Feb. 11, 2019

Avery Parents for Racial Equity

Feb. 11, 2019


In attendance: Jennifer Patrick, Ashley Pruillier, Elisa Tomich, Tony Arnold, Tracy Baden, Aaron Winkler


Black History Month Speaker Series

22 classrooms have had speakers or have one scheduled.

We've received positive feedback and reviews from teachers and guests.

Note received from Mayor Mahan that it was a lot of fun.

Fox2 News visited 3rd grade and included this in their report.

4 classrooms (2 first grade, 2 K) still don't have speakers.

Should we do a Q&A for teachers for feedback? Would like to know their thoughts on how it went, if the amount of time allotted for speakers was sufficient, etc.


Fall Speaker Ideas

This past Fall, we had Adelaide Lancaster from We Stories come speak to us. It was well attended.

For Fall 2019, we are looking for speaker ideas.

Diversity Awareness Partnership was contacted to see if they would come speak, but they charge about $1500 for about 90 min. Um, no.

Please contact Elisa if you have any ideas of someone/organization who would want to come speak to Avery. (topic could be racial bias, how to talk with kids about race, etc)

Webster-Rock Hill Ministries, Executive Director Ed Johnson

WRHM does A LOT for kids and families in WG and Avery, including a food pantry, help center, youth programs, education/tutoring services (chess/homework help), and summer camp. They aim to provide for basic needs of families.

WRHM consists of about 15 local churches that come together to do this work, to make a difference in our community. Volunteers who tutor are mostly retired teachers who recognize the need.


Tutoring: T/TH (some on W), and they spend about 1-1.5hr in tutoring (after walking there, snack time). At around 5:00pm, they do a read aloud- time to practice and be proud. They have around 15 kids now but could take up to 20 (or even more with extra arrangements made). They have computers for use.


They would like to have more of a partnership with Avery: if we want to help them, their improvements can help our school. While parents may not meet at Avery, they may be willing to meet and communicate with WRHM volunteers/staff. WRHM can help with each child's food, homework, grades.


In terms of a preschool program for literacy, they are ready to do this- but they would like to feel supported from Avery and other local schools to get parents to trust this process with WRHM partnering with schools.


A flyer was passed around- teachers may look at this and pass on the opportunity to students/Avery families.


One issue in particular: there is no longer a WGSD liaison with WRHM. Instead, WGSD schools have been coming up with their own tutoring programs, and this has pulled kids from the programs of WRHM. This has hurt WRHM. However, Ed Johnson let us know that they would like to continue to serve Avery kids and even expand their tutoring program. They aim to build a foundation to learn, and WRHM recognizes that students and volunteers must be willing to work. They would like to keep information coming from teachers to WRHM volunteers on what to work on with students and strategies for doing homework. Ed Johnson wants to make a difference NOW- not in the Fall. As he put it, "Communication starts now." Would love to have communication from Avery teachers regarding what's coming up for students. Ms. Baden discussed maybe having a couple of teachers go there regularly to have a workshop of sorts to help volunteers/parents know better how to help the students learn and make sure individual needs are being met. May be possible to have a math night at WRHM for teachers to present to parents there how they're teaching math skills and to help with parent frustration.


Diversity Book Fair on Leadership Day

Having these 2 on the same day can help promote our group.

Jessica Miller- in contact with Eye See Me to finalize the date for this.

Will let teachers have more time to develop their own wish lists, could also have WRHM do a list as well.


Proceeds from Last Year's Eye See Me Book Fair

Do we want to: a) build Avery's library up, b) get books for classrooms, c) add to WRHM resources?

Other ideas?


PTO Support

At the start of this school year, we were generously given $1000 from the PTO.

At this point, we have $297.38 remaining.

How should we spend this to benefit our school?


Social Studies

The district is revising the Social Studies curriculum.

It's currently being reviewed, and they would love to have interested parents and especially persons of color join this review group.

Would be great to have someone there who has "equity" in mind....Please contact Elisa if interested.


Fun Gathering

Something Social options include game room at Llewelyn's, renting a room at the rec plex (but this requires a down payment)....

Other ideas?


Needs Assessment Survey

Amy Estlund will do a presentation on this in April.


(Potentially) Helpful and Cool Car Ride App

GoKid was presented.

This is an app that could help families coordinate rides to/from Avery events.

We could ask for a contribution from the PTO to get this for our entire school.

Will check with PTO- maybe this could be a "Fund a Need" thing or maybe we could get PTO to help with this for next year.

Will research pricing, which schools have this, etc.


Book Club

8 attended our book club meeting to discuss WHITE KIDS.

Next book club meeting will be held in April.

Book selected: HOMEGOING, but Yaa GYASI.


Meetings Coming Up...

March meeting is Tuesday, March 5, from 7-8:30pm at Edgar Road with the Webster Equity Bridge (equity group for our district). Superintendent John Simpson will be there to discuss and answer questions about efforts to improve racial equity across the district. (THIS WILL BE OUR MARCH MEETING.)


April 8 (Monday) from 7-8:30 is our next Avery Parents for Racial Equity meeting. We are highly considering having it at WRHM, and Ed Johnson approves. He can even put up a flyer there, and we can do a targeted email to parents with kiddos at WRHM.