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The Teacher Education and Mentoring Program (TEAM) is a two year induction program for
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Enfield Teachers Donate 1,400 Books to Local Families
October 9, 2018
Teacher Kelly Shea greets community members at Enfield's Family Fun Festival, where teachers distributed 1,400 free children's books. (Click image for larger version)
Enfield's teachers are on a mission to create bookworms in their community.
For the second year in a row, the Enfield Teachers' Association (ETA) is adding to local families' libraries through its community outreach efforts.
After the ETA put out a request for books, teachers collected 1,410 gently used titles for young children and adolescents through teacher donations as well as leftovers from the library of a recently closed school. The ETA beat last year's inaugural record of 1,000 books collected.
Teachers were able to round up the books within two weeks, said Prudence Crandall School teacher and building rep Kelly Shea, who chaired the event. Over four nights, volunteers sorted the selections by grade level and genre and packed trios of books into large Ziploc bags labeled with the age range. The packets, suitable for kindergarten through high school, were handed out to children and families in late September at Enfield's Family Fun Festival.
"This is our community, and these are the people we serve," said Hazardville Memorial School teacher Michele Wilcox, who helped distribute the books. "Home-school connections are so important. The more we can do to reach our students and families, the more they are seeing that our teachers are invested in them."
Take your pick
Kelly Shea and Michele Wilcox were among a group of Enfield teachers who collected and bagged up books for students of every age in their second annual book drive. (Click image for larger version)
At the festival, children carefully looked over selections spread out on a table under a tent. Choices ranged from fiction and non-fiction to popular titles and topics, from picture books and board books to advanced readers and novels. Wilcox kept the table stocked, pulling more bagged selections from a half-dozen plastic bins filled to the brim.
"We are hoping to stock home libraries and supplement what they have," Shea said, encouraging families to take as many selections as they wished.
Wilcox also encouraged families with small children who cannot read yet to take some titles.
"Just to read aloud—it's so important to start young," said Wilson, who said Enfield is a melting pot of cultures and backgrounds.
From classroom to community
ETA President Emily Hulevitch said she was overwhelmed as she watched families pick out books at the festival.
"You can't put it into words," she said. "We love our kids and their families. We love our community. Just look at the excitement on their faces." Hulevitch was the winner of the 2018 CEA Salutes award, presented at this year's CEA Representative Assembly.
The Enfield Teachers' Association has made outreach an integral part of its mission. The group looks for community projects where its members can help, such as raising money for a bench for local veterans, stuffing a bus with toys at the holidays, or offering treats for a senior citizen movie night.
iHeartRadio joins the Connecticut Education Foundation to bring the joy of reading and free books to students in five Connecticut towns. The year’s biggest literacy event rolled into Plainfield this morning to kick off the third annual Read Across America Reading Bus Tour to celebrate the joy of reading with hundreds of students.
Dalio Philanthropies donates $40,000. Hundreds of schoolchildren across the state facing extraordinary hardships will receive a helping hand—as will minority students planning on entering the teaching profession—thanks in large part to a generous donation from the Dalio Philanthropies.
Woodland Regional High School’s 600-plus students rose to their feet and cheered as beloved teacher Meghan Hatch-Geary was honored in a surprise ceremony announcing Connecticut’s 2020 Teacher of the Year (TOY). The announcement came this morning at the Beacon Falls school where she and her husband, building rep Paul Geary, teach English.
“From Stamford to Manchester and towns in between, teachers have been reporting illnesses related to environmental problems within their schools,” says CEA President Jeff Leake. “There’s black mold, rodent droppings, extreme heat and cold temperatures, dust, asbestos, and other issues that are putting our students and teachers at risk every day.”
Educators from every corner of the state came together at CEA’s first-ever teacher tailgate party this weekend at UConn football’s homecoming game. More than 100 teachers, friends, and family members enjoyed breakfast, music, a fan photo booth, and games of KanJam, cornhole, and ladder golf.
The #RedForEd movement is only getting stronger—from Chicago, to Fairplay, CO to Little Rock, to Mendota, IL. Educators and their allies are coming together in communities across the country to create better schools for our children.
The National Education Association (NEA) and Connecticut Education Association (CEA) today applauded Rep. Jahana Hayes, longtime NEA and CEA member as well 2016 National Teacher of the Year, on her introduction of the Pell Grant Restoration Act, H.R. 4298.
There are those, including current U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who argue that spending more on public education doesn't lead to better outcomes. School finance expert and Rutgers Professor Bruce Baker begs to differ, and he has research to back his position up.
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.
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.