1) Students engaged in Pride Month classroom lessons, explored books with LGBTQ+ characters, saw the school adorned with decorative flags (Thank you, Volod Sahaydak), and received pronoun pins designed and ordered by Andy Owens (Thank you!). Click here for links to resources to join the celebration of LGBTQ+ Pride.
2) Our annual International Festival went virtual this year. Shouts of appreciation go to Kimberly Sanker-Panchal for her tremendous planning effort and to Emily Friend, Hadassah Hickman, Ismael El-Amin, and Fozia Akter for their help. Big thanks to our Skinner North students & families for their cultural program items, our SN administration for scheduling flexibility and logistical support, and SN teachers for bringing plans to life with the students. Click here for event links and to review feedback from students.
3) Kindergarten students engaged in a virtual Author Talk with Deepika Kaur Pujji, author of What Color Is My Patka?, a story about a young boy and his Sikh head covering. They followed up with a lesson focused on cultural identity. Thank you to Adriane Schwager for connecting us with the author and to our kindergarten teachers for their collaboration. Check out some of the lesson video links:
Book Inspiration and Patka Specifics
Ms. Pujji tying a patka on her kindergarten son
Q & A with the Author
4) Thank you to those of you who attended the Bystander Intervention Training to help stop anti-Asian American harassment and xenophobia. Shout out to Dr. Magnuson for prioritizing the training for SN staff during a professional development day. In case you missed it or if you would like to pursue the next step in training (conflict de-escalation), click here or here.
5) Been reading Diversity Discussions posted in principal update emails throughout the school year? Please thank Erin Aleman for her hard work! Click here to read the family-friendly topics of conversation.
6) Similarly, thank you to Toby Baker for making meaningful connections in the SN community throughout the school year and sharing his Diversity Calendar posts (e.g., Native American Heritage, Diwali, Lunar New Year) shared in the FoSN Newsletter.
7) Thank you to our consultants, Dr. Kellie Corley and Christine Saxman, at Single Story and Seeking Educational Equity & Diversity (SEED) parent/caregiver cohort volunteers for their school year-long commitment to creating a conversational community to support personal, organizational, and societal change toward social justice.
8) Thank you to Neha Dakwala-Shah for her work on a Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Survey to guide future programming for the Diversity Committee. The first round of the survey was shared in January. For the second round, please click here to offer your feedback and ideas of what you would like to see happening next. Thank you for your helpful input.
9) Save-the-Date: Thursday, July 8th @ 9:30am (In Person) Book Talk & Coffee: Far From the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity
Thank you to Nootan Bharani and the Diverse Needs Committee for this collaboration. Sign up here to receive a confirmation message + location details.
Copies Available through Chicago Public Library
Andrew Solomon Ted Talk: Love No Matter What (In case you are tight on reading time and still would like to join!)
10) Save-the-Date: (Virtual) Diversity Committee Summer Meeting: Thursday, August 12th @ 9am
Google Meet: https://meet.google.com/gsa-essd-zkf
Log in, help brainstorm, & set plans into motion for next school year.
Again, thank YOU for your teamwork. It's been a bizarre year. Some of you may not have been able to contribute in the way you wanted. We value the collective mindset of pitching in where you could, and we look forward to building on everything we learned this year.
Have a Wonderful Summer Break,
Smita & Danit