We Believe In Inclusive Learning Environments
This is a guest post written by Lower School Diversity and Inclusion committee chairs,
Karrah Lewis and Carmen Hernandez
It is amazing to observe our Lower School scholars learning and growing each day. These early years in school are so important for building strong foundations in all areas of development– intellectual, physical, emotional, and social. The manner in which our young children go through these developmental stages can be exciting and challenging; sometimes it goes smoothly and other times the journey is filled with bumps and roadblocks.
In addition to gaining academic knowledge, these important years are ones during which children typically start to develop an understanding of themselves and the world and people around them. The social environments of our classrooms and school community provide wonderful opportunities for children to initiate, develop, and navigate peer relationships. As educators, we have a wonderful and important opportunity to instill and nurture positive attitudes in this process as well as respect for individual, family, and cultural differences. This work is not always easy. At Ravenscroft, we are dedicated to this effort, and will continue to learn and grow on this journey to ensure we are a culturally inclusive learning community.
The Lower School Diversity and Inclusion Committee is a group of faculty and staff that meet frequently to lead the efforts of promoting cultural inclusivity in the Lower School. Through our collaborative thinking and discussions, the committee has begun to plan a variety of events and programs that will highlight diversity and inclusion this year. It is our goal that all students will embrace and celebrate our beautiful differences and similarities. As committee chairs, we are so pleased to share with you one of our upcoming events.
Mix It Up At Lunch Day! Tuesday, October 27, 2015
Kindergarten through Fifth Grade students, along with over one million other students across the country, will be participating in Mix It Up Day. Mix It Up Day is a time set aside for the entire Lower School community to build positive relationships with others by encouraging students to identify, question, and cross social boundaries.
On this special day, we ask students to move out of their comfort zones and connect with someone new over lunch. It’s a simple act with profound implications. Tolerance.org states, “Studies have shown that interactions across group lines can help reduce prejudice. When students interact with others who are different from themselves, biases and misperceptions can fall away.”
Students will be eating lunch in the classrooms, and will need to bring a lunch from home on this special day. We encourage you to have a conversation with your children about the new friends they made and what they learned from this experience.
“Diversity is the mix. Inclusion is making the mix work.”- Andrés Tapia
We will also have an opportunity for Lower School parents to engage in these important discussions during an upcoming Community Conversation titled Raising Empathetic Children: Conversations About How to Celebrate Differences.
On Thursday, Nov. 12, Dr. Sandra Wartski and Dr. Eli Jerchower of Silber Psychological Services will lead the conversation, sharing their insights and suggestions for why, when, and how to successfully discuss differences with young children.
The event will take place from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., in the Main Library and Technology Center, and childcare will be provided. Please use this link to RSVP.
We are eager and excited about including parents in our efforts to promote a diverse and inclusive learning community, and we invite anyone who is interested to reach out to us directly to share ideas, ask questions, and support events and programs.
“Ravenscroft believes that a diverse and inclusive community is an essential element of a rich and educational experience. We are committed to cultivating an environment in which all persons feel embraced and valued. Ravenscroft seeks to nurture respect for diversity in all its forms, through its policies, curriculum and programs.”
Karrah Lewis, Kindergarten Instructor (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Carmen Hernandez, Spanish Instructor (email@example.com)