May 11, 2023

A Letter from the DEI Committee

Dear Harbor Families,

We are excited to share plans for our second annual Harbor Celebration of Culture, an event conceived last spring with our Mission and DEI Philosophy in mind:

The Harbor School embraces the uniqueness of each young child and teaches students to celebrate this in themselves and each other. Our holistic approach nurtures confident, kind, and capable learners. 

We believe that our differences enrich us and make our community stronger.

We hope you will join us on May 19th from 9:00 until 11:00 for the Celebration of Culture! We’ll begin the celebration with a school-wide performance in the Social Hall, where classes will perform international songs and dances! Following the performance, students and their families will be invited upstairs to the classrooms to enjoy a showcase of Family Culture Projects (explained below), games, crafts, stories, or songs representing family cultures, and an interactive community art installation. 

In preparation for their performance, students have been learning about various countries through presentations from Harbor families, faculty, and staff - and have been practicing songs and dances from that country with music teacher Ms. Wilson and PE teacher Ms. Hinton. On the morning of the 19th, please have your child come to school dressed in colors of the flag of the country they will be representing in song or dance. 

  • Preschool 2s/3s: Uganda - yellow, red, or black 
  • Preschool 4s: Turkey - white
  • JK: Colombia - yellow, blue, or red 
  • Kindergarten: Italy - green, white, or red 
  • 1st grade: Hungary - green, white, or red
  • 2nd grade: South Korea - white, red, or blue
  • 3rd grade: Serbia - blue, white, or red

We are looking for family members who are willing to share an experience with the children as part of this special celebration! This year, students will be paired with their buddy classes to experience family cultures and traditions in the classrooms. You could choose to read a story about a holiday your family celebrates, teach a hand clapping game from your country or region of origin, or lead students in a craft representing a family interest. Please sign up here by Monday, May 15th to share your idea, and we’ll coordinate the schedule! And, as an additional component to the experience this year, we would like to invite families to bring in nut-free foods for students in the classroom to taste, that represent an aspect of your family’s culture - whether it be international or a food you often share as a family.

In addition, in celebration of our uniqueness as individuals and families, we are asking that each family work together to develop a Family Culture Artifact Bag with their child(ren), which will be on display in classrooms at our May 19th event. Today, we are sending home a paper bag with each student for this project. Families with more than one child at Harbor can choose to create one project as a family, or more than one representing different aspects of their family’s culture.

Remember that aspects of culture can be related to a region or country, but may not be. There are so many ways that each family is unique and special! Please read this letter together as a family and follow the directions below. You may choose to do one step each day, or complete the project in one sitting - whatever works best for your family!

  1. Together as a family, make a list of the things that make your family special. See how long you can make your list. Topics may include family traditions, religious customs, holidays, family hobbies or interests, music, places you have lived or visited, where your ancestors are from, food, or sports, to name a few.

  2. Choose 3-5 small items that represent what makes your family unique, to include in your bag. Choose items that aren’t breakable, just in case! Feel free to include a photo of an item if it is too valuable or special to bring in.

  3. Decorate the outside of your Family Culture Bag with drawings, pictures, or printouts to represent aspects of your family’s culture.

  4. Bring your completed project to school by Wednesday, May 17th, so that the teachers can have them set up and ready for our Celebration on the 19th of May!

We hope you enjoy this project with your students, and we can’t wait to see the beautiful diversity of family cultures on display at our Celebration on the 19th!


The Harbor School Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee

Saniya Anwar, Preschool 4s Parent
Randi Chapman, Member of the Board of Trustees and Alumni Parent
Alisa Harris, Grade Two and Three Teacher
Ashley Howard, Learning and Literacy Specialist
Jasmina Hinton, PE Teacher
Elaine Liu, JK Parent
Sarah Mishkin, JK Assistant Teacher
Leah Musico, Head of School
Zeynep Orhan, Preschool 4s Parent and Board Member
Naomi Senkeeto, Preschool 2/3s Parent
Yuki Wilson, Music Teacher
Andrea Zuraf, Assistant Head of School and Director of Admissions and Marketing

Harbor School