Topeka Collegiate families and friends,
I would like to take some time in this Connection to highlight three of the ways we are instilling the core competency of Citizens of the World to our students.
In our first nine weeks of the school year, all students were able to listen and learn from two guest speakers. In both cases, the speakers customized their presentation to be age-appropriate and we scheduled different timeframes for students to hear their stories.
In September, Jimmy Beason spoke to all students about his book, Native Americans in History. Mr. Beason is a member of the Osage Nation of Oklahoma from the Eagle Clan. He works as a professor in the Indigenous and American Indian Studies Department at Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kansas. In his book, Mr. Beason brings Native American history to life for children and young adults through wonderful illustrations and impressive detail. This presentation was intended to inspire awareness and appreciation of Native American traditions and culture.
Last week, in recognition and celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, Luis Estrada spoke to all students about his early childhood in Mexico, moving to California as a young child, and then his move to Topeka. Each time he moved, he grew his world. It was a simple but powerful concept that resonated at every grade level. Among the many organizations he is affiliated with, Mr. Estrada is the CEO and co-founder of the Topeka Latino Professionals Association; founder of Somos KS: Resource platform; a YWCA Advisory Committee member; and Woman and Minority Business Development Council member. Thank you, Luis, for sharing your story with our students and increasing their understanding of Hispanic heritage here in Kansas and beyond!
Finally, we are bringing the world to our young citizens through Collegiate Kitchen powered by Bobby's Food Co. After experiencing multiple dishes in recognition of Hispanic heritage month, students moved on to Greek Week this week! Students feasted on Greek pasta, chicken gyros, and orzo pasta. Next week students will experience a few British-inspired dishes, including Sheperd’s Pie and Bangers and Mash!
I share these three specific examples (and believe me, there are more I could detail) of our work as a reminder that we, Topeka’s only independent school, believe it is essential that students learn and appreciate diversity in our community, near and far. Becoming a citizen of the world is rooted in an appreciation for our differences, seeing the value in all persons, and raising children that are not afraid to take bold action for the benefit of others. If you know someone who would be a beneficial speaker, please let us know.
It's an honor to bring these conversations into our classrooms and even our lunchroom! It's also an honor to partner with you to inspire engaged citizens of the world. Thank you, as always, for your partnership,
Dr. Lyn D. Rantz
Head of School