Dec. 10, 2018

Avery Parents for Racial Equity

December 10, 2018


Those present: Jennifer Patrick, Danna Lippold, Paul Marske, Bonnie Noonan, Tracy Baden, Tony Arnold, Kersten Horn, Ashley Prulliere, Amanda Vader, Anne Wamser, Elisa Tomich


Action plan for Black History Month


Two ideas were discussed at our November meeting - consensus was to move forward with both.


1- Speaker series.

\Amanda Vader volunteered to help manage the logistics - will work with Elisa Tomich, and coordinate with Dr. Arnold.

Who would be featured in the series: would like to highlight African American achievement - parents, "higher profile" speakers- community leaders, people in the greater St. Louis area.  There are 17 school days in the month, and ideally we would have 1-2 people per day come (potential total of 26 speakers) in for 15-20 minutes at a minimum to read to a class and/or share life experiences, talk about the history of Webster Groves, etc. Could be closer to 30 minutes for someone who wants to share more, start a discussion, etc. (may apply more to older grades). Would a speaker speak to more than one group? More than one time slot?


How to find speakers: Mrs. Baden (1st grade teacher) was asked about the best way to recruit parents to sign up for a speaker series slot. Maybe a parent could "nominate" a person to come in and read/share- someone like a grandparent, aunt, long time Webster resident, co-worker, etc.


Where would speakers speak to students: May be possible to get all of the kids in a grade in one classroom. Seems like the gym is very busy with classes and other programs and the lunchroom is configured in such a way that a speaker + kids would be challenging.


How to get the word out: This opportunity could go out in the teachers' newsletter and Avery All Star News. Teachers could also reach out to parents who they think may be interested. Parents for Racial Equity Group would need to coordinate with teachers to let them know when the announcement/invitation for speakers would go out in the All Star News. Then the teachers could reinforce and invite as well.


How to get the sign up out: Google doc/forms (sign up times and share with link) or sign up genius.


We can reach out to Bristol to see how they've done this in the past. Elisa can draft something for All Star News. Look for this soon so we can review it for her because we need to have it ready by January 6 to go out in the January 9 All Star News.

Teachers will discuss: Teachers have a PD January 4 and Staff Meeting January 14- can discuss this Speaker Series then.


2- Read-A-Thon:

When: Idea put out there to extend the Read-A-Thon so that it isn't just offered for Black History Month. So maybe a January/MLK Day start and finish with Eye See Me Book Fair.

Prize: Will there be a prize for completing the reading log? Prize could mean a book, a reading picnic/reading celebration/classed based incentive?  Does there even need to be an incentive?


How to determine what the goals should be per grade level: If so, what makes sense for the # of books/grade level? Or could teachers and class create their own goals? There are other options besides reading and filling out a log. Classes could read, discuss the readings, do a project... Mrs. Baden will survey Ubuntu teachers for ideas/willingness to participate. Ubuntu could ask teachers what their classes/grades could do that's grade level appropriate. Ex: log (older grades) vs. read aloud (K classes) and project.


How would they work toward the goals: Would kids do their reading independently in class, or would they read at home? If at home, would some kids without access to books/help from parents be at a disadvantage? Does each class have an adequate classroom library with books featuring persons of color?  Do we have a list of these books that are already in our own Avery Library? Could we get a list of suggested books from Eye See Me? Don't forget: Parents could check out We Stories Kits for this program.


How to keep track of all this reading:

One option: Individual reading logs.

Another option: As opposed to individual student reading logs, Dr. Arnold suggested that each class keep a classroom log. Kids can read in the class or at home and come in and mark on the class log as they complete a book.  This would mean just one reading log list per class. Incentive would go to the class as a whole as opposed to individual readers. Team effort, and the prize (if there is one) is shared.




Book club books:

White Kids: Growing up with Privilege in a Racially Divided America. At Novel Neighbor there are still some books for our book club. They are paid for, so please go grab one! Just tell them you're with our group, and you're good to go. When you finish with it, please let Elisa know and we will keep them for our group/school.  If you go and they're out, tell them you're with Avery's Parents for Racial Equity group and they will give you a discount.


Next up for WEB:

WEB meeting is March 5, 2019, from 7:00pm-8:30pm at Edgar Road. Dr. Simpson will present at around 7:30 and share what the district is doing.


Next meeting for our group: January 14, 2019, in Avery library.


Follow up for topic raised in previous meeting: Field trip for 4th grade on January 10 to the Art Museum: Ms. Kaiser is looking into adding the Kehinde Wiley exhibit to the viewing as part of the field trip.