Dear Harbor Families,
This morning on the way to school, my kids took a break from bickering with each other in the back seat. Instead, they spent our commute happily singing “Hello to All the Children of the World” over and over and over again - and believe it or not, it never got old! Maybe you’ve heard the song from your kids at home too, but if not, you will get to enjoy it tomorrow morning! There is lots of talk in our house about the colors to wear for tomorrow’s Celebration of Culture, the kids’ Family Culture Artifact Bags (which, admittedly, we finished on Tuesday night just before the Wednesday due date!), and of course time spent practicing the dances and songs they have been learning for tomorrow’s celebration.
Here at school, the classrooms and hallways are alive with songs, dances, and the sharing of customs, food, art, and other ways culture is expressed. Children have been bringing in their Family Culture Artifact Bag (psst… it’s not too late to bring yours in tomorrow if you haven’t completed this with your kids!), and are excited to share the artifacts that represent aspects of their own family culture in so many ways. It’s going to be a very special morning at Harbor!
A goal for this event - which is also a focus year round - is to authentically celebrate our own community’s diversity. Tomorrow’s performance includes songs and dances from countries where teachers and families have ties or ancestry - and each class has taken the time to learn about that country from a member of our community who has lived that culture. This is an important distinction to our approach - ensuring that our exploration of culture is truly authentic. Tomorrow morning, one of the activities following the performance will be to use pins to denote the many places in the world where each family has ties or connections.
At Harbor, we define diversity in a broad sense, and aim to help children understand and learn about all of the many ways we are different, to reflect on and embrace their own identities, and to recognize how our differences enrich our community. When students are sharing their culture artifact bags tomorrow, you will notice that items may represent a nationality or religion, but could also represent an interest, hobby, or family tradition. The message to students that there are so many ways that each of us offer something special and unique to our collective whole is a purposeful and ongoing one, this week and throughout the school year. And as a special way to represent this concept, we invite you to contribute to a community weaving project tomorrow!
There are so many people in our community who have contributed to tomorrow’s event, including the members of our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. Thank you to everyone who has added to the rich learning experience that tomorrow’s event represents - and a very special recognition goes to Yuki Wilson, our music teacher, who has coordinated tomorrow’s performance and organized cultural presentations school-wide.
Feel free to bring extended family members to tomorrow’s celebration - the more the merrier! We look forward to seeing you in the morning!
Head of School
The Harbor School