Lake Charles, La.
The Calcasieu Federation of Teachers and School Employees (CFT), under the leadership of President Teri Johnson, has been engaging and mobilizing members in recent months with a positive spin on what the union is really about. The journey began by sending out a membership survey; the responses told the leadership a lot about their members. As a result of that survey, members who have been in the union since 1998 were honored with a certificate and treated to a meal at a local restaurant. But it didn’t stop there. The next step was to send a strong “We Care” message to the community and its children. The local sent seeds to kindergartners at College Oaks Elementary for a complete STEM activity. Three classes in the school got to plant individual seeds and then a bigger pot for a class project. Teachers and students alike appreciated the kind gesture from the local.
The work of the CFT did not stop there, either. In the true sense of collaboration and partnership, the local teamed up with a local church to “stuff” 200 backpacks—half of the packs were given to elementary students and the other half went to middle and high school students. The backpacks were distributed at a “Rep Your School” rally featuring music, snacks and speeches.