National Leader Visits Rome City School District

National Leader Visits Rome City School District
Posted on 11/01/2019

AFT President Randi Weingarten Announces More Support for Innovative Program

Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), met with Rome teachers, students and families yesterday, October 31, announcing $350,000 of additional AFT support for the Rome Alliance for Education’s Community Schools model. Initially focused at Bellamy Elementary School, the Rome initiative has advanced results-based, partner-oriented efforts to serve student and family needs and promote healthy, stable neighborhoods.

The Rome School District Teachers Union reached out to the AFT for financial support to bring the Community Schools concept to Rome, and AFT has invested $300,000 over the last three years into local effort. In 2017, the local union created the nonprofit Rome Alliance for Education, which has enlisted 52 businesses and community-based agencies to meet the needs of students and families.

“The Rome Teachers Union, Rome City School District and Rome Alliance for Education are thrilled to welcome Randi Weingarten to our community. Randi and her team have been a tremendous support to our Community Schools Initiative well beyond their financial investment,” said Melissa Roys, executive director of Rome Alliance for Education. “The success of our Community Schools would not be as far along as it is today, reaching and supporting so many families and students, without the AFT. Several hundred families have been directly supported, and our model continues to grow to meet the needs of our community. We are thrilled that Randi came to see our progress and talk to our teachers, students, and families.”

Through the Community Schools model, the Rome City School District has been able to streamline, coordinate and deliver services to students and families so that the students can succeed in school despite personal obstacles. Services and referrals to community based agencies have addressed needs such as housing, food insecurity, medical and dental referrals, and mental health. AFT’s newly announced funding will strengthen the Rome initiative and expand the model to additional local school districts.

As head of the 1.7 million-member AFT since 2008, Weingarten has promoted what she calls “solution-driven unionism”—an approach to collective bargaining and collective action that unites the interests of union members and those they serve in the pursuit of solutions that benefit students, schools, and communities. The Rome Alliance for Education’s mission is “to unite school, community, and family for young people’s success.”

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