CEA advocates for teachers and public education. We've been a driving force in lobbying legislators
for the resources public schools need and campaigning for high standards for teachers and students.
Our proud history spans more than 150 years.
Whether it's your first time in the classroom or your sixth year, we are here with
all the resources early-career professionals need. We've got classroom management
and professional development ideas. We've got more ways to stretch your hard-earned
dollars. And we've got your back.
The Teacher Education and Mentoring Program (TEAM) is a two year induction program for
beginning teachers that includes mentorship and professional development. Beginning
teachers participating in the program are assigned a trained mentor to guide them
through developing individualized growth plans, uniquely based on their own needs as
CEA Helps Schoolchildren and Families Receive Free Dental Care
Holding English- and Spanish-language flyers distributed by CEA, Ana Francisca Flores and her seven-year-old
son, Rosbin Osvaldo Flores, made the trip from Bridgeport so that Rosbin could get fillings—an expense many
families cannot afford.
April 20, 2018
CEA partnered with the Connecticut Foundation for Dental Outreach this year to get the message out about a
no-cost clinic at Torrington High School April 20-21. Now in its 12th year, the Connecticut Mission of Mercy
(CTMOM) clinic provides free dental care to those who are underserved or uninsured.
Julie Eagan, who came with her 15-year-old son, Jonathan, learned about the clinic through flyers posted at
Torrington Middle School. CEA distributed hundreds of flyers to teachers and schools administrators in the hopes
that families in need of services would know that there are no-cost options available. The CTMOM free dental
clinic offers people of all ages a wide range of oral healthcare, including cleanings, fillings, extractions,
X-rays, fluoride treatments, sealants, root canals, limited partial dentures, and general health screenings.
"The cost of dental care leaves many unable to afford it," said Torrington Education Association President Mary
Juliano. "The dental clinic provides an invaluable charitable service to the residents of Connecticut,
especially those in the northwest corner. To be able to come to Torrington High School and receive a dental
cleaning free of charge is wonderful, and it is my hope that many adults and children will take advantage of the
Miles of smiles
Patients seeking care arrived as early as the night before, forming a line that snaked around Torrington
High School by daybreak.
Indeed, many did. In a line that wrapped around the building, hundreds lined up outside the school in the cold,
dark hours of the morning, and by the time the doors opened at 8 a.m., the clinic had reached its full capacity
for the day. Organizers expect to treat 800 people between Friday and Saturday, and a special area is set up
just for pediatric care.
Julie Eagan and her son, Jonathan, learned about the clinic through flyers posted at Torrington Middle
"We have a diverse community in Torrington, and many of our families have economic needs," Torrington High
School English teacher Erin Sullivan explained. "A clinic such as this provides quality care regardless of need,
allowing families with limited or no dental insurance the opportunity to stay in better health. Torrington
teachers have distributed flyers to all students as a way of communicating the clinic to families."
Personal identification, documentation, and insurance are not required in order to participate, and the clinic
is open to anyone. Families came from as far as Bridgeport, Danbury, and New London County.
The mother of a nine-year-old girl from Old Lyme explained that the cost of a filling for her
daughter—$500— was out of the family's reach.
Dr. Bahar Houshmand and Dr. Archana Karanki, both Torrington pediatric dentists volunteering their services this
weekend, said that getting the word out to students, through their teachers, is important because many children
have untreated cavities—decaying teeth that can easily be restored before they result in abscesses, trips
to the emergency room, painful extractions, and bad memories associated with dental care.
Dr. Norma Gomez, of Branford, added that parents may not know their children have a dental issue. "By coming
here, they have the benefit of an exam, a restorative filling if needed, and free treatment from experienced
Lavya Tyagi, 9, with his parents—Vikas and Preeti—and his 14-year-old brother, Bhavya, traveled from Danbury
for family dental care. Mylar and aluminum sheets distributed by volunteers help keep patients warm and dry
during the long wait outside.
Teachers lend a hand
Josephine Bicknell, director of programs and CTMOM clinic director, says teachers are among the thousands of
volunteers who help make the annual clinic run smoothly. (Clinics are set up in different Connecticut locations
"One of our volunteers is a teacher, recently retired, who has been with us since 2009," Bicknell says. "She
started because she was so concerned about her students and wanted to get them good oral healthcare that their
families couldn't afford. She was so grateful that we came to her community, and from that point on, she said
she needed to be a part of the effort. This year, in Torrington, she helped set up the clinic."
