Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Family Workshop - Talking to Children about Identity and Diversity

Family Workshop Evening Event - Talking to Children about Identity in a Diverse World
Horace Mann staff will provide parents/caregivers with a chance to reflect on their own understanding of  identity (race, religion, culture, gender, family structure, etc.) and then talk about realistic scenarios that may come up with your children.  Below are a few scenario examples: 
  • From parent - "Why does one student get extra time on a test?  My child could perform better if he had extra time.”
  • 2nd grade to a boy - "You shouldn't wear your hair long, you're a girl.”
  • From parent - "How come the schools keep talking about the achievement gap?  What about my kid?”
  • From student - "When I look around the room I see that my hands are a different color than everyone else's"
Schedule for Thursday, October 26th
5:45                  Pizza  available for all families (generously provided by PTO) 
6:15-7:45         Activity and Discussion (Childcare available provided by DAD staf)
7:45                  Childcare Pickup

Please click on the following link to REGISTER: https://goo.gl/forms/qk8lNWfEyL7F25Hu2

Sunday, October 15, 2017

NewsNotes 10/15/17

International Night - Thanks to all of the families and staff who came out to International Night this past week, in particular those who were willing and able to share their wonderful traditions, talents and recipes.  Thanks also to Manisha Trivedi and Kristen Gleason for their sustained efforts to run this wonderful event each year.  
Evening Workshop for Parents - As I mentioned at Back to School Night, our school-wide focus is aimed at creating a school environment where our children, families and staff feel included so that our students can achieve at their highest level.  On Thursday, October 26th, we will host our first evening workshop aimed at extending this work to families.  For this event, we will participate in an activity that helps us understand issues related to race and other aspects of human identity.  In addition, there will be time to talk with other parents about how to be address issues related to race and identity as they come up in the media and in your every day interactions with your children.   We are encouraging as many parents as possible to attend.

Here are the details of the event:
  • When: Thursday, October 26th
  • Time:
    • 5:45-6:15 Dinner (Pizza)
    • 6:15-7:45 Workshop
  • Where: Horace Mann gym
Childcare will again be available so parents and caregivers can attend the workshop. Registration will be coming soon!

Buddy Bench - A few months ago I posted some details about our idea to install a Buddy Bench on the HM playground.  I wanted to share that we are moving forward with this project and as a refresher, I am reposting information that will remind families of this work.  First, for some background, read the following article:


Horace Mann will install a new bench, decorated by students, aimed at fostering inclusion during less structured social times. Students can go to the bench for a variety of reasons, including:
  • A student new to Horace Mann may use the bench as a way to signal that they would like to meet someone.
  • A student may want to try a new activity at recess.
  • A student who would like to offer their support to new friends may use the bench to signal their efforts to reach out.

Families Organizing for Racial Justice -  I wanted to bring your attention to a citywide group that was recently formed as part of the district’s efforts to support conversations about racial justice.  Below is the mission statement for this group:
  • FORJ is a group started in 2016 by Newton School parents, who believe that change starts at home and in our own communities. 
  • We are a group of families in and around Newton who want to generate understanding and curiosity about differences in our society. We work together to foster respect and racial equity in our schools and communities. 
  • We are a learning community that is educating ourselves, our children, our schools, and our various communities about race racism, culture and identity. 
  • We hope to achieve safe and welcoming environments that enhance the well-being of all people. We want our work to promote healing and connection between individuals and communities. 
  • We believe in speaking out against injustice, supporting our kids to be upstanders, and taking action to address bias and inequity.
Feel free to reach out to Cedar Pruitt (cpruitt@gmail.com) or Karen Carpenter-Bernier (katecarpenter1@yahoo.com) for more information and/or to get involved.


From the PTO

“Mixed Bag” Gift Fundraiser—ends soon!
Our first official fundraiser ends soon — don't miss out on these awesome bags and gift wrap! Mixed Bag Designs (www.mixedbagdesigns.com) offers a wide range of great gift items just in time for the holidays.  Check out samples on display in the lobby. Order forms went home last week in your child’s backpack.  And the best part: almost 50% of the proceeds go to the Horace Mann PTO for programming that directly benefits our kids.  Mixed Bag offers bags, accessories, gift wrap, kitchen items, and more to sell to (or buy for) family and friends. This year's sale runs through October 18. Ship to school for free and no tax! We will receive the products before Hanukkah (Dec. 12). Please email gakara@aol.com with questions.

Spirit Wear is on sale now! Don't forget to visit www.myschoolanywhere.com to purchase your Hawk Gear. Arrives in time for the holidays. 

Raffle winners!
Thanks to everyone who contributed their dues in time to be entered into our raffle! Congratulations to Tara F., parent of K, 2 and 4th graders. who won Mystery Dinner Tickets, Kindergarten parent Tracy K., who won Spring Auction tickets, and Kindergarten parent Karen M., who won the Apple Watch!

International Night – A world of Thanks!
Thank you to Manisha Trivedi and Kristen Gleason for many years of running wonderful International Nights. Last week's was another success! Students and parents loved traveling around the world that is Horace Mann!