Equity & Inclusion Newsletter

May 2022, Staff Edition

Read Aloud Video: Asian American & Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month

Like many commemorative months, AAPI Heritage Month was first introduced in Congress, and became public law in 1978.

Please join us in watching the read aloud video below in honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage month! No matter your age, we hope you find the monthly read aloud video 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. Please consider sharing this with your students!

When Lola Visits by Michelle Sterling, illustrated by Aaron Asis is read with permission of HarperCollins Children's Books.

Special thank you to our student guest readers in this video, PHS junior and Asian Student Union President Amanda V., and PHS senior and ASU vice president, Jude F.

When Lola Visits AAPI Heritage Month 2022

Read, Watch, Listen Section: Guest Curators - PHS Asian Student Union Members!

For this month’s curated resources, three students from our PHS Asian Student Union, Kamya K., Stephanie G., and Emma Y. have selected the following offerings to share with you! Enjoy!

Recent Work Spotlight

One of our current fourth grade students, Natalia, recently launched a student-led organization at LMES called the Upstanders Club! Their first project as a club was designing and creating posters collaboratively defining what it means to be an upstander, and including tips on how to be an upstander. These posters will be displayed throughout LMES.

Natalia was inspired to start this club which is open to all fourth grade students after studying a piece of local, Southbury history chronicled in the historical fiction text Lois's Story: A Young Girl's Inspiration to Stop Hate and Fear by Ed Edelson. This text tells the true story of ten-year-old Lois Lindsay, who acted alongside local leaders to organize the community in response to the purchase of land in Southbury and intent to build a youth training camp by the German American Bund, an antisemitic, pro-Nazi group. The example of a young person taking informed action in standing up in the face of injustice motivated Natalia to take informed action in her own local community by starting the Upstanders Club.

Natalia enlisted the support of peers to co-lead the organization with her and they spent time thoughtfully planning to pitch their idea to administrators and to the rest of their fourth grade class by visiting homerooms, as well as on the morning announcement videos. They planned and facilitated their first club meeting last week and will continue to do so throughout the end of the school year.

Staff Learning Opportunities

  • Read Learning for Justice's Spring 2022 Issue: "We’re living in a moment in which teaching honestly about U.S. history has become politicized, but make no mistake about it: We are doing students—and ourselves—a disservice when we choose to lie to them in school rather than educate with accuracy.

    And that’s what this issue is all about. It explores various perspectives on teaching honest history: what happens when we don’t, how educators are overcoming attempts to stop it, views from communities who are often left out of these conversations—namely rural and Indigenous—and why it matters."

  • Virtual Conference Toward a Better Understanding of African Journalism, Music, Theater, and Cinema, International Studies Consortium of Georgia, University of Florida, Boston University, and Harvard University, June 3, free, register here

  • GW Center for Contemporary Arab Studies – Summer Teacher Institute: Diplomacy in the Middle East and North Africa, July 25-29, 2022

  • From the National Consortium for Teaching About Asia: Freeman Book Awards Books: We are pleased to offer in-service K-12 educators (classroom teachers, specialists and administrators) sets of the 2021 Freeman Book Award books for your school classroom or library. There are 50 sets of books available at each level (Picture Books, YA-Middle Grades, YA-Upper Grades). Go to http://nctasia.org/freeman-book-awards/ to learn more about these books. In order to reach more schools, each person may select only one set, and we will provide only one set of books per school. Applications will close automatically once all 50 sets at a given level have been taken. Books will be shipped at the end of August, and will only be shipped to a school address. You must be an in-service K-12 educator (classroom teacher, specialist or administrator) to receive these books. Details.

On Demand, Free Professional Learning Opportunities available any time:

From the Boston University African Studies Center:

Big picture
Big picture

About this newsletter's background image, also shown above:

Artist: Camille Collins, RMS Grade 7

Teacher: Mrs. Murphy, Art

About this painting: The inspiration is from a centuries old tradition in China of painting landscape to improve the brush work needed for the scholarly arts and to connect the landscape as a metaphor of spiritual or religious ideals.


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