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Awards & Recognition

Friend of Education at Springfield Housing Authority

Friend of Education at Springfield Housing Authority

Springfield Housing Authority Executive Director William H. Abrashkin has been chosen as the 2015 recipient of Springfield Education Association’s Friend of Education Award.

Abrashkin was chosen because of his commitment to children’s literacy and family independence, and for taking the state’s second-largest public housing authority in a new, innovative direction with a focus on supporting residents, said SEA President Timothy Collins.

“I’ve gotten to know Hank (Abrashkin) and quite frankly I think he’s got a progressive and unique view of the Housing Authority,” Collins said.

“He approaches it holistically, with an eye to families and giving everyone the tools they need for a better life – and help with their children,” Collins added.

SEA’s Legislative Board made the selection. Abrashkin will receive his honor at an Oct. 15 event at Tony’s Restaurant in Springfield.

Before he was hired to head the SHA in 2008, Abrashkin was judge in Springfield Housing Court for 22 years, starting in 1986.

Collins said he got to know Abrashkin through their work on the Springfield Collaboration for Change, a five-year formed to change the climate for teaching and learning in the public schools to boost academic achievement, and Talk/Read/Succeed!, a family-based literacy program that unites two dozen agencies, including the SHA.

“He’s been a tremendous ally in our work together,” Collins said of Abrashkin. “He really understands the issues we’re facing, and he’s a great advocate to bringing the resources we need to address the root causes and problems of poverty.”

Springfield Housing Authority Executive Director William H. Abrashkin has been selected for the 'Friend of Education' award by the Springfield Education Association.

Springfield Housing Authority Executive Director William H. Abrashkin has been selected for the ‘Friend of Education’ award by the Springfield Education Association.

Collins said the SEA gives the ‘Friend of Education’ award to one person a year.

Abrashkin called the award a high honor, especially considering the sponsoring organization.

“This is particularly an honor when you know it’s coming from teachers — the people who are on the front lines of educating our children,” Abrashkin said. “They are the people who are dealing with the many serious problems that poor children bring with them when they enter the school system.”

He also noted the ongoing and collaborate efforts among many in the city to boost academic achievement, family literacy, and independence.

“I’m very grateful to the SEA and to Tim Collins,” Abrashkin said.

“I know there are so many people in the community devoted to the education of our children who merit recognition like this. It’s an honor to be selected,” he said.

Talk/Read/Succeed! is a family-based literacy program involving two SHA developments – Robinson Gardens and Sullivan – and their neighborhood elementary schools – Dorman and Boland. Over the past five years, T/R/S! has worked with 150 families, including 374 children, and has shown progress in boosting achievement among young children who attend the summer learning program.

3172 days ago / Awards & Recognition
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