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Programs / Family Activities
Diversity & Inclusion in Action
The Garrett Park Elementary PTA
is proud to have an active committee
dedicated to Diversity and Inclusion.
Our school has students who have
lived around the world, and who
speak multiple languages at home.
Our diversity is yet another reason
why we love Garrett Park Elementary
To learn more about our committee, please view our brief introductory video and see our list of events below.
November is Native American Heritage Month: During Media Center time in November, fourth graders will have a special session to learn about the life of Mary Golda Ross, a trailblazing aerospace engineer and Cherokee citizen. Her biography, Classified: The Secret Career of Mary Golda Ross, will also be featured in the Media Center.
To learn about ways to celebrate Native American Heritage Month at home - including learning about the traditional homelands of Native Americans, finding books to read and shows to watch - check out this "Ways to Honor Native Americans" resource document! (Hint: you may need to play the slide show to make the links active.)
December: Inclusive Schools Week is coming up December 5-9 and GPES is planning a second year of activities with the Arc of Maryland, a disability rights advocacy organization. As part of the event, students are invited to participate in the annual "Together We're Better" artwork contest. This year's theme is "Unity Within Our Community" and there are prizes for the winners! Please see the event flyer and contest entry form for more information. Entries are due to the Arc of Maryland (SDols@TheArcMD.org) by January 6, 2023.
Past Activities & Events
Here is a sampling of past activities we have organized:
Sept/Oct 2022: Celebrating Hispanic Heritage at GPES: For Hispanic Heritage Month, the PTA's Diversity & Inclusion in Action Committee invited students to write about something they appreciate and would like to share about their culture or country of heritage in Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central or South America. Students read their compositions (or had them read by the GPES TV team) on the morning announcements in October! Learn about Hispanic Heritage Month: To learn more about the celebration, find books to read, learn about sites to visit, and much more, check out our resource here (hint: you may need to play the slide show to make the links active).
November 2021: In recognition of Native American Heritage Month, our committee organized a display of beautiful wampum jewelry for the school. On the morning announcements, students learned about wampum, the jewelry on display, and the artists who created the pieces. Did you know wampum is made from "quahog," which is the traditional Algonquin word for "clam shell?" To learn more, see the wampum presentation shown on the announcements here.
December 2021: Our school celebrated National Inclusive Schools Week, December 6-10. We had Spirit Week days planned, a special virtual assembly for each grade level in partnership with The Arc of Maryland, an organization that advocates for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The students heard from some self-advocates and had the opportunity to ask questions. In addition, Secretary Carol Beatty from the Maryland Department of Disabilities (MDOD) presented Garrett Park Elementary School with the Governor’s Proclamation of Inclusive Schools Week! The Arc presented at the general PTA meeting on January 4, where families had the opportunity to learn more about what students had done during Inclusive Schools Week. To see it again, please find it here. If you want to learn more about the self-advocate guest speaker, Dominique , and her non-profit foundation called S.E.E. Foundation (Socially Equipping Everyone) please visit their website https://www.seefoundationdsp.com/. A resource document "People First" was also developed to share with GPES families. "People First" language puts the person before the disability and describes what a person has, not who a person is. See it here.
January 2021: To celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday, students participated in the morning announcements, sharing stories of three women from Maryland who were involved in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). Students talked about these heroes and briefly reflected on the stories.
2021: In honor of Black History Month, we celebrated the creativity and achievements of black poets and authors with, among other activities, a poetry slam featuring student performances. To learn more about this event and view the poetry slam recording, click here.
2022: Several GPES students wrote brief profiles of successful black entrepreneurs and those profiles were displayed in the Media Center and the APR bulletin boards! The authors shared a few fun facts about their entrepreneurs with the school community on the morning announcements. GPES students could then pick up a quiz about the profiled entrepreneurs in the Media Center - and win a prize for answering all the questions!
April: Our most popular event is International Night, which features cultures represented in our school, cultural performances, global recipes, and more. We celebrated this event in a variety of ways throughout the month of April. Learn more about this event.
For Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, we invited GPES family members to do a live or recorded reading of stories celebrating Asian American or Pacific Islander heritage to be shared with our students during class reading times.
On Wednesday, May 19th, we hosted "Growing Our Kids and Our Community Through Anti-Racism Work" with Amber Coleman-Mortley for GPES families. You can find the presentation here.
June: For LGBTQ+ Pride Month, we produced the resource document Ways to Honor Pride Month.
We are able to provide these resources and programming to our GPES families and staff because of the dedication of our D&IA committee members and event volunteers. We need you to help make these events happen! Please consider joining our committee or helping to organize a specific activity or event during the year.
To help organize a D&IA or other PTA activity, please visit the Signup Genius.
We invite you to contact our co-chairs Eddine Mureke and Dana Goodson and join our efforts to celebrate our wonderfully diverse students and community.
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