Resources to open conversations and spark curiosity

Essay written by TNSM parent and D+CE member Allie Precht Hope, Rachel, Portia & Claudia have shared such lovely, vulnerable and informative stories over the past 4 weeks along with many resources that I want to re-share with our TNSM community. These resources can open conversations with our families, within ourselves, and spark curiosity and learning within our children. Claudia shared this video of the song Aya Aya (Hello, Hello) – try singing with you children as a way of honoring some of the ancestors of this land we call home now. Portia shared a list of Native American Children’s …

To see and be seen — such a powerful act of humanity!

  Essay written by TNSM parent and Diversity and Community Enrichment chair, Claudia Lòpez Aya! tipeewe neeyolaani During my time at Miami University, twenty years ago, I had the privilege to work closely and develop a friendship with Daryl Baldwin, a citizen of the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma and the founding director of the Myaamia Center at Miami University. I would go to Daryl’s home in Indiana, about twenty minutes from Oxford, to pick up chicken — I might have gotten some goat at some point. He also introduced me to topinambur, also known as Jerusalem artichokes or sunchokes. Daryl …

Understanding Thanksgiving through the work of Indigenous authors

Essay written by TNSM parent and Diversity and Community Engagement Committee member – Portia Dyrenforth Thanksgiving confuses me as a parent. I love the traditions of feasting and being with loved ones. I know the myths that I was taught about the “First Thanksgiving” are wrong and harmful. I am unsure how to combine these two perspectives to explain and celebrate appropriately with small children. So far, I have tended to focus on the “thanks” part of the holiday. I know from my background as a research psychologist that gratitude is a surprisingly strong predictor of well-being. So, gratitude seems …

What does it mean to be Indigenous to a place?

What does it mean to be Indigenous to a place? In Braiding Sweetgrass, scientist and Indigenous author Robin Wall Kimmerer explains, “For all of us, becoming Indigenous to a place means living as if your children’s future mattered, to take care of the land as if our lives, both material and spiritual, depended on it” (9). She wonders if our “nation of immigrants” can “once again…become native…[and] make a home?” (ibid.)  Building on Rachel Lwin’s post from last week, I invite us to think about: festivals, fading light, and forming a relationship to a place.  Halloween, as Rachel discussed last …

Holidays offer a gateway to find connections with cultures different from our own

Essay written by TNSM parent and D+CE member Rachel Lwin Thadingyut is the Myanmar holiday honoring the end of the summer and the transition to the cool, dry season of southeast Asia, heralded by the full autumn moon. This year, it was on October 20, the day that I wrote this blog post! Like Halloween, Thadingyut is one of many celebrations of the end of the harvest in the northern hemisphere, a marking of the annual changing of the seasonal guard. Last year our family skipped trick-or-treating and held a Halloween/Thandingyut celebration instead. We were homeschooling at that point, and …

Continuing our conversations and deepening relationships

“The needs of mankind are universal. Our means of meeting them create the richness and diversity of the planet. The Montessori child should come to relish the texture of that diversity.”  ~ Maria Montessori Moving into my second year with a child at TNSM and serving on the Diversity + Community Engagement Committee, I am continually inspired by and grateful for this community. This community is such a key part of what makes TNSM special – every child and every grown up brings a unique perspective and story to this journey. Last year, much of the work that the D+CE …

Summer Activities to Promote Discussions About Diversity

I am back with Part II of my list of activities to help facilitate family discussions about diversity. This list includes things your family can watch together as well as local activities that your family can engage in that focus on diversity. Enjoy the summer! – Randi Burlew (Committee member)   Summer Activities to Focus on Diversity and Inclusion Please watch and discuss: Ages (3-6) These Sesame Street Videos (Color of Me Song; Beautiful Skin Song; Black History Month Compilation; Maya Angelou’s Name Song) Bookmarks: Celebrating Black Voices on Netflix Ages (6-9) PBS Kids Talk About Race and Racism Barbie …

Books to Read that Promote Discussions About Diversity

My husband, Scott Burks, and I are the proud parents of a fifth grader at TNSM. Along with being committed to creating an inclusive and welcoming world for our son, much of my professional and volunteer work involves issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. In a recent TNSM Diversity Committee meeting, we discussed ways to keep this important work moving forward in our community over the summer. In that spirit, I have created a list of things your family can read together.   Summer Reading Suggestions that Focus on Diversity and Inclusion Please read and discuss: Ages (3-6) A Is …

Celebrating Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

It’s May and that means it’s officially Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM)!  Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM) is an annual celebration and recognition of the Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Americans and their achievements and contributions throughout U.S. history and to the present day. This year a local organization, Asianati, has put together an entire month of programming that celebrates Asian food, culture, and history. Most of the events are free, and many are family-friendly. So take the opportunity to treasure our local restaurants, create works of art, and learn. Click HERE to see a complete list of events. ~Sarah …

Let us work together, deepening our understanding of racism and creating relational transformations

“If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is tied up with mine, then let us work together.”   ~Lilla Watson Much of the work that the Diversity + Community Engagement Committee has been doing this year has been about deepening – rather than spreading and doing. We have remained in the relational realm. Last week, Sarah Corlett shared powerful resources with us. One was an interview by Brené Brown with Aiko Bethea. A phrase from that interview really stuck with me: “Anti-racism work is never transactional. If we …