Maria Portalatin, Linda Bridges loved their union
THE AFT HAS LOST two of its most passionate sisters and leaders.
New York paraprofessional and former AFT Vice President Maria Portalatin, who died in December, was a pioneer, serving on the AFT’s original paraprofessional committee and the PSRP program and policy council. She always...
Law needs to keep high standards for paraprofessionals
“PARAS ARE A VITAL PART of the complete educational process,” wrote one school support worker from Illinois. “We have to make sure that all our paraprofessionals are not only qualified, but have the continuing professional development needed to perform the duties they are hired for,” wrote...
Together, PSRPs take problem solving into our own hands
SCHOOL SUPPORT STAFF think about everything we do through the lens of whether it’s good for our students, schools, families and communities. We know that if we want to change things for the better, sometimes it takes more than keeping our heads down and doing our jobs. It takes union activism....
INVOLVED MEMBERS are the strength of our union. Here are some ideas from PSRP activists on how to increase members’ engagement:
- Help make co-workers’ introduction to the union a really positive experience. Most people don’t know a whole lot about unions. Introduce...
‘I didn’t want the mother to die in front of her daughter’
Most members who get AFT training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation will never have the chance to use it, but that turned out not to be the case for Robin Herrin, a special education paraprofessional who saved a woman’s life on New Year’s Eve.
She was ringing in the new year with her...
New resource helps school staff know what to do and say
NINE IN 10 CHILDREN suffer the death of a family member or friend by the end of high school, yet a recent survey indicates that only 7 percent of AFT members have received the type of training that can help them support students at these difficult times. That is a terrible mismatch of challenges...
PSRPs WIN RECOGNITION
Public acclaim comes rarely for school support personnel, but back-to-school season last fall provided a windfall of publicity for school bus drivers, bus attendants, cafeteria workers, custodians and paraprofessionals in southwest Florida.
Early childhood educators enrich skills to give preschoolers a positive start
Three schools are spearheading a pilot program in Brooklyn, N.Y., aimed at taking “Transitioning to Kindergarten,” a toolkit co-created by the AFT and the National Center for Learning Disabilities, and making it the newest resource for enriching the home-school connection, promoting dialogue...
“OFFICER, WHY are you stopping me?”
School food service manager Steven Brinkley recounted the following experience in January, during the AFT’s first forum in a yearlong initiative on racial justice.
It happened a few months ago, on a Wednesday night at about 11. Brinkley left a...