Equity & Inclusion Newsletter

Edition 2: October 2020

  • This committee was established in 2018, and was recently renamed. We are in the process of finalizing an updated action plan and will share that with you.
  • It is important that we are all aware of and thinking about the goals and commitments as a district that we are making to the work of equity, inclusivity, and diversity.
  • The committee is comprised of administrators, certified and classified staff, families, students, and community members.
  • If you are interested in joining, you can contact Benay Woodford: bwoodford@region15.org

This work requires commitment on everyone's part in order to continuously foster welcoming and inclusive schools, with intentionality and positive impact.

Monthly Read Aloud Video

In this month's video, and each month hereafter, the read alouds will feature voices from our Region 15 community! This month, we selected She Was the First: The Trailblazing Life of Shirley Chisholm (2020) by Katheryn Russell-Brown, illustrated by Eric Velasquez.

This book was read with permission from Lee & Low books.

Discussion questions will always be included to facilitate conversation. Use them by pausing the video to engage in dialogue. No matter your age, we hope you find both the read aloud videos and discussion opportunities to be valuable. The intention of the monthly read aloud is that we are building collective, common experiences across the district amongst students, families, and staff members - one read at a time.

October Equity & Inclusion Read Aloud: The Trailblazing Life of Shirley Chisholm

Ideas to extend the read aloud:

  • Link to book: She Was the First: The Trailblazing Life of Shirley Chisholm
  • Research other women who have fun for president and/or vice president in the US
  • Create an illustrated timeline of Shirley Chisholm's life, and research more about the events and issues from these time periods
  • Come up with your own political campaign for presidency. What issues would you focus on? How would you help others? What would your slogan be?

Learning together

Examples of recent work: Elementary Spotlight

While this is in no way exhaustive of the work being done related to inclusivity in our classrooms, below you'll find several share-outs of recent lessons in our elementary schools:

  • In a PreK class, students read the book We are All Alike, We are All Different as an introduction to our family theme. The students really got into discovering and talking about skin tones with peers and teachers, hair color and textures, and hobbies they each had. Continued focus on these areas supports the National Association for the Education of Young Children's anti-bias framework.

  • Kindergarten students, and many other classrooms at GES, read The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson & Rafael Lopez and defined identity, diversity, and reflected on aspects of their own identities as well focused on applying accurate, respectful language when discussing various aspects of diversity.

  • 2nd grade students focused on building a healthy sense of identity as well as appreciating others by reading the book The Crayon Box that Talked by Shane DeRolf. They compared themselves to the crayons in the story who come together in the end and realize that their picture is more beautiful when they work together. They shared ways in which each one of us are different, but that when they come together in the classroom, they make it a more beautiful place to be. They concluded that they do this by sharing experiences, talents, and strengths and offering support to one another throughout our day.

  • 3rd grade students at LMES participated in lessons on examining stereotypes in books. The vocabulary words perspective, stereotypes, perpetuate, and dispel were introduced. They practiced analyzing whose perspective is included, whose is missing, how a person or group of people are portrayed, whether or not stereotypes are perpetuated or dispelled, and how to take action accordingly.

  • 4th grade students examined culture as the system of meanings, beliefs, values, and behaviors through which we interpret experiences. They explored facets of their cultural identities and considered how this shapes the way they see the world.

  • Some 5th grade students are presently running for Kid Governor, a national award-winning civics program. This social action endeavor involves researching community issues and creating 3-point platforms to address them. A couple examples of platform topics involve social justice education and gender stereotypes.

Hispanic Heritage Month

Though Hispanic Heritage month was Sep 15-Oct 15, it is important not to confine Hispanic history and heritage to these dates, because Hispanic history is American history. We do want to acknowledge Hispanic Heritage month and the many important contributions of Hispanic and LatinX people in the United States. Here are just a few select resources to continue celebrating the learning:

8 Must Read Children's Books for National Hispanic Heritage Month

A beautiful video from Yuyi Morales, author and illustrator of Dreamers

Teaching Central America

Contact info & Follow on social media

Instagram: r15equity_inclusion

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