Category Archives: KAFE Action

Common Core Fact Forum with Dr. Peg Luksik in Kingston, New York – video and pictures – Sunday September 7, 2014

The Common Core Fact Forum with Dr. Peg Luksik hosted by Kingston Action For Education on September 7, 2014 was a successful night.  We are very grateful to Dr. Luksik for her time.  What an education and awareness!

Quote of the night “In a war of intellgence, stupid people lose – so get informed!” – Dr. Peg Luksik

We had a great turnout with people from multiple school districts, both local and across the state, in attendance.  We were also pleased to have three members of the Kingston City School District board of education in attendance.  As attendees left many commented about the depth and quantity of information that they had received from Dr. Luksik.

Dr Luksik Kingston Forum2 Dr Luksik Kingston Forum

Many Kingston residents expressed a desire to attend but were unable to do so for a variety of reasons.  Video for the full Common Core Fact Forum is available thanks to the work of Mr. Mert Melfa.  There are also short videos of the opening comments of KAFEco-founders Tory Lowe, Maria Maritsas and Jolyn Safron.

Dr. Luksik suggested a number of things that can be done by those concerned about Common Core:

  • get informed – watch the video of the forum.  Be sure you know the facts.  For even more detailed information, visit
  • get involved politically – VOTE!  “When you walk into the ballot box, you are making a political speech.  it is the only one they MUST listen to.”
  • “The worst thing you can do is nothing.  the best thing you can do is something!”
  • Stay involved with other parents – Kingston Action For Education (KAFE) is a group of parents who are advocating for their children and all the children of this school district.  Their goal is to unify and educate parents and caregivers presenting factual information about the state of their community’s educational system.  When the need arises, KAFE is willing to take the action necessary to reclaim their voice in education.  Find Kingston Action For Education on facebook or at
  • Q&A – When writing a letter to the editor, pick ‘the one thing that floats your boat’, a personal story or something you feel strongly about.  Pick one issue.  Quote real information/facts.  Keep the letter under 300 words; one issue and hit it three times in the same letter.

Don’t miss the Common Core Fact Forum with Dr. Peg Luksik – Sunday September 7, 2014 – Kingston, New York

To understand more about Common Core and why we here at KAFE have been fighting against and advocating for full repeal of the Common Core State Standards, please join us on Sept 7, 2014 at 6:30 pm.  Education expert Dr. Peg Luksik will be our featured speaker and will be able to answer your questions and concerns.

This is a free event open to the public.  Parents, teachers, students, community members and community leaders are all encouraged to attend.


Dr. Peg Luksik, expert educator, from Founded on Truth, will share the facts about “Common Core”.

Hosted by Kingston Action For Education (KAFE)

Date:  Sunday September 7, 2014

Time:  6:30 pm – 8:00 pm

Location:  Saint James United Methodist Church, 35 Pearl Street, Kingston New York 12401

Common Core – Fact Forum flyer

  Common Core Forum event – September 7, 2014

Dr. Peg Luksik Common Core Forum in Kingston – September 7, 2014

Save the date!

Common Core Forum – Empowerment session for teachers, parents, citizens, community leaders.

Hosted by Kingston Action For Education

Dr. Peg Luksik, expert educator, from Founded on Truth, will share the facts about “Common Core”.

Date:  Sunday September 7, 2014

Time:  6:30 pm – 8:00 pm

Location:  Saint James United Methodist Church, Kingston New York

KAFE color logo

  Common Core Forum event – September 7, 2014

Extended Learning Time Grant update – school districts may reject grant for longer days

Out of 700 school districts only 25 applied for the Extended Learning Time grant. Of those 25, 9 were selected. Now, some of those 9 districts that just found out that they “won” the extended learning time grant may reject the grant as they now don’t have enough planning time or cooperation from the community to proceed to begin in September 2014.

Details in article here.

The nine districts were told this month that they would receive the grants, and the state wants them to begin the longer school programs in September. But superintendents in Utica, Auburn, South Seneca and Lackawanna have asked for an additional six months to a year to plan for the extended-day programs. If they don’t get the extra time to plan, they won’t accept the money, they said.

KAFE color logo

The Kingston City School District applied for this grant in October 2013 but withdrew the application in March 2014 based on feedback from the Kingston community.  See local details related to the Extended Learning Time Grant here.


Extended Learning Time Grant history

Kingston Action For Education’s first parent action was regarding the Extended Learning Time Grant which the Kingston City School District applied for in October 2013 but parents did not become aware of, in general, until January 2014 when parents Maria Maritsas and Jolyn Safron asked questions about the grant at the Board of Education meeting – Freeman article here.

Parents waited for information from the district via District Wide Parents’ Council but due to snow and other situations, answers to questions were delayed.  Concern became such that Kingston Action For Education was formed.

