Equity & Inclusion Newsletter
Edition 10, June 2021
Read Aloud Videos & Spotlight on Recent Work:
This month, we would like to offer two read aloud videos that spotlight a recent collaboration between PHS students enrolled in four sections of US History with Mrs. Clark & Ms. Saraiva and four 4th grade classes throughout the district!
In their unit entitled "The Modern Civil Rights Movement," a cooperative learning project was developed in order to culminate students' learning about the goals, individuals, and tactics used in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s & 1960s. As students learned, the Civil Rights Movement was largely a grassroots movement where individuals organized and used their power to push for & create change. Although most are aware of the contributions of people like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks, there were countless others' whose stories are not always told and whose critical contributions are not always named. Therefore, the US History students' task was to tell one such individual's story through a cooperative project on studying and analyzing the qualities of exemplary children's literature on the Civil Rights Movement, and then plan and create their own children's book for an authentic audience: fourth grade students who were in a social issues book club unit in English Language Arts at the time.
The Children's Book project afforded our high school students the opportunity to engage their collaborative skills, practice critical thinking, to research and synthesize information, and to spotlight the concepts and strategies they studied in the context of their unit. Importantly, the project afforded elementary students to spend time with high school aged peers, and to tell the stories of historically lesser-taught activists. The high school and fourth grade classes met virtually, live on Google Meet in small groups to share.
While we'd like to spotlight each participating high school student's phenomenal, thoughtful, and thorough work, we hope you enjoy examples of two high school student groups' projects, as they were kind enough to meet via zoom to share with you.
Volunteer Opportunity: LGBTQIA+ Working Group
As part of the Equity & Inclusion Council, Region 15 and community members of Middlebury and Southbury would like to extend the opportunity to participate in an LGBTQIA+ Working Group made up of students, families, staff, administrators, and/or community members. The purpose of this group is to ensure that Region 15 and the communities of Middlebury & Southbury address the needs of LGBTQIA+ youth at all levels, by fostering:
- supportive educators
- student support systems
- inclusive curriculum
- LGBTQIA+ affirming policies
- community education
The date of the first meeting, which will take place in June, will be announced soon. If you are interested in participating, please email: Dr. Chiappetta (email@example.com), and/or Dr. Birden (firstname.lastname@example.org) by June 10. Thank you to Jen Labriola, E&I Council Member and R15 Parent, for your leadership in this endeavor!
Read through the resources below & beyond to honor Juneteenth:
- New York Public Library has a Juneteenth Storytime Collection!
- Juneteenth New York Events, June 18-20
- The Historical Legacy of Juneteenth from the NMAAHC
- Juneteenth for Mazie is a children's book for young readers
- Smithsonian Magazine's Why Juneteenth Celebrates the New Birth of Freedom
- PBS Learning Media's video for children on Juneteenth
This series is called Where We Come From: Our Histories. Our Voices. You can watch the trailer here! and here's a summary of the series: "Where are you really from? It's a question that immigrant communities of color across different generations are asked all the time. In this audio and video series, we take back the narrative and answer that question on our own terms, one conversation at a time — with family, friends and experts. These are our stories" (NPR, 2021).
Congratulations, Mrs. Mombo, and thank you for sharing your stories.
You can listen to all of her archived episodes here! Or, check out the broadcast schedule for when her program is airing throughout the week by clicking here (WERB Radio, 2021).
LGBTQ+ Inclusivity & Pride Month Resources
- Visit CT's website has a page that lists Pride Month events around the state
- The town of Ridgefield and Ridgefield schools' GSAs are hosting Pride in the Park at Ballard Park on June 26
- National Museum of African American History & Culture's (NMAAHC) 5 Trailblazers You Should Know: Pride Edition
- The Anti-defamation League's (ADL) LGBTQ Pride Month Resources
- Stonewall Book Awards list has selections for children and young adult categories
- GLSEN is an organization whose mission is "to ensure that every member of every school community is valued and respected regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression" and has extensive resources.
- Pride 6-part FX/Hulu documentary series
- GLSEN's 2019 Safe School Climate Survey Connecticut: data snapshot
- Welcoming Schools has lots to offer for parents and caregivers
- LGBTQ Inclusive Picture & Middle Grade booklist