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Funding Our Future Through Literacy

Earlier this month, AFT Massachusetts, the Chelsea Teachers Union, the Chelsea Public Schools, and JN Phillips Auto Glass held a book giveaway as part of an ongoing project to bring supplemental books and school supplies to the students of the Chelsea Public Schools. On June 4, the partnership distributed 600 copies of the book Alma, by author-illustrator Juana Martinez-Neal, to the second grade students at the Mary Burke Elementary Complex.

In Alma, a child named Alma Sofia Esperanza José Pura Candela hears the story of her name, from Sofia, the grandmother who loved books and flowers; Esperanza, the great-grandmother who longed to travel; José, the grandfather who was an artist; and other namesakes, too. Alma starts to think her name might be a perfect fit after all—and realizes that she will one day have her own story to tell.
The Celtics mascot ‘Lucky’ was the keynote speaker at the event, joining representatives of the Chelsea Public Schools, AFT Massachusetts, Chelsea Teachers Union and JN Phillips to inspire, read and distribute books to the students.
“I loved seeing the smiles on the faces of kids in Chelsea as they read Alma, and talked about their own names and where they came from,” said AFT Massachusetts President Beth Kontos. “Thank you to JN Phillips and our partners in the Chelsea Public Schools and Chelsea Teachers Union for putting on a great event!”
“We were thrilled to have the opportunity to distribute this great book to students at the Mary Burke, and see their faces light up,” said Chelsea Teachers Union President Don Dabenigno. “I encourage Chelsea Teachers Union members and people in the community to take part in our partnership with JN Phillips to support Chelsea students.”
The book distribution event was the latest in a partnership between AFT Massachusetts and JN Phillips Auto Glass to help provide books and school supplies for students at Massachusetts schools.

For every windshield replacement purchased by an AFT Massachusetts member or by a community member that mentions their local schools, ten dollars will be set aside for books and school supplies for Massachusetts students from that community.

AFT Massachusetts members can participate by calling JN Phillips’ dedicated line at 781.616.6850, telling the customer service representative that you heard of them through your AFT Massachusetts membership, and giving your Local number. Parents can participate by calling JN Phillips at 877-AUTOGLASS, telling the customer service representative that you are calling as part of the “Helping Students” campaign, and giving the name of your school.

JN Phillips will then schedule your replacement at a time and place that is most convenient for you, and will even do it in your school parking lot. Participants in this program can also have their windshield wiper blades replaced at half price.

In Chelsea, educators and community leaders are organizing a September 19 movie night with kids activities and food to celebrate literacy and to highlight the AFT MA JN Phillips program.

“Community partners like JN Phillips, and events like this, are an important part of how we support our students and encourage their love of reading,” said AFT Massachusetts Secretary-Treasurer Brant Duncan. “If your local is interested in hosting a book giveaway or similar event, AFT Massachusetts is here to help! Get in touch and we’ll make it happen.”

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