Dear EVCS Fam,
Hopefully, you have seen the information that has gone about the annual reading Olympics, and your kids have started to hustle your friends, neighbors and family members for pledges. This is a great way to raise some funds for the PA while also encouraging our kids to read lots of books. And for the second year in a row we will be issuing the “Principal’s Challenge” to encourage students to read books by a diverse array of authors, and books that feature characters and topics that reflect a diverse range of experiences and perspectives. The sponsor sheet asks for students to log in 10 books (grades PK-2) or 10 hours (Grades 3-5) between now and the end of the month. All students who participate in the Reading Olympics will get a prize, but students who log in more than half of their list with diverse books will get an extra special prize! On the sponsor sheet simply highlight the books that honor and reflect the experience of LGBTQIA, Native people, people of color, gender diversity, people with disabilities, and ethnic, cultural and religious minorities. Here is a great resource to find recommendations for excellent, diverse books.
Dear EVCS families,
Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day! I sincerely hope that you and your kids have had an opportunity this weekend to not only have an extra day to chill (so important!), but to reflect on the meaning and significance of this national holiday – not just from a historical perspective but as it relates to the ongoing urgency for racial equity and justice in our society today. It’s been 56 years since Martin Luther King delivered his beautiful I Have a Dream speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, and yet his call to action is just as salient today as it ever was.
We have committed ourselves at EVCS to doing what we can to support our students – your children – in becoming a generation of anti-racist people. In service of that commitment, we understand the important of teaching about civil rights and racial justice in America from the point of view of past, present and future – not just as a historical event. In that spirit, I am proud to let you know that for the second year EVCS will again be endorsing the national Black Lives Matter at School Week of Action on February 4-8. The 13 principles of the Black Lives Matter at School movement are ones that overlap significantly with our school’s core values, and we aspire to weave these principles into our curriculum in ways explicit and implicit throughout the school year. During the week of action we will shine a light on these principles through read alouds from picture books (including some led by EVCS parents), discussions in class on relevant topics including structural racism, black identities, black history and anti-racist movements, writing prompts in the upper grades and other focused lesson activities. We will gather as a whole school community on Wednesday morning February 6 for a special SWMM, followed by a short march around the block led by the famous EVCS marching band drum line because as MLK Jr. put it so perfectly so many years ago, Hate cannot drive out hate. Only love can do that. and that’s what we intend to do. Students will continue to get regular academic instruction in all subject areas that week, in addition to these special activities and events.
If you’re interested in learning more about our plans for the Black Lives Matter at School Week of Action or if you’d like to get involved please plan on sticking around in the auditorium after School-Wide Morning Meeting on Monday January 28th where we can share books, materials and lesson ideas, brainstorm activities together and answer any questions you have.
I always feel grateful to be a part of the EVCS community. But it’s times like these, when we set our intentions to be a force for what is right and we teach our kids that they can be agents of change in an imperfect world, that I am reminded of just how special this community is. Thank you for your support of this initiative.