California Educator

February / March 2019

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CTA Partnership Promotes Smiles in Kern County A F R E E M O B I L E dental clinic provided much-needed services to 150 low-income Taft Union High School (TUHS) students in Bakersfield to kick off National Dental Children's Health Month in February. The annual event was the second of a three-year partnership of TUHS, California Resources Corporation, the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC, and CTA. "Dental screenings are an important part of my students' health and well-being," says Amanda Carter, Taft Elementary Teachers Asso- ciation. "Because students from our community have challenges accessing proper dental care, we often see children who come to school with abscesses and other dental issues. Too many times, they miss school because they are in pain or embarrassed." Dental problems keep California students out of class an esti- mated 874,000 days a year, costing schools nearly $30 million in lost attendance-based funding, according to the California Department of Public Health. "Students learn best when they come to school healthy and ready to learn," says CTA President Eric Heins. "We are doing what we can to improve the oral health of the students in Kern County." # B l a c k L i v e s M at t e r A T J A N U A R Y State Council, CTA's African American Caucus presented a powerful panel discussion of Martin Luther King's work as a social justice warrior and how his words have an impact on our students today. The hope was to spur "courageous conversations," said caucus chair Angela Normand. There were many resonant moments. At one point panelist Gina Nichole Gray, teacher at Mervyn M. Dymally High School in Los Angeles, said, "Educators need to have the confidence to say black lives matter. If you can't say that, you can't teach black children." Pictured from left to right are John Brasfield, Student CTA Board member; facilitator Taunya Jaco, San Jose Teachers Association; Marcelo Clark, UCLA student; Normand; Melina Abdullah, chair of the department of pan-African studies, CSU Los Angeles; Gray; LaTosha Guy, teacher at King/Drew Magnet High School; and Carl Simms, teacher at Dymally High. For educational resources including lesson plans, go to, a national coalition organizing for racial justice in education. Coming Up in May: Day of the Teacher, ESP Day Heads up! California Day of the Teacher is on May 8, and CTA's Education Support Professionals Day falls on May 21. Our theme: "Great teaching is never forgotten." Stay tuned for more... 12 In the Know N E W S & N O T E S

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