Equity and Access

Elementary Edition-January 2018

New Years Resolutions 2018

New Year’s resolutions began about 4,000 years ago in ancient Babylon. For the Babylonians, the New Year did not begin in January but mid-March when they planted their new crops. During this time they would vow to pay off debts and return borrowed farm equipment. Though the meaning has changed, we still make vows for the New Year. New Year's is a good time for your students to reflect on their past year, resolve to improve in areas of concern and to discuss their successes and failures. From a growth mindset perspective, resolutions provide students an opportunity to be reflective learners. Just for fun, have your students share their definitions of a New Year's resolution, and the resolutions they have made with their families, you can share too.

New Year's Resolution Lesson Plan

Did You Know?

  • In early 1968, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights leaders planned a Poor People's Campaign in Washington, D.C.
  • The Poor People’s Campaign was a multiracial effort—including African-Americans, Asian-Americans, Mexican-Americans, Puerto Ricans, and Native Americans—aimed at alleviating poverty regardless of race.
  • The group wanted to ask President Lyndon Johnson, and Congress to help the poor get good jobs, health care, and decent homes.

We still have those issues today. As we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King's birthday, think of ways your class can be of service and help improve our communities. The Office of Equity and Access would like to share a few ideas.

Resources forMLK Day:

Activities for Community Day of Service

Do's and Don'ts for Celebrating MLK Day (Teaching Tolerance)

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Equal Justice Initiative

The Equal Justice Initiative will open the first national memorial to victims of lynchings and a new museum dedicated to slavery in Montgomery, Alabama on April 26, 2018. This memorial project relating to America's history of racial terror and lynching will have thousands of names inscribed at the National Memorial for Peace and Justice. Among these names will be Fred Coker, Horace Duncan and William Allen three men lynched in 1906 on the square in Springfield, Missouri. The Equal Justice Initiative feels this is a path to reconciliation and healing for our nation. We realize that the details of the lynchings are too intense for elementary students. However, The Office of Equity and Access is sharing this information with educators as a point of reference to use as they teach delicate historical facts.

Equal Justice Initiative

Book of the Month

Coretta Scott by Ntozake Shange with paintings by Kadir Nelson captures the Civil Rights Movement and honors Coretta Scott King. As a child, Coretta had to walk five miles to school on the dusty roads of Heiberger, Alabama. Coretta would watch buses carrying white children pass her and learned that separate was not equal. Coretta Scott experienced the unfairness of life in the segregated south and longed for equality. Together with Martin Luther King, Jr., she gave birth to a vision of change through nonviolent protest. It was the beginning of a journey to obtain freedom for all.

Coretta Scott is available in Springfield Public Schools Libraries.

What Makes a Great Leader Activity:


What's In Your Tool Box

A Better Way to Praise from The Growth Mindset by Annie Brock and Heather Hundley.

"You are so smart" we often hear staff say, as personal praise for students who are excelling academically. The problem with this type of praise is it implies the student is successful because of their inherent talent and not their efforts. On the other hand, “process praise” acknowledges the student's effort, strategies, or actions. Process praise can result in students demonstrating positive attitudes, taking on new challenges and developing a growth mindset. As you offer process praise it is an opportunity to interact with the student ask questions about the strategies they used and what they learned from their success and failures. Making these connections develops mindset and habits that will carry them far in the future.

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On February 22, 2018 from 7:00-8: 30 pm at The Springfield Art Museum African-American Read-In will present Reed Academy Choir, Poetry and a Play to Celebrate African American's in the Literary and Fine Arts.