August Equity Corner
August is National Back to School Month, so this Equity Corner provides a little information that helps us look at education through an equity lens.
Why There Are Inequities in Learning Before and During the Pandemic
Students of color are more likely to live in low-income households, therefore
· Students of color most likely didn’t even enter school on a level playing field. They are less likely to have the access to early childhood education that their peers did.
· Students of color are less likely to have digital access to devices necessary for remote learning. This included laptops and internet access.
· Students of color are less likely to have private space for attending class and doing homework. Students have more household distractions and are often responsible for caring for younger siblings.
· Low-income students were more likely to have parents working in essential jobs, such as food service and custodial services and retail. This meant more potential exposure to COVID19, less availability to help children with schoolwork and supervise their attendance, less access to daycare.
· Low-income students are more likely to be in single parent homes which exacerbated the inability to oversee their children’s education.
· Low-income children are more likely to move often, changing homes, schools and peers.
· There is increased stress in low-income homes over finances, unemployment, hunger, safety, mental health.
· Low-income parents were less likely to have a college degree, or even a high school degree, and were more likely themselves to have had trouble navigating the education system. They are also more likely to have undiagnosed learning disabilities which would have negatively affected their own education.
· Students in higher income homes are more likely to have access to additional resources – books, family field trips, art and music education.
· There is glaring disparity in resources from school to school. Higher income schools may have equitable funding from the school district administration, but have the additional resource of sizeable income from fundraising and parent groups and the ability of students to pay for supplies and activities. In addition, parents have the ability to volunteer in the schools if they aren’t working in jobs where time off is not paid if it is even able to be scheduled in advance.
· More experienced teachers tend to gravitate to higher income schools.
· What else?
District 81 is redrawing its school boundaries to keep students in cohorts within their neighborhoods, so community is built as students advance from elementary school through high school. It is a well stated concern that the new boundaries will increase the inequities between schools. Supporting schools that will be adversely affected by these decisions is more important than ever.
School Supplies for Jefferson Elementary and Sacajawea Middle Schools
Once again Manito United Methodist Church celebrates the beginning of a new school year by supporting our neighbor schools. We will provide school supplies for students who don't have the means to collect all of the items on their lists. Please bring items on the lists below to the church by Sunday, August 29. You may bring them to worship on Sunday mornings or drop them off during office hours (Monday through Thursday from 10 am to 2 pm). We also bring cookies to each school to welcome teachers back to the classroom. If you would like to provide cookies, they can be delivered to the church on Sunday, August 29 or by 11 am on Monday, August 30. Volunteers will be organizing and delivering the school supplies and cookies at that time, and you are welcome to join them.
Volunteer in Spokane Public Schools
Spokane Public Schools recruits and trains community members to serve in a variety of volunteer roles, such as general classroom assistants, field trip chaperones or academic tutors. More information: https://www.spokaneschools.org/domain/193
A Prayer for Racial Justice
When we do not see the gravity of racial injustice,
Shake us from our slumber and open our eyes.
When out of fear we are frozen into inaction,
Give us a spirit of bravery.
When we try our best but say the wrong things,
Give us a spirit of humility.
When the chaos of this dies down,
Give us a lasting spirit of solidarity.
When it becomes easier to point fingers outward,
Help us to examine our own hearts.
God of truth, in your wisdom, Enlighten Us.
God of love, in your mercy, Forgive Us.
God of hope in your kindness, Heal Us.
Creator of All People, in your generosity, Guide Us.
Racism breaks your heart,
break our hearts for what breaks yours.
~ Anonymous, from EYES TO SEE: An Anti - Racism Examen for Jesuit Colleges and Universities, AJCU, updated March 3, 2021.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
This young adult novel explores ideