Equity & Inclusion Newsletter

November 2021, Staff Edition

Honoring National Native American Heritage Month: Read Aloud

November is National Native American Heritage Month according to presidential proclamation, starting in 1990 and continuing to date. It is also known as National American Indian & Alaska Native Heritage Month.

Additionally, November marks several prominent traditions in the United States.

  • It marks the holiday of Thanksgiving, celebrated by many.
  • November marks Veterans Day, ​​which is included in the read aloud video below, as well.

In the spirit of practicing gratitude and paying homage to American Indians during this month and each, we hope you consider sharing this opportunity with your students, and enjoy the book We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga, by author Traci Sorell, member of the Cherokee nation, and illustrated by Frané Lessac.

This read aloud is shared with permission from Charlesbridge Publishing.

We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga by Traci Sorell & Frané Lessac

Elementary Spotlight: We Are Family

Family is central to the lives of children! Pictured here are some kindergarten students and second grade students engaged in lessons to share about their own families as well as learn about the families of their classmates. In kindergarten, you can see students engaged in partner talk sharing about what they know about families, who is in their own family, and ways in which families are similar and different. In the words of some of our kindergarteners, "what makes a family a family is that they love each other and take care of each other."
In second grade, students applied what they know about text features in informational writing to share about their families with their classmates. In this lesson, students elaborated on the information in photographs using captions, labels, and a title. They then shared with peers, practicing using words and actions to communicate appreciation both for themselves and their families and for classmates and classmates' families.

Native Knowledge 360 Virtual Field Trips!

FREE live and interactive virtual field trips with a museum educator from the National Museum of the American Indian are available on a range of topics for Prek-Grade 12! Click here for more information.

Calendar of Religious Observances: November 2021

Why is this information important?

  • Region 15 Public Schools serve a population 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 I can use this information?

Calendar planning by individually or in teams, departments, PTOs, etc. for use in scheduling and planning details, for example:

    • school exams and activities

    • workplace festivities

    • community events

Nov. 1 - All Saints’ Day: (Western Christian) Commemorates all known and unknown Christian saints. Eastern Christianity observes it on the first Sunday after Pentecost.

Nov. 2 - All Souls’ Day: (Christian) Commemoration of all faithful Christians who are now dead. In Mexican tradition (though also observed in many other places), it is celebrated as Día de los Muertos between October 31 and November 2, and is an occasion to remember dead ancestors and celebrate the continuity of life.

Nov. 4 - Bandi-Chhor Diwas: (Sikh) A commemorative occasion having no fixed date which occurs in October or November and celebrates the release of the Sixth Guru Har Gobind Sahib from imprisonment and coincides with Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights.

Nov. 4 - Diwali: (Hindu) Also called Deepavali, “Festival of Lights,” it celebrates the victory of good over evil, light over darkness, and knowledge over ignorance.

Nov. 19 - Guru Nanak Dev Ji’S Birthday: (Sikh) A very important holiday in the Sikh faith as Guru Nanak Dev’s was the First Guru of the Sikhs and the Founder of Sikhism. He was born in mid-November; the holiday is celebrated according to the lunar date.

Nov. 28 - Dec. 24 - Advent: (Christian) a season of spiritual preparation in observance of the birth of Jesus. In Western Christianity, it starts on the fourth Sunday before Christmas. In Eastern Christianity, the season is longer and begins in the middle of November.

Nov. 29 - Dec. 6 - Chanukah: (Jewish) Eight-day “Festival of Lights”, also known as Hanukkah, celebrating the rededication of the Temple to the service of God in 164 BCE. Commemorates the victory of the Maccabees over the Greek King, Antiochus, who sought to suppress freedom of worship.

(Source: ADL)

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!

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Communities that learn together grow together!

Here are some upcoming web-based events that you may be interested in:

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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