Activities of Kingston Action For Education/discussion on facebook related to the Extended Learning Time Grant:

  • Kingston Action For Education facebook group formed on March 9, 2014 to raise awareness among parents regarding the Extended Learning Time Grant
  • write/call/email the BOE, the Superintendent, the Freeman, the State Education Department Grant Committee…let them know. Make your voices heard!  (March 9) 
  • Rally against the Extended Learning Time Grant planned for March 19, 2014 at JFK Elementary School (March 10) from 3:30 – 5pm
  • the Extended Learning Day Program is one of many important topics being proposed by Crown Street that has garnered no publicity nor sought any public in-put. That needs to change now. Remember, the Superintendent and BOE work for US!!! Please continue to spread the word.   Petition is in process, fliers are being made and a tally is planned!!!!  KAFE a team of ACTION!!!!  (March 10) 
  • Due to the outpouring of concern and questions from parents, Questions and Answers regarding the Extended Learning Time grant were posted on district website – March 10
  • Petition to refuse the Extended Learning Time grant created (March 11)
  • The petition will be coming down as a result of KCSD withdrawing from the grant!  Announcement from KCSD posted here on March 12, 2014.

Text of Kingston City School District post announcing withdrawal from Extended Learning Time Grant

KCSD Withdraws ELT Grant Application


The Kingston City School District has heard an overwhelming response from parents, school faculty and staff, and community members who oppose the possibility of an extended school day. In response, the KCSD is formally withdrawing its application for the Extended Learning Time (ELT) grant with the New York State Education department.


“The ELT grant was designed to address academic deficiencies, provide wraparound services, and support students in our most diverse and socio-economically challenged schools, and the administration and Board of Education are still firmly committed to these initiatives. The ELT grant was a unique opportunity to create a state-funded pilot program without a startup cost to the local taxpayer,” said Dr. Padalino, Superintendent. “However, the ELT grant would require faculty, staff, and community support as well as parental participation to be implemented effectively. As we all know, a home-school partnership is critical to student success. Lacking this essential component, we made the decision to withdraw our application. We will continue to explore developing after-school programs that have OPTIONAL participation.”


As the KCSD moves forward with planning for the 2014-2015 school year, community participation will continue to be an important part of the process. “We hope the withdrawal of this grant application sends a strong message to our faculty, staff, and parents,” said Dr. Padalino. “We value your expertise, and we truly care what you think. We know we need to partner with you in order to create the best programs and opportunities for our students. Please continue to reach out to us and share your concerns. Please also consider sharing what you think is going well, “best-practices” that we should consider implementing Districtwide.”


There are several upcoming opportunities for back and forth dialogue with the Board of Education and the Superintendent. The first is a 12:30 PM “Coffee and Conversation” on Wednesday, March 12th at Dreamweavers Café located at 34 North Front Street in Uptown Kingston. On April 7th, there will be a budget forum beginning at 6 PM at the KCSD administrative offices, located at 61 Crown Street. Then, on Thursday April 24th there is a “Coffee and Conversation” at 288 Wall Street 8:30 at Hudson Coffee Traders.


Additional articles/blog posts related to the Extended Learning Time grant:


KAFE marches in the Children’s Day Parade – July 11, 2014

Kingston Action For Education will be stepping off in the 2014 Kingston Children’s Day Parade tomorrow Friday July 11, 2014 at 6pm.

We will be celebrating our children as well as letting parents and community members know about upcoming KAFE events.

If you would like to help with the float Friday morning at 10am, give us a shout-out (via the contact form on the website or via facebook).

KAFE is parade unit #28 and will be lining up in the KHS bus-turnaround area (see parade line-up map below) starting at 4:30pm.  KAFE marchers should arrive between 5:15 and 5:30pm.  The parade will end at the Kingston Plaza with marchers leaving the float just beyond the lumberyard (see parade directions into plaza below).  The KAFE marchers can then go as a group to the entertainment area where the youth will be able to get a hotdog/water and a free armband for the carnival.

KAFE t-shirts are in as well so make arrangements with whoever you ordered your shirt from to get it picked up before the parade.  Thanks to everyone who purchased a shirt and helped with raising some of the funds we will need for the Common Core Forum with Dr. Peg Luksik on September 7, 2014.

 KAFE tshirt design

2014 parade directions into plaza 2014 parade line-up map

Join KAFE in the 2014 Children’s Day Parade – July 11, 2014

Join Kingston Action For Education in the 2014 Children’s Day Parade on Friday July 11, 2014!

We will be celebrating our children as well as letting parents and community members know about upcoming KAFE events. Please let us know if you and your children can march with us in the parade. We will be ordering KAFE t-shirts (see below for prices) and would love to have marchers sporting a KAFE shirt.

We also would love to have help with designing a Dr. Seuss float for the parade – who would like to get in on the fun?

Order a KAFE t-shirt for $15.00 ($17.00 for sizes 2X and 3X) by Monday June 30, 2014. Make arrangements to get payment (cash) to KAFE co-founders Jolyn, Maria or Tory. Shirts will be available at the Children’s Parade on July 11. You may order a KAFE t-shirt even if you are not able to march in the parade.

UPDATE:  Last call for t-shirt orders extended to Wednesday morning July 2, 2014 9am

The KAFE t-shirts will be maroon with white lettering.  They will have the KAFE logo (pictured on the left below) on the front of the t-shirt (pocket area but of course there isn’t a pocket) and the other words in the picture will be printed on the back of the t-shirt.

 KAFE tshirt design

Proceeds from the t-shirts will be used to cover expenses for the Common Core Forum with Dr. Peg Luksik being hosted by KAFE on Septemer 7, 2014.