Equity & Inclusion Newsletter

A Monthly Communication: September 2021

Welcome to the 2021-2022 school year!

As we welcome the Region 15 community to the school year, we are met with the spirit of renewal reflected in the "double helix combining the new school year and the Jewish New Year, the High Holiday season of Rosh Hashanah, September 6-8, and Yom Kippur, September 16" (Dr. Fran Prolman, 2021). In this welcome edition of the newsletter, we invite you to reflect on the opportunity to establish and re-establish community, belonging, and connection within our district.

In this newsletter you'll find:

  • ways to stay updated on Region 15, Southbury, and Middlebury's Equity & Inclusion work as well as information on a new digital community bulletin board
  • educational resources for families, students, and staff that focus on both the Jewish High Holidays (Rosh Hashanah & Yom Kippur) as well as National Hispanic Heritage Month, which is Sep 15-Oct 15 and was first observed in 1968 and enacted into federal law in 1988

Stay Updated

Each edition will offer up some curated resources. Enjoy the following:

And each edition, you'll find a carefully selected read aloud.

No matter your age, we hope you find the read aloud videos to be valuable. The intention of the monthly read aloud is to build collective, common experiences across the district amongst students, families, and staff members - one read at a time. So please share with those around you!

For this month, we've included a video of author Aviva Brown (book illustrated by Anas­ta­sia Knaval­iu) reading aloud a story she wrote which was inspired by her son, called Ezra's Big Shabbat Question. Like so many children in our community, the main character in this story, Ezra, LOVES questions. Ezra is an American Jewish boy with big ideas, and he has a question about if he can do an action on Shabbat, the Jewish day of rest. He turns to various people he knows, and when no one he knows is helpful, he turns to his rabbi, who both answers his question and leaves him more confused (SpringLight Publishing, 2019). What will he do?

We hope this read aloud can be used as an opportunity to inspire discussion and understanding given the upcoming school closings in observance of the Jewish High Holidays.

An additional recommended read which specifically teaches about the Jewish High Holidays is National Geographic's Holidays Around the World series book: Rosh Hashanah & Yom Kippur by Deborah Heiligman. All Region 15 students can sign up for a GetEpic account for free if they don't already have one, and can access this e-book there.

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Want to talk more about R15's focus on equity and inclusion?

Instagram: r15equity_inclusion

The importance of listening to your lived experiences, insights, ideas, and perspectives cannot be overstated. Please feel free to reach out! We'd love to connect.

*Note: Quotation (c) 2019 CLC Collective and Dottir Press