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Two MTD-affiliated unions with a strong belief that educational
opportunities open the door to growth and improvement are spearheading
an effort to deliver books to students in Puerto Rico, Alaska and
Guam.

Working with sea, air and ground logistics companies, the American
Federation Teachers (AFT) and the Seafarers International Union (SIU)
are moving 100,000 books to those in need.

“Every day through this pandemic, our educators are on the frontlines
of engaging their students, often in a remote setting,” stated AFT
President Randi Weingarten.

“We’re acutely aware of the chaos and inequities facing families as a
result of the crisis, including the challenges distance learning can
present. So we’re doing our part to help students and their families –
regardless of their geography or demography – have what they need to
learn,” she added.

“Working in partnership with the Transportation Institute, including
Crowley and TOTE, as well as the teachers of our young students in
Puerto Rico, we will create a pathway of knowledge that enables these
students to learn, grow and seek out the career ladders that are
offered in the maritime industry and other opportunities,” noted
Puerto Rico Ports Council President Amancio Crespo, who also serves as
the SIU San Juan Port Agent.

In addition to U.S.-flag and multi-union crewed carriers Crowley and
TOTE, Matson also is participating in deliveries.

A variety of books covering science, technology, engineering and math
in several different languages are included.

This project was launched by BookWaves, a coalition of unions,
U.S.-flag shipping companies and non-profit organizations. It is
expected to proceed through the winter.