“If not us, then who? If not now, then when?”
The call of the Freedom Riders rings through history, and will certainly ring true this Thursday night as our sixth grade welcomes the BDS community to Freedom Night. Their study of civil rightsthe sacrifices made in an effort to achieve them, the progress we have made as a nation, and the distance we have yet to travelhas been deep and meaningful. Freedom Night showcases one grade’s comprehensive exploration of issues of racial, socio-economic, and gender diversity, to be certain, but also diversity of thought and opinion.
While the sixth grade curriculum offers a clear highlight of our efforts to understand the diverse world in which our children live and the ways that we embrace the importance of diversity within our curriculum, it does not stand alone. From service-learning work for Gaining Ground and in our garden that introduces second graders to socio-economic diversity, to the study of so-called women warriors of the world in third grade, to the examination of immigration in eighth grade social studies, our commitment to diversity lives profoundly in the curriculum.
At Belmont Day, our curricular commitment exists within a greater context of community understanding and dedication. This year we have leaned in through summer reading for faculty and staff, presentations by Ko Speaker Rosetta Lee, and now the exciting introduction of race-based discussion groups. The co-directors of the Multicultural Teaching Institute are helping to guide the adults in our community through race-based affinity discussions in an effort develop a stronger understanding not only of our own cultures, but how we might best support each other as peers and friends in the larger community here at school.
With this social and curricular infrastructure in place, the school was well poised to launch the Raphel Scholarship for Diversity and Leadership this admissions season. We are intentionally reaching out into greater Boston neighborhoods to bring students of color onto our campus. The scholarship is a game changer for Belmont Dayit provides the opportunity for underrepresented students to both contribute to and learn from our community and our collective commitment to excellence. Teachers, parents, and students alike are taking great pride in this most recent step forward in a schoolwide commitment towards embracing diversity at BDS.
Next week developing well-being with intent. Whether through a Capstone presentation on meditation, finding balance during rest time in kindergarten, providing a nationally showcased health and wellness curriculum in every grade, or bringing Zumba to the faculty, Belmont Day’s commitment to supporting the well-being of each and every community member is paramount.
Have a great weekend, everyone.