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National education leaders to visit Syracuse for Say Yes Union Day

May 14, 2009

Susan Feightner
(315) 443-1525

Susan Feightner

Dennis Van Roekel, president of the National Education Association (NEA), and Dick Iannuzzi, president of the New York State United Teachers (NYSUT), will be in Syracuse on Thursday to celebrate Say Yes Union Day.

The two national educational leaders will begin the day by meeting with the Syracuse Teachers Association to gain the unions' perspective on Say Yes, followed by a tour of the Teacher's Center and a luncheon at Syracuse University hosted by SU Vice Chancellor and Provost Eric F. Spina and Say Yes to Education President Mary Anne Schmitt-Carey. A visit to Dr. King Magnet School will follow, allowing Van Roekel and Iannuzzi to get a sense of the comprehensive supports Say Yes to Education provides Syracuse's urban youth.

"The goal of Union Day is to highlight key partners, program offerings and breakthroughs in labor-management relationships that have been key to the successful launch of Say Yes to Education in Syracuse," says Schmitt-Carey. Syracuse Say Yes to Education is funded by a grant from Say Yes to Education Inc., a nonprofit organization that began 20 years ago to provide unprecedented comprehensive supports, including the promise of a full college or vocational education, aligned with what research indicates is needed to enable every child in the program to achieve his or her potential.

The Syracuse chapter of Say Yes to Education is housed within SU's School of Education and functions as a collaborative partnership among Syracuse University, the Syracuse City School District (SCSD) and 23 private colleges plus SUNY/CUNY colleges and universities. Other Say Yes chapters are located in Cambridge, Mass.; Hartford, Conn.; New York City; and Philadelphia.

What makes the Syracuse chapter so unique is that it is the first Say Yes chapter to embrace an entire city school district, making it the largest school improvement program of its kind in the nation.

For more information about Syracuse Say Yes to Education, visit http://www.sayyessyracuse.org.

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