posted Apr 16, 2018, 4:45 AM by Designer Stevie Remsberg   [ updated Apr 16, 2018, 4:50 AM ]


April 15, 2018

Dear Families,

Here’s an important message from our fourth and fifth grade group, Kids4LGBTQ Rights Now:

Hi, we’re Kids4LGBTQ Rights Now. We were just reading a book about how much work Harvey Milk put into making hope for a better world, hope for a better tomorrow. The book is called Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag. The author is Rob Sanders. On Monday, 4/16/18, he will be coming to The Earth School to read Pride to the third grade. Books will be on sale in the morning in the Earth School Lobby run by Kids4LGBTQ members. “Rights are won only by those who make their voices heard.” (see attached flier for more details)

Some of you are aware that the Earth School does not receive its fair share of school funding. In fact, each year, we get only 87% of our funding while other schools receive their full 100% or more! For years, we have had to scramble and appeal to be able to pay for mandated staffing, programming, and supplies. We must rely heavily on PA fundraising and we still don’t have an assistant principal or teacher coach like other schools our size and which we had formerly. To advocate for our fair portion of funding, a large contingent of parents attended a Town Hall meeting in February only to be silenced and ignored. Next week, a group of parents and staff is meeting with the Chief Financial Officer at the Department of Education in hopes of changing our funding percentage. We hope to have good news to share in the coming weeks about changes to come! Wish us luck!!

At this week’s professional development, staff members will again be working with Border Crossers. At our last session, we role played how we would respond when racially-charged topics come up in classrooms. We were introduced to short-term and long-term strategies to help guide our responses. This week, we will be taking stock of where we are individually and collectively in this work, making goals, and planning ahead. I am completely awed by the energy and courage our staff members have for this challenging and often uncomfortable work. 

I will end with this quote by James Baldwin that I heard at a conference at Teachers College this week, The world changes according to the way people see it, and if you alter, even but a millimeter the way people look at reality, then you can change it.”

Any passionate gardeners looking to get involved in helping our garden grow? The 5th Street Farm, our rooftop garden, needs you! Please contact Frances (frances@5thstreetfarm.org) or me, if interested.

Love, Abbe