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Black Lives Matter at School Week of Action at AFS

A Reflection from Alicia E. Fernández, Lower School Teacher

The week of February 1 through February 5, marked the Black Lives Matter at School Week of Action, a national coalition organization for racial justice in education. And, as social justice advocates that we are here at AFS, the Diversity Committee last year brought on this effort to our community. While social justice is at the core of our education, the week provided focused classroom lessons on various topics through the thirteen guiding principles from the Black Lives Matter movement. To learn more, please visit their BLM At School website.

So, with that being said, in Kindergarten we have begun this week with putting more emphasis on two guiding principles, “Empathy” and “Loving Engagement”, putting focus on kindness and fairness. Although most are intertwined, it is not feasible for us to touch base on all thirteen principles in one week. Therefore, last week was used mostly as a springboard and these principles will be introduced within the next month. Written by Laleña Garcia, here are the “Kid Friendly” versions of the thirteen principles.

In honor of the two principles of “Empathy” and “Loving Engagement” that we focused on this Black Lives Matter at School week, Mikael Yisrael (a phenomenal friend and AFS’s Director of Equity, Justice and Engagement) stopped by and read us a story, “The Little Red Hen.” No matter how much the Little Red Hen asked for help in preparing the ingredients to bake bread from scratch, her three friends would not give a helping hand. After she did all the work and baked a most delicious bread, not only did the friends want to help set the table, but they were actually expecting a piece of bread. Should the little hen share? Is it fair? If she shares, should they all get the same equal serving that she and her chicks get? The story was followed by a deep discussion on fairness, equality and equity. Being fair and equal is making sure everyone has equal access to the same thing and being fair and providing equity is making sure everyone gets what they need. To give a visual to the meaning of equality and equity, the infamous photograph of three kids looking over a fence watching a baseball game was demonstrated and discussed. This is a topic we will surely continue to speak on in our kindergarten class.

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