Equity & Inclusion Newsletter

March 2023

Women's History Month

Women's History Month began in 1981 when Congress passed legislation that established Women's History Week, and then in 1987 was legislated to be a monthlong celebration, which you can read more about here. You can learn more about the federally recognized Women's History Month here and International Women's Day (March 8) here.

Similar to each monthlong celebration we highlight in newsletters, we balance the need to honor the month's focus with the insistence that women's history belongs in each month! Yet, we do want to acknowledge the opportunity to lift up the importance of focusing on women's contributions to the world around us.

The book selected to share in the video below is one of countless inspiring texts that focus on phenomenal women. In this video, two Region 15 students and two educators share Listen: How Evelyn Glennie, A Deaf Girl, Changed Percussion, written by Shannon Stocker and illustrated by Devon Holzwarth. This text is also part of the 4 elementary schools' March Book-A-Day collection for 2023!

This read aloud is being shared with permissions of Penguin Random House.
Listen: How Evelyn Glennie, a Deaf Girl, Changed Percussion

Enjoy some video content of Evelyn Glennie, too! Thanks to LMES Music Teacher, Mr. Mayes, for sharing how he incorporates this media in his lessons!

More resources for continuous learning

Spotlighting Recent Work

A Middle School Museum: African American Innovators and Barrier Breakers

As eighth graders at MMS began to learn about research skills this year, they took a deep dive into African American barrier breakers and innovators. The overarching question for the year is “What does it mean to be American, and how has the definition changed over time?” In this instance, students begin to define the shaping of an African American identity within this larger definition in all of its many iterations over the course of our nation’s history.

Students first worked to choose people from all different fields of the American experience on whom to focus their research. They then developed their own inquiry questions and worked on improving their abilities to do advanced searches to aid in answering their research questions. Once that was complete, students developed biographical narratives about their innovator or barrier breaker which then became part of their museum exhibits. Their work is part of a school museum display that is currently being used by other social studies classes as part of their work on understanding the outstanding and varied contributions of African Americans to The United States and the world at large.

Did you know?: Irish-American Heritage Month

This week, by presidential proclamation, March was also named Irish-American Heritage Month. Read the presidential proclamation here!

World Down Syndrome Awareness Day Read Aloud

March 21 is World Down Syndrome Day, which is a day devoted to advocating for the inclusion, wellbeing, and rights of people with Down syndrome in our community and around the world. Did you know that the date 3/21 was selected for World Down Syndrome Day to signify the uniqueness of the triplication, or trisomy, of the 21st chromosome, which leads to Down syndrome? World Down Syndrome Awareness Day has been officially observed as a global awareness day by the United Nations since 2012.

Something we want to communicate to you in this video - and every read aloud video - is that while diversity is a fact, inclusion is an action. This is a really important idea, belief, and way of being. It means that it is up to each of us do, say, and think things that are inclusive. If we each feel responsible for that, then we each will be able to feel a strong sense of belonging, which really matters a lot.

Our guest readers in this video include a student from MES, Mrs. Moreira, Speech and Language Pathologist, and Mrs. Kimble-Cusano, Region 15 parent and former Region 15 PreK Teacher! You will hear them share a bit more about what the book Eli, Included by Michelle Sullivan, illustrated by Brit Scott, and World Down Syndrome day, means to them.

This read aloud is being shared with permission from Michelle Sullivan.
Eli, Included

Calendar of Religious Observances

Why is this information important?

  • The towns of Middlebury and Southbury are made up of families representing many different religious and cultural identities.

  • The information below is offered as a resource to increase awareness of & respect for religious observations and ethnic and cultural festivities. These observances may affect students, colleagues and neighbors in our community.

What are some ways this information can be used?

Calendar planning by for use in scheduling and planning details, for example:

  • workplace festivities

  • community events

  • school activities and exams

Click to access the ADL 2023 Calendar of Observances

Because our intention in sharing this information is to increase awareness of and respect for religious observations and ethnic and cultural festivities that may affect students, colleagues and neighbors in our community, your input is important. Please email equity_inclusion@region15.org if there is something we missed!

Contact & Social Media

Instagram: @r15equity_inclusion

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