Skip to content

Supporting Muslim Students: What Educators Need to Know

Speaker Shazia Chaudhry, co-facilitator of the Anti-Defamation League’s Muslim-Jewish Dialogue Group, provides an explanation of the Muslim religion to open the conference.

Teacher Kerstin Rao believes ignorance is toxic.

Rao, a teacher at Bedford Middle School in Westport, spent a recent evening educating herself at a special conference on how to help students and families who face challenges because of their faith.

The event—“Supporting Muslim Students and Families: What Every Educator Needs to Know,” held at the University of Bridgeport—attracted over 50 educators, including CEA members, students, and family members. Hosted by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the University of Bridgeport in collaboration with the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education, the Connecticut State Department of Education, and the Connecticut Council for the Social Studies, the event focused on addressing the issues Muslims face in our current national climate.

“The challenge is to get out of the bubble. I want to learn how to be a better ally,” Rao said at the conference. Read more

Continued Teacher Advocacy a Must

Teachers have been speaking out forcefully against plans to shift the cost of teacher pensions onto cities and towns and raise property taxes, saying such plans would unfairly burden local taxpayers and lead to cuts in education and other essential services.

Yesterday it seemed that lawmakers on a key legislative committee were poised to respond to their constituents’ concerns and pass a budget that would maintain the state’s responsibility to fund retirement costs. At the last minute, budget talks fell apart however, and the Appropriations Committee did not approve a budget. Read more

Bringing Poetry to the Classroom

Celebrate National Poetry Month with these lessons, activities, and video/audio readings.

Resources for:

East Hartford Teacher Helps Students, Families, and Faculty Commit to Stay Fit

A group from last year’s Commit to Stay Fit program in East Hartford.

Leading into May—National Physical Fitness and Sports Month—the last week of April is Every Kid Healthy Week, which shines a spotlight on students’ health and wellness and the link between nutrition, physical activity, and learning.

“Healthy kids are better prepared to learn,” says Monique Butler, a fifth-grade teacher and building rep at O’Brien Elementary STEM School in East Hartford, which kicks off its own celebration this Wednesday with Commit to Stay Fit: Children and Families. The program, now in its seventh year, promotes wellness, good nutrition, and exercise habits. Read more

Lessons, Activities, and Curriculum Resources to Usher in Spring

Leaves are finally appearing on trees and daffodils and tulips are blooming—spring is here!

Below are lessons, activities, and videos to prepare students for the sights, smells, and sounds of Spring.

An Open Letter to State Legislators

“Increasing property taxes for residents is not the comprehensive solution Connecticut needs to balance the state budget. We need a budget that works for all of us,” a coalition of ten organizations, which includes CEA, has written legislators.

Proposals to balance the state budget by shifting costs to cities and towns don’t sit well with Connecticut voters. The coalition of education organizations and groups representing cities and towns is urging legislators to reject these proposals.

Join us. Contact your legislators.

Tell your legislators to oppose any plans that will shift the cost of teacher retirement contributions from the state to cities and towns. A cost shift will lead to higher local property taxes and cuts to much-needed services in our communities.

Read the coalition’s open letter to legislators.

Free Film Screening and Discussion for CEA Members

CEA’s Ethnic Minority Affairs Commission and Human and Civil Rights Commission invite all CEA members to a free dinner, screening, and discussion of the Academy Award-nominated documentary 13th.

The film, which explores issues of race, justice, and mass incarceration, takes its title from the 13th Amendment to the Constitution.

Living in an Unfair System: Making Changes One Classroom at a Time

Thursday, April 27
Testos Restaurant
1775 Madison Avenue, Bridgeport, CT
4:00 p.m. sign-in | 4:30 p.m. dinner reception and program

Encourage positive change in your school and community. Join us. Pre-registration is required.

Click here to attend.

More County Forums Next Week: Come and Talk to Your Legislators

North Haven teacher and local president Tom Marak talked to his legislators recently in Hamden.

With a proposed state budget that would divide Connecticut’s school districts into winners and losers and saddle towns with one-third of the cost of their teachers’ pensions, it’s vital that legislators hear loud and clear from CEA members.

It’s especially important to speak to your legislators now as some are considering a dangerous plan that would divert funding from local neighborhood schools

Make sure your legislators know where you stand. Forums for teachers who live or work in Fairfield, Litchfield, Middlesex, and New London Counties are scheduled for next week.

Email the contact for your county (see below) to attend a forum near you.

Read more

Earth Day Curriculum Resources

Earth Day is April 22. Explore new and review familiar ways to live responsibly with these lessons, projects, activities, and games.

Resources for:

CEA Members Covered by 21st Century Need to Choose New Insurance Carrier

21st Century Insurance is leaving the Connecticut market and is no longer offering insurance through the CEA-endorsed USI program. CEA members who currently have insurance through 21st Century have several options.

Members will receive a letter announcing the change and letting them know they can switch to Foremost (a company under the 21st Century/Farmers umbrella) or they can be quoted for another company.

Through USI, members can receive new quotes from insurance companies including Hanover, Travelers, New London County, Plymouth Rock, Providence Mutual, Encompass, Safeco, Progressive, MAPFRE, and National General. USI has a dedicated team for new quotes and applications for members not staying with Foremost.
Read more