Dear Hunnewell,

Thank you to our PTO coordinators, Cristina Hoff and Cara Whiting, for inviting Matt Wilhelm to perform at our All-School Assembly. His performance was so relevant to our work on our CARE Values, specifically Effort Towards Excellence, and our recent work on Speaking Up and Growth Mindset. For those of you who were not able to listen yesterday, Matt is a BMX Champion who spoke about the hard work it took to move from last place to first place in National competitions. He also spoke about the bullying he endured as a young child and the help he received from one friend, Glen, who spoke up for him. The performance was not only spectacular with the impressive bike stunts, but the polls, the short videos on helmet safety, and the question and answer sessions kept us all engaged from beginning to end. This performance was also a perfect segue to our learning about Black history.

As we move into Black History Month, it is critical that we continue to educate our students and ourselves on the bias and racism experienced by Black people and others who represent historically marginalized populations. Conversations about race and inequity are happening in our classrooms across the year, and the PTO has organized the February Challenge to help families engage in these conversations at home. Please join the PTO tonight at 8:00PM to hear the NPR LifeKit Podcast, “Talking Race with Young Children”, and to engage in a follow-up discussion with other parents. This is the kick-off event for the February Challenge. You will be able to sign-up and can find more information on the DE&I section of the PTO web site. Teachers will be following up in class to hear what children are learning. Thank you to Katherine Hala, Jenny Kim, Liz Licata, and Niki Ofenloch, who have organized this challenge for our community. I am also sharing some resources below that can be found on the WPS DE&I web site.

Never before has our home-school connection been so central to our work. The staff and I appreciate your support of the learning that is central to our students’ ability to actively and knowledgeably participate in a diverse world and to speak up when they see injustice. 

Sincerely,

Ellen

Black History Month Resources

In the Halls of Hunnewell
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