It wasn’t on the traditional Wednesday due to the ELA test, but our last Parents As Learning Partners was kind of special as it featured something relatively new to BNS: Affinity Groups.
Our wonderful teachers presented the extra and important work that they do, often during lunch and sometimes after, in which they facilitate communication around identity and belonging. In a somewhat organic way, BNS has gradually grown its affinity groups.
Children come to the groups either because they identify as belonging or because they know someone who belongs or because they just want to know more.
The groups are the Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA), Conversations of Color, Disabilities Activists and Allies (DAAC), and the Adoption Group. As the teachers who lead these groups presented at Parents As Learning Partners, we were struck by the common themes of connection, knowing who you are, and that big idea of being the same or different. How powerful that there is a place to go to explore these wonderings.
Here you see the teachers who lead these important groups.
Already, the newest group, DAAC, brought a guest speaker to BNS. On Wednesday afternoon, Dr. Nina Ghiselli and our own Kristel Kubart, spoke with our third, fourth and fifth graders at a town hall about disabilities, zooming in on stuttering, dyslexia and cerebral palsy. They spoke about how to understand, be a friend, and show respect. They shared a powerful image, pushing us all to consider equity:
Last week, too, we had the first meeting of our Equity Team. A representative from each of these groups along with someone from the fifth grade Government Club and Green Club participated.
Together, they considered the image of the apple tree. They discussed the work of each of their groups, and their meanings of equity. The children shared wise words, such as “Not everyone gets the same amount of support, but everyone gets the support they need to all be on the same level.” “It’s fair.” and “Everyone can be the same in different ways – having the same opportunities to be equal – everyone being on the same level, some people need more support because they need it.” Diane will lead these young people as they think together about ways to help everyone in the school feel included and known and able to get what they need.