With all the community activity this newsletter is formatted in date order so you can do a quick print of this email for a reference list. Additionally, below is an index of what you will find in this newsletter.
- Letter from SHA President, Tova Wilson
- Now-June 1: SHA Executive Committee Nominations Open
- May 29-June 1: Book Collection
- May 31: SHA Community Meeting
- June 4-June 6: Book Sale
- June 4-Pride Family Tree / Beautification Committee
- June 6 & 7: Chaperone Sign Up / National Arboretum Field Trip
- June 9: Play Date for Current and New Families
- June 14: Pride Potluck
- June 23-25: Camping Trip
- June 28: End of year family & staff appreciation/celebration
- Monthly Theme Information & Book Donation List
I hope you're all well.
As many of you may know, recently we've had some pretty heavy conversations in our community around June's theme--Pride. Much of this conversation started with questions of what children would learn. It's since traveled into dialogue that feels uncomfortable and hurtful. While we always encourage healthy discourse, we also want to remember that being inclusive in our community is vital. I don't always have the words to tell everyone's story, but a wonderful parent from our community, Jenn DePalma, has penned an open letter to families on the SHA Facebook. I'd like to share it with everyone here:
"Pride month is about celebrating the contributions and successes of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender individuals in the world. It is about acknowledging a group of people who consistently experience marginalization, discrimination and hate around the world. It is the LGBTQIA community’s way of reaching out to youth who are isolated, ashamed, and afraid. And it is a memorial to all those who have died because of who they loved. PRIDE happens around the world, in cities across the united states, and in many households in Washington DC. If you have not had to explain “gay” to your children yet that is ok, for those of us with LGBTQI individuals in our family and friends group, we must talk about it before someone else talks about it first, or before our child gets a negative impression. There are many similarities in the challenges faced by marginalized groups, and there are many differences between our groups. Celebrating those differences and similarities and being Allies to one another will only make us stronger. As an LGBTQ individual in the US you can legally be denied service at restaurants, bars and stores, you can be denied your right to use a public restroom, you may be unable to represent your country in the military, you may be denied the right to get married, LGBTQ youth are three times more likely to contemplate suicide. Before we choose a place to travel in the US and abroad we check to make sure that while we’re there we aren’t likely to get arrested or murdered and that there will be an accommodation that will be willing to host us. LGBTQ people struggle to find fair housing and safe work environments. We are subject to pressure and shame by friends, family, and employers to hide who we are, which often means excluding our loved ones from ceremonies and milestones in our lives when we may need them most. And many in our community are cast out by their families at an early age. At school, focusing on families right now is because that is what matters most to our children and that is what they are witnessing. By celebrating diverse family types, we are illustrating that all individuals have a right to be loved by their family and within their family and celebrated for that love. This isn’t only about including LGBTQIA families in our community or supporting and celebrating the diversity of our staff at breakthrough, this is also about raising children who are not going to bully, or tease based on LGBTQIA issues that are bound to come forward in the elementary school years. Global LGBTQIA equity is a social justice issue."
I'd also like to add that no one in our community should feel as though their family should be kept a secret. True commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion means being intersectional. It includes race, but also gender identification, age, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, ability, family structures, class and many other combinations of marginalization. My hope is that we keep this in mind as we continue planning events, learning experiences, and, most importantly, community for our families and our children.
We encourage families to join us at our next Community Meeting on May 31st at 6:00pm. Breakthrough staff will be there to answer questions about Pride month and how we can all better communicate about monthly themes throughout the year.
Always with love,
SHA Executive Committee Nominations Open
The 2018-2019 SHA executive board election is coming up and nominations are open. Nominations will be accepted up until June 1. You can submit nominations by following the link to this Google form: Breakthrough Montessori SHA Elections Nominations for 2018-19 School Year
Book Sale - Get ready for summer reading!
We've all got books our children have grown out of and would like to refresh our children's home library with new age appropriate books. The SHA will host a used book sale for families. Families can bring in their used children's books (cookbooks, adult fiction books are also welcome). All funds collected will go to the SHA general fund.
Book Collection: May 29-June 1 / Drop off your books in the box in the school reception area
Book Sale: June 4, 5 & 6 / 3:45pm to 5:45pm at school / Books will be sold for 50 cents each.
SHA Community Meeting
May 31 / 6-7:30pm / Breakthrough Family Room
Please RSVP on Konstella if you can attend the meeting. Additionally, you can sign up for childcare on Konstella.
Breakthrough Family Tree of Pride Installation
June 4 / 4-5:30pm
Join the Beautification Committee as they work on the Breakthrough Family Tree of Pride. We'll be installing a big paper tree and rainbow with space for families to hang photographs or representations of their families. Let's show our Pride of the diversity that is Breakthrough! We'll have some craft materials for kids to play with. Families will be invited to add to the tree all throughout Pride Month!
Field Trip – Chaperones Needed
All five classrooms will take part in a field trip to the National Arboretum on either June 6th or 7th. Please sign up on Konstella if you can chaperone.
Playdate for Current and New Families
Come out for our last playdate of the year at Beauvoir Park on June 9. We will be there from 11:30 am-1:30pm! Enjoy spring, connect with new and "seasoned" Breakthrough families. Water and light refreshments will be available! We hope to see you there.
Thursday June 14th 6-7:30pm we will have our Pride potluck. We will gather in the family room and front gardens (weather permitting).
The May camping trip has been rescheduled for June 23-24. We will be updating the community this week if there are spots that open due to the date change.
Family & Staff Appreciation/Celebration - Langdon Park / Chuck Brown Memorial Park
Let’s celebrate together after school is out for summer! Please join the Breakthrough Family on June 28 from 12:30-3:30pm for an afternoon of moon bouncing, face painting, games and more! More details coming soon!
Monthly Theme / Book Donations
June is Pride Month! The staff facilitator for this month is Ms. Leslie, guide of the Willow classroom. During this month, we celebrate the inclusion and equality of LGBTQIA people and the impact they have had in the world. We celebrate all family structures, no matter what they look like or who is in them.
Many thanks to parents Jenn DePalma and Rebecca Helgerson who have compiled a list of books about family structures and self-expression for parents to donate. These books will be shared around the school. Please see Konstella if you would like to donate a book! Come join the festivities and food at the June 4 and June 14 gatherings (details listed above).
Have a great week!