Congratulations to SOMEA’s very own, CHS educational support professional, Keysha Knight, on being named the NJEA Human and Civil Rights Committee Chair!
This is a VOLUNTARY position that provides a $500 yearly budget which will serve to reimburse the host(s) for monies spent on food or activities (excluding alcohol). SOMEA offers this position and budget to help to support teachers and staff of color to create networks and support systems within the union, the district and the individual schools. SOMEA recognizes that our current staff demographics mirror that of the nation in that our membership is over 80% white. Working in this environment can be taxing and isolating for POC and SOMEA wants to provide the opportunity for networking and relationship building. SOMEA also understands that cross-racial relationships will and must occur but they do not always provide the safety and liberty that affinity groups can provide.
Any staff member or teacher may volunteer for this position and it may also be shared between volunteers. The number of days, the times of the meetings and the meeting dates are to be determined by the host(s), but this should act as ongoing support throughout the school year. There is no pre-determined minimum or maximum amount of time. Due to laws that govern how a teachers’ union can spend its money, a report must be generated in order to reimburse monies spent. To achieve this, a sign-in sheet for every meeting must be turned in to Laurie Pham at firstname.lastname@example.org along with a BRIEF report of what was discussed.
SOMEA encourages a social atmosphere that is inclusive to all People of Color but limited ONLY to SOMEA members. Please reach out to Pat Hurley, email@example.com if you are interested.
A reminder, if you need to change your password go to https://charlie.somsd.k12.nj.us. If your password has expired you will be prompted to change your password. If your password is not expired, at the bottom right is the link to change your password.
SOMEA President, Rocio Lopez, addresses new faculty and staff at the 2018-2019 New Staff Orientation
SOMEA welcomes new faculty and staff to the South Orange-Maplewood School District at the 2018-2019 NEA Staff Orientation
CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) for Children of Essex County is looking for volunteers. They are a nonprofit organization based in Newark that trains everyday citizens to advocate in court for the best interests of foster children. https://www.casaessex.org/volunteer
Brenda Schwartz, Director of Volunteer Management, wanted all to know that many advocates are educators, some being SOMA residents. She also said that retired teachers in particular find great satisfaction in the opportunity to apply their years of experience and skills to building a one-on-one relationship with a vulnerable child, giving them hope for the future. CASA had an exhibit table at the Pride Fest in Maplewood last Sunday to raise awareness of the additional challenges facing LGBTQ youth while in the foster care system.
If you are interested, the next training session starts July 16 and is geared to teachers so that they can complete the mandatory 30 hours quickly while their schedules are more open.
On behalf of Essex County’s 1,800 foster children, CASA thanks you for your consideration and are deeply grateful for the opportunity to spread the word through the community. If you would like more detail, please email Michelle Rhodes at firstname.lastname@example.org for a direct contact.
Two opportunities to be a host family. Katie Simpson, CHS Teacher and volunteer Community Liaison for TCLP program is looking for a family to host Ms. Yu Wu, a visiting teacher from Chengdu (Sichuan Province), China who will be teaching Mandarin Chinese at Columbia High School (CHS) for the 2018-2019 school year. CHS was awarded a grant from the U.S. Department of State’s Teachers of Critical Languages Program (TCLP) to host Ms. Wu. As part of our community hosting responsibilities, we need a family to volunteer to serve as the “transitional host family” during Ms .Wu’s first two weeks of arrival. We are also looking for a longer term host family after the transitional period. This is great opportunity to experience Chinese culture and language.
Transitional Host Family (August 10-24, 2018): The transitional host family will host the Mandarin teacher upon her arrival in South Orange-Maplewood on August 10, 2018 for two weeks. This family will help welcome and acquaint her with our community.
Permanent Host Family (August 25, 2018 – late June 2019): We would like to offer the teacher a variety of housing options. One of them will be to live with a host family during the school year. The teacher would need to have her own room, and, ideally, her own bathroom. The family that serves as the permanent hosts will receive a stipend ($1000 per month for private room and bath) for hosting.
If anyone is interested, please contact Katie Simpson at email@example.com