Photos and article courtesy of Alyssa Wetzel-Moore
The greater Longfellow community has shown up to support our teachers and Education Support Professionals (ESPs). They are the heart of our schools which are essential to the fabric of our community. Teachers and ESPs have seen first-hand how funding decisions have been detrimental to students and created unsustainable working conditions for staff. Our striking educators know what it takes to create a strong foundation for our schools and our children.
Parents and caregivers listened to our teachers and ESPs and were shocked to learn about the extent of the lack of resources, the impact on student learning and educator working conditions, and the racial equity and fairness issues for ESP compensation. These educators are devoted to the well-being of their students. When they made the difficult decision to go on strike, it was clear they were making this sacrifice for our children. Families and students have joined their school staff on picket lines every day of the strike to date.
Parents, caregivers, and neighbors have quickly rallied alongside striking educators to host fundraisers, provide breakfast, coffee, hand warmers, and clean up at the strike line. Many local businesses, including Fireroast Cafe, Turtle Bread Company, Savory Bake House, Dunn Brothers, Parkway Pizza, and Vittles Catering (better known through their Kabomlette Food Truck) have donated food and coffee. Hi-Lo Diner offers free drip coffee and BOGO mimosas for teachers. Sonora Grill has given out free snacks and let striking educators set up on their patio. Hook and Ladder Theater & Lounge donated hot chocolate and hosted a fundraiser. Mother Earth Gardens gave space for families to set up a bake and art sale and Emily Madland Jewelry donated jewelry for the fundraiser. Communication Workers of America, COPAL, and Bethel Lutheran Church have also provided support. Each week, new businesses add their names to this growing list.
If you’d like to show your support, here are a few options:
- Donate to striking teachers and ESPs (they do not get paid during when on strike):
- Attend and promote: Improv Workshop for the Benefit of Striking MPS Educators
- Saturday, March 26th, 1pm to 3pm
- 3037 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55408-2935, United States
- All funds go to striking educators
- Contact the Governor and State Representatives to advocate for more state funding for schools ($9 Billion Surplus)
- Contact Superintendent Ed Graff, School Board Chair ">Kim Ellison, and Vice Chair Jenny Arneson
- Contact School Board Representatives for the greater Longfellow Neighborhoods and Schools:
- Support the local businesses that are supporting our local school staff
- Learn about MFT59’s Bargaining Priorities
- Honk when you drive by the strike lines or stop by and listen to the teachers and ESPs.