La’Nette Murphy, Parent Coordinator, Local 372
PS 15 is in the Lower East Side in District 1. I’ve been working there for 14 years as a Parent Coordinator.
We have a lot of other members of Local 372 working in the school, like School Aides, pre-K Family Workers, Lunch Aides and the School Crossing Guard.
Ours is a Renewal school. It’s open sometimes on Saturdays when we offer special workshops and programs for the parents and the students.
We start with pre-K students and go up to the fifth grade.
Our school offers our students and their parents a lot of services. My job is to try and help build that foundation for them.
Some of the workshops help the kids improve their reading skills. We offer workshops for the parents on handling their finances, how to apply for food stamps or Social Security. We even have resume writing workshops. The nurse will do a workshop.
The kids are coming and going a lot. Their situation can change rapidly. They can be attending school two days or two months.
They have health issues, they don’t have enough food in their homes, and there is domestic violence in the home. I work with the guidance counselor, the principal, and the nurse and we try to put together an action plan for the family.
I’ve been a shop steward for my local for around 11 years. It’s challenging and rewarding.
A lot of times members don’t know their rights or their benefits. They’re always happy when I share with them something they didn’t know, that helps them. I’ve told everybody in the school about the constitutional convention in November.
With my union benefits I was able to get my degree at the College of New Rochelle. I’m thinking of going to the Murphy Institute for labor studies. I’m an activist, so I’m always learning.