“We need to help students and parents cherish and preserve the ethnic and cultural diversity that nourishes and strengthens this community - and this nation.” - Cesar Chavez
In November 2016, our Edison Elementary was vandalized with hateful and racist graffiti. The response of the community was one of love and celebration of all our differences. But, why did it take such an act for us to come together?
We decided that recognizing and celebrating what makes us unique, diverse and ultimately stronger should be omnipresent at school year-round – not just in response to hate.
We created Edison ChangeMakers. Our hope is to empower all students at Edison to their fullest potential. Students can have success when all of their self is uplifted and included in classroom learning. Building positive identities and a respect for differences means weaving diversity and inclusion into the fabric of the school as well as the children’s everyday lives. Here are the 3 ways we are working to do this at Edison.
IN THE CLASSROOM
TRAINING: The Edison PTA and school administration worked closely to develop trainings with Be The Change Consulting. The trainings for Edison teachers and staff are supporting teachers will the tools, skills and resources to create intentional learning in their classrooms.
ENVIRONMENT: The classroom itself is a powerful tool in embracing diversity. Teachers each year will name their classroom after a notable historical figure that made a difference that we benefit from daily. Our classroom ChangeMakers are not just in name. They are selected based on grade level curriculum.
1: Woman’s and Children’s Rights
2: Civil Rights, Human Rights
3: Animal and Nature Rights
4: Science and Health
5: ChangeMakers in religion, disability rights, LGBTQ rights and voting rights.
Each classroom is also supplied with custom posters about the ChangeMaker and a library of books on that ChangeMaker or cause.
Ask your student who their classroom is named after!
IN THE SCHOOL
AWARENESS: The committee makes a calendar for each month highlighting cultural celebrations and important dates. These celebrations will be noted at school and resources will be distributed to teachers, parents and the Edison community to help you be a part of the celebration.
EDUCATION: The PTA also has commitment to organize diverse assemblies and field trips that not only educate our students but embrace the diversity of the world we live in. We also work closely with the media center make sure a diverse pool of authors and stories are available.
IN THE HOME
RESOURCES: The committee provides resources and tools to parents and the Edison Community throughout the year to help families recognize and understand many celebrations that our families celebrate. We also provide parent workshops that help us raise our children in a multi-cultural world.
Kids Like Me: 18 Books with Diverse Main Characters
HOW YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Attend our workshops, dialogue about the program with your student or offer suggestions of ways we can expand the program. Bringing the conversations and celebration home reinforces the positive work happening at school.
Please support the work of the committee and the Edison PTA by donating because every donation counts.
We need volunteers to help us create the tools and resources for celebrating diversity at Edison. Whether it is writing social media posts or helping with trainings – the committee is stronger with more volunteers.