Organizer Josephine Bicknell gets ready for the clinic doors to open.
(click image for larger
Orthodontic specialist and oral surgeon Norma Gomez, with assistant Angela Ortiz, waits for the first
patients of the day.
Dr. Archana Karanki, Dr. Bahar Houshmand, and their team provide pediatric dentistry for the clinic's
Other volunteers serve as foreign-language translators, sign language interpreters, parking attendants, or
patient escorts, and many help with patient registration, data entry, crowd control, food service, or tear-down.
In all, a typical CTMOM clinic draws in more than 1,000 patients and nearly as many volunteers and provides more
than $1 million in dental services over a two-day span.
Teachers are a selfless group who choose their profession because of a love for children and teaching, not for any expectation of accolades or honors. And that makes those times teachers are recognized and have a chance to be in the spotlight all the more special.
Once again, the Connecticut Education Foundation's Board of Directors invites you to support the Children's Fund by joining Association members and CEA staff at the 25th Annual Hands Across the Green Golf Tournament on Monday, July 15.
Teachers have a lot to say on issues from their pensions to classroom safety this legislative session, which is why local associations around Connecticut are meeting with their legislators and making their voices heard.
Speaking to hundreds of students at Harding High School in Bridgeport today, Governor Ned Lamont encouraged his audience to pursue a career in teaching and be role models for the next generation of students.
Wearing #RedForEd T-shirts, several hundred Waterbury teachers showed their strength as a union, their dedication to their profession, and their value to the community they serve when they packed a March 7 Waterbury Board of Education meeting.
Community schools, minority teacher recruitment and retention, the opportunity gap, and school literacy were just some of the issues members of the legislature's Education Committee heard public input.
"Our students would only benefit from having more opportunities to learn about the culture, struggles, and contributions of African-Americans and Latinos throughout history," Waterbury teacher Sean Mosley told the legislature's Education Committee
"Teachers become teachers because we want to help kids," says Danbury building rep Lori Woodruff. "It's the same with our union—we are here to help each other. As teachers, when we're involved with the union we can do more to help one another."
Connecticut Education Foundation's (CEF) second annual Read Across America Reading Bus Tour kicked off on February 25, featuring a customized blue bus decorated with well-known Dr. Seuss characters and outfitted with bookshelves, benches, carpeting, and hundreds of new books.
At a public hearing of the legislature's Education Committee today, classroom teachers—along with CEA leaders and staff—gave powerful testimony urging lawmakers to address the crisis of violent student behavior in rural, urban, and suburban schools throughout the state.
Teachers, CEA leaders, and staff testified before the Connecticut General Assembly's Black and Puerto Rican Caucus on issues critical to teachers this legislative session. These issues included school climate, classroom safety, the persistent shortage of ethnic minority educators, and funding for public schools.
CEA supports sensible ways of assisting the state in its efforts to make up for decades of underfunding teachers' retirement, including the governor and treasurer's plan to smooth out the state's payments to the fund over a longer period of time and lower the investment earning assumption to a more realistic rate.
"We reject the idea of cutting our way to prosperity. That has never worked," said Connecticut AFL-CIO President Sal Luciano. His remarks came at a press conference yesterday where members of the labor community, including CEA, called on the state to adopt a pro-growth, investment budget.
Project Oceanology and New England Science and Sailing are partnering to offer "Sound Education: Working with NGSS and STEM in Long Island Sound". This is a FREE two-day PD event from April 5 - April 6 for teachers in grades 4-12, with overnight accommodations provided in Project Oceanology's waterfront hostel.
Legislation passed late in 2015 made many "tax extenders" semi-permanent, but there are still a few esoteric items that keep everyone on tenterhooks when, as once again this year, Congress fails to pass the tax bill by the end of the year.
Marks the inauguration of a new governor and the beginning of the 2019 session of the Connecticut General Assembly. It's likely to be a busy session with many issues for legislators to tackle over these next five months.