Bullying prevention, water pollution, and healthy eating were just a few of the topics tackled Thursday at the annual LEGACY Project, a community fair hosted by NEA-Student and NEA-Retired members this year at Everett High School and Glendale Park in Everett, Mass., just north of Boston.
“The LEGACY Project (“Leaders Empowering Grassroots Advocacy for Communities and Youth”) aims to organize, educate, and lead change for the communities of parents and students that our educators serve,” said Ashley Muscarella, NEA-Student chair. “It is a great way to give back and to build coalitions among educators, unions, and communities.”
Under sunny skies, dozens of local Everett students and parents attended Thursday’s event, rotating among a dozen high-energy “impact” stations that aimed to serve and engage children and their families around subjects that include literacy, social justice, fitness, and more. At one, local health professionals checked children’s eyes and teeth. At another, NEA-Student members taught kids about the effects of bullying—like a bruised apple, you might not see the effects on the surface.
Kids also crafted with strips of colorful construction paper, scrambled through a ninja-style obstacle course, built nutritionally balanced plates, and heard from NEA leaders, including NEA President Lily Eskelsen García, and community leaders.
“I came today because I want my kids to not only be involved in their schools but also in the community. The Everett schools have helped my kids learn and grow,” said Dionssaba Drame, the mother of three Everett elementary school students, one middle schooler, and one high schooler.
The Legacy Project is an annual event, which takes place in the days leading up to the NEA Representative Assembly.
Celeste Busser contributed to this report.