editors at Common Sense and organized by grade band and subject. Everything on Wide Open School centers on the schedule, which is programmed each “school” day for each grade band.

Colorín Colorado

It’s important to create bonds to support both students and their families throughout the pandemic, especially for students who are learning English. Colorín Colorado is co-produced by the PBS station WETA and the AFT, and it serves educators and families of English language learners in grades preK–12. 

Project Parachute

Healthcare workers across the country face unprecedented challenges as they deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. Project Parachute is a network of licensed therapists, in cooperation with Eleos Health, that is matching frontline healthcare professionals with licensed therapists to provide pro bono therapy.

Turnaround for Children

Even at a distance during the pandemic, we need to maintain connections to our family, friends, teachers and peers. This curated list has resources for any adult who has a trusting, supportive relationship with a child—and for young people themselves.

American Psychological Association

The American Psychological Association’s website is continually updated for psychologists, healthcare workers and the public. Resources include telehealth policies in all 50 states;; ways to manage COVID-19 concerns for people with obsessive-compulsive disorder; and more.

National PTA

The National PTA’s priority during this crisis is to help keep people safe and healthy while meeting the educational, social and emotional needs of all students, educators and families. It has compiled resources to support families and teachers who are navigating working, teaching and learning at home.


Telling our story

News stories all across the media show the AFT’s deep involvement in the public discourse on the coronavirus, but we also have our own news and personal stories from AFT members on www.VoicesFromTheFrontline.org.