Black History Month programs have been taking place since Dr. Carter G. Woodson implored Americans to learn and celebrate African-American history back in 1926. The students, faculty, and staff of Garrett Heights Elementary-Middle School (GHEMS) continued in Dr. Woodson’s tradition with a robust celebration involving songs, poems, dances, and skits. The students in the K-8 school, under the guidance of music teacher and member Taniyah Moses, put on a show that the auditorium full of family and friends delightfully enjoyed. Moses found it particularly heartwarming to see the number of families and friends in the audience. She said the presence of so many loved ones in the audience shows that families “really care, they love our children, and they support our children, and that’s what is most important here at GHEMS.”
AFT-Maryland’s team attended to support the students and continue the work of building home libraries and improving literacy among students in Baltimore city. As a part of the Reading Opens the World initiative from AFT, the state federation distributed age-appropriate books that would support and echo many of the stories and lessons shared during the Black History Month program.
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Family Healthcare WIN for Baltimore County Public Employees
Rising health care costs are a threat to workers everywhere. Relief is coming for a particular group of public employees in Baltimore county thanks to BCFPE President John Ripley who served as the chairman for the Baltimore County Labor Health Care Review Committee.
It is rare to get 99% of people to do anything these days, unless it's unionization at the Maryland School for the Deaf. Last week, faculty and staff at the state facility voted 159-2 to unionize, authorizing the Maryland School for the Deaf Faculty and Staff Association, Local 4828 (MSDFSA) to serve as the exclusive bargaining agent for faculty and staff at the school. The huge and historic win comes after years of organizing. AFT-Maryland has supported the faculty and staff at the state institution for more than two decades. In the last few years however, efforts to codify collective bargaining have intensified, culminating in a collaborative effort between AFT National, AFT-Maryland, and faculty and staff at the Maryland School for the Deaf that made up the organizing committee.
AFT-Maryland stands in solidarity with Michigan State students, faculty and staff, and the entire East Lansing community. Once again our nation is left with the scars of a mass shooting killing three and injuring others at Michigan State University. Sadly, some Michigan State students who survived this tragedy are also survivors of other school shootings. It pains us to have to say other school shootings because some students survived the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Connecticut, while others are survivors of the tragic school shooting at Oxford High School just outside of Detroit less than two years ago.
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