Teachers “Walk In” for Paid Family Leave

Dear Parents and EVCS Community,

At drop off tomorrow morning, Friday June 8th, 8:05-8:30 am, teachers are gathering to rally outside of the school, as a “walk in” demonstration to educate about and demand family leave from New York State. Please feel free to join them to show your solidarity and support the fight for family leave as this is something that affects all families and together we can make change for the better. As public workers, teachers do not currently receive the same sets of protections as non-public workers, including the rights to paid family leave.

Here are a few points that organizers and our teachers have highlighted:
* Paid family leave does not exist for NYC public school teachers and other unionized public workers in NYS.
* The new NYS law affording paid family leave to NYS residents does not apply to unionized public workers.
* Teachers are required to exhaust their bank of sick leave days in order to get paid for caring for a newborn or newly adopted child, or to care for a sick relative.
* No sick days? Teachers must borrow against their sick days to take a so-called maternity leave. They are required to take a leave of 6 weeks after the birth of a child, but cannot take more than 12 weeks leave without losing health insurance for their family.

Please consider standing with teachers, ask questions, and find out how you can support the fight for paid family leave. The event is an this is an action organized by the social justice arm of the UFT, called the MORE caucus (standing for Movement of Rank and file Educators). Our children’s teachers provide vital services to our children and our communities, let’s support them in their work to gain the right of paid family leave.

In solidarity,
Catherine Cook
Chair, Community Action Committee
EVCS Parents Association


March for Our Lives

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This Saturday, March 24th, New York Families are joining kids and families across the country to demand an end to gun violence in our communities in March for Our Lives.

While there is a big march in Washington, New York City is hosting our own sibling march this Saturday, 11 am – 5 pm, beginning on 72nd Street and Central Park West and heading Southwards. More details regarding march logistics will be announced to the press on Thursday so stay tuned and please read below. Remember weekend trains can shift so check ahead.

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EVCS Community, Start Bringing Cans to School for the Harvest Festival!


Start bringing donations to your classrooms! Students are counting!

The EVCS Harvest Festival is an opportunity to teach our children
about food equity. It gives our students the chance to take
action and learn that sometimes in life we are in a position to share,
and when we are, it is important to do so.

What Can I bring?

Non perishable foods please

canned fruit, cereal, pasta, rice, lentils, soups, canned tomatoes, vegetables, sauces, beans, canned vegetables, peanut butter in plastic jars, almond butter, boxed and dried goods

Parents, we need a few volunteers to help.

To Volunteer Click Here!


Please reach if you have any questions.

Warm Regards,
The Harvest Festival Committee

Helping Dear EVCS staffmember’s Family in Puerto Rico

Dear EVCS Families,

We wanted to thank everyone for all of their efforts in donating to the Hurricane Relief Collection for Puerto Rico. So many families were affected by Hurricane Maria. One such family is that of our beloved Pre-K Paraprofessional, Yolanda Ferra. We would like to help.

While Yolanda’s uncle and cousins lost their homes completely, her mother’s home is intact, but without necessities such as running water and electricity. Finding and preparing food and securing needed medicine and water has been and continues to be very problematic. And since there is no electricity, it has been difficult for Yolanda and her sister to communicate with her family to ensure that her mother, who is older and requires medications, is safe in these conditions. Yolanda’s family is working on getting their mother here to New York where they could provide better care for her.

It is clear that a lot of the relief efforts are not making their way to Yolanda’s home town of Bayamon, and we felt the need to do something to support Yolanda, who has been so generous with all of us, in helping her family as soon as we could.

Donate Now

Please considering donating via the above PayPal Button which we’ve put together to help raise money for Yolanda’s family during this difficult transitional time. The moneys will go directly to the PA and then right into Yolanda’s hands. No donation is too small!

Thank you so much for your kindness and please feel free to share.

In solidarity,
The Community Action Committee of the EVCS PA

Puerto Rico Relief Efforts

Yesterday a full large bin of goods were collected from EVCSers and delivered to the Firehouse on East 2nd Street.  The EVCS collection along with many other boxes of donations were set to be picked up from the firehouse and brought to a big warehouse for sorting, and ultimately sent to Puerto Rico.  We will repeat this TODAY- so please bring diapers, first aid supplies, feminine hygiene products, batteries and baby food if you would like – collection will  be by the double doors at the east end of the (closed) school yard from 8 to 8:45 am.

There are many people and places organizing many efforts, collecting goods and money for Puerto Rico and other areas affected by the recent devastating weather events.  While most collections are done with only the best of intentions, there are unfortunately scams that arise in times like these, so make sure you have trust in the places you choose to donate.  In addition to what has already been sent out, the following are some  sites, events and resources with various ways you can participate:

https://giving.cityharvest.org/emfy1809pr1 – collecting money so they  can  continue to deliver food boxes to Puerto Rico in the days and weeks to come.
http://lesready.org/hurricane-relief-2017/  – Lower  East Side Ready! is a local organization that has gathered some information on relief efforts being organized by other local agencies.
And a variety of charities are listed here in the New York Times:  https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/22/world/americas/hurricane-maria-donate-charity.html?mcubz=0&_r=0

Lastly – Party for the Cause, cause sometimes you just need to sweat out the angst:
Pa’ Puerto Rico
Popular event venue SOB’s will host “A Party Called Rosie Perez”    on Thursday, October 5 from 7 p.m. to 12 a.m that will feature special guests. The event requires a minimum donation of $10 and also encourages donations of water, batteries, flashlights, lanterns, water filters, and school supplies which all can additionally be dropped off at one of five different locations.

