Our Union Helps Build Plainedge Pride

Friday, January 12, 2024

A Message from Linda Waldbaum Newsletter Editor

Plainedge Pride is often a phrase used to describe the Plainedge community. It exists because all members of the community look to make Plainedge a better place to live, work, and raise a family. The Plainedge Federation of Teachers also plays a vital role in fostering this sense of pride.

While the primary role of our organization is to ensure our members have competitive salaries and benefits, our function extends far beyond that. We embrace this community and support initiatives aimed at promoting Plainedge Pride.

No one can doubt that we positively affect the lives of students every day. In fact, there are actually many ways in which we go beyond simply teaching curriculum. We are advocates for children, we offer them emotional and moral support, we celebrate their achievements, and we actively seek out ways to promote their success. To this end, our union provides college scholarships totaling over $7,000 each year to graduating Plainedge seniors. These funds are raised through organized events, such as the Wizards in the fall and the more recent Adventureland Plainedge Night in the spring. None of these events would be possible without the dedication and participation of our members who generously donate items and volunteer their time.

One of the most important ways in which we recognize student achievement, outside of scholarships, is through the We Make A Difference Awards ceremony. This event, from planning to execution, is entirely orchestrated by our PFT members, celebrating the students who demonstrate good citizenship. We also organize the annual senior barbecue for graduates, where teachers and students have the opportunity to sign yearbooks and say their goodbyes.

In addition to recognizing students' success and achievements, there are many times throughout the school year when the community calls on PFT members to participate in important community events. Such events include Plainedge Pride day, where our members generously donate their time to showcase student groups like Robotics and Art club. Additionally, our union donates and raffles off baskets in order to raise funds for PFT scholarships. Additionally, we actively participate in the STEAM night workshops, providing children with engaging science and technology experiences.

You will find the members of our union at countless other community events, cheering on our students at sporting events, distributing presents at the annual Plainedge Christmas Tree lighting, and providing prizes for the Edge of the Ocean elementary school event. We show our appreciation for our police officers by providing food for them on Law Enforcement Appreciation Day, and we provide food for parents on Special Education training nights. Furthermore, the PFT proudly sponsors the Plainedge Softball Association and contributes to local charitable organizations like the Brian Moore Foundation, Rocco’s Voice for Autism, and Vinny’s Army. 

Plainedge is not a community defined by borders. It is a community defined by its people, and the PFT is an integral part of that fabric. As members of the PFT, it is crucial for us to recognize the positive impact we have on the Plainedge community. We should not underestimate our contributions; however, we should make sure the PFT continues to have a strong union presence in Plainedge for many years to come. 

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