AFT President Randi Weingarten (center) donates classroom basics and other materials to the Heights High School Social Workers. Heights high Principal Brian Williams, HHS Social Worker Caryl Yoo, Ohio AFT President Melissa Cropper, Randi Weingarten, Social Workers Allison Craig and Kristin Dadas and CHUH AFT President Ari Klein, (L-R).
Sept. 25, 2017 -- On September 6, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, (AFT) Randi Weingarten, visited Boulevard Elementary School and Heights High to kick off the Essentials for Kids Fund and First Book in the CH-UH District.
Ms. Weingarten brought books to the elementary school and school supplies and personal supplies to the high school.
The fund provides educators and their students with high-quality books, classroom materials and the basics that are in constant demand in daily classroom life, everything from hats to hand sanitizer.
Essentials for Kids is powered by a $200,000 startup investment, with major contributions from the union, corporate and nonprofit partners, and individual donors.
Walter Filmore is a student in the Digital Video Production program and explains the use of a 'green screen'.
These funds will allow AFT members to apply for grants of up to $150 in credits ($100 for nonmembers and $200 for those in hard-hit areas of Texas following Hurricane Harvey). These credits will pay for books, school supplies and the basics—all available through the First Book Marketplace, where items run 50 to 90 percent below retail prices.
"A union is a family, and we are doing what we can to help educators and students deal with the impact of Hurricane Harvey," Ms. Weingarten said. "We're also stepping up to help educators across the country who dig into their own wallets to make sure their classrooms are stocked with basics and their students have a warm jacket, school supplies, food or even basic hygiene products like shampoo."
Read more about AFT's Essentials for Kids and First Book programs.