Human Rights for Syria

Syria screen

Our Core Value is Social Action

Dear EVCS family,

Holy moly, we’re on the other side of the middle of June and we’re starting to tick off “the last (fill in the blank) of the school year” moments, including this coming Monday morning when we will have our final School-Wide Morning Meeting. I won’t get too nostalgic here – I’ll save that for next week – but I do want to fill you in on the culminating event for one of the coolest projects our kids have been in engaged in this year.

I mentioned back in April that our 4th and 5th graders have been studying the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Syria. They have done much reading, writing and discussion about the situation, and because they are EVCS kids who have internalized our Core Values, they felt determined to do something to affect change in this part of the world. To that end – the 4th and 5th grade classes will be launching a fundraiser on Monday morning in the schoolyard, where they will sell hand made silk screened T-shirts ($20) and posters ($5). They look beautiful and all of the money raised will go directly to support The White Helmets in Syria. Big ups to EVCS parents Naomi Mizusaki who designed the image, and Anselm Dastner who made the screens. And a huge thanks to all of the kids, parents and teachers who helped silk screen the merch this week. Items will be on sale at arrival and dismissal all week, while supplies last!

Hope to see you on Monday for our last sing along and share of the year! (sniff, sniff)

Yours truly,


Betsy DeVos would be bad for public education

Our Core Value is Social Action

Dear EVCS Family,

I feel compelled to share with you my deep concerns about President Trump’s nominee to lead the US Department of Education, Betsy DeVos. As Secretary of Education she would be in a position to create policy that would directly affect our school and all public schools. Please consider these actual facts (and a few personal opinions).

Betsy DeVos has absolutely no experience in public schools – not as a student, not as a parent, and not as a teacher or administrator. She has no background in education whatsoever and would not meet the baseline criteria to qualify for a job as a teacher in New York State, let alone a school or district leader. How can she possibly be qualified to lead the United States Department of Education?

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EVCS Food Drive • Harvest Festival, You CAN do it, let’s get going!

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Dear Parents and Guardians

Save the Date for the EVCS Harvest Festival on TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 22
from 8:50-10:00am as the culmination of our annual food drive!

But the food drive is on now!

The EVCS Harvest Festival is a tradition at East Village Community School and is an opportunity to teach our children about food equity. For those of you who are new to the school, the Harvest Festival is a beloved event by kids, staff and families. Not only do the students learn all about giving to people less fortunate, conceptually, but they do so in a celebratory gathering complete with songs and a school-wide walk to Trinity Lutheran Church to deliver the food. The soup kitchen is located on Avenue B and 9th Street. We’ll begin in the auditorium at 8:50am and will then process to the soup kitchen around 9:15am.

We will be collecting non-perishable items from now through Tuesday, November 22.
Please bring items directly to your classrooms. If everyone brought one item each day for the next week, we would have over 2,000 items! You CAN do it, let’s get going!!

We ask that anyone with a cart to please bring it to the auditorium on the morning of
the Harvest Festival to help transport the cans to the soup kitchen! Our kids will carry cans and boxes too, but hopefully we’ll need lots of carts to bring the rest.

RAIN DATE is Wednesday, November 23.

We sent home this flyer in backpacks!

Non perishable foods can include:

Canned fruit, cereal, pasta, rice, lentils, soups, canned tomatoes, canned vegetables, sauces, beans, peanut or almond butter in plastic jars, boxed and packaged dried goods. Please be sure to check the expiration dates!

Thank you in advance for your contributions!

All best wishes,

From Jen, Community Action Committee Chair – Opting Out of Testing (again)

Screen Shot 2016-03-25 at 10.34.26 AMDear Families,

For those who may have missed an earlier email…

As you know if your child is in 3rd-5th grades, we are coming up on the weeks of school devoted to the New York State tests. If your child will be taking the tests, we wish you luck!

Last year, 20 percent of students in grades 3-8 refused to take part in New York State’s 2015 Common Core assessments.

While the PA as a body has not taken an official stance on this enormously complicated issue, many parents remain concerned about standardized, sometimes high-stakes testing, including ways in which it can reshape other methods of learning. Some of us also continue to have serious concerns about how these tests may continue or again be used to assess both teachers and students here and across the country, though it is clear that the conversation in New York State has begun to take a more positive turn. Below is a link to a letter from Jen Nessel, the co-chair of the Community Action Committee, on the movement to opt out of the tests and what to do if you want to opt your child out. This is a letter that represents a point of view, but also tries to provide accurate information. Please direct all inquiries to Jen at jennessel@yahoo.com.

Letter from Jen Nessel, Please read!


Jen Nessel

Community Action Committee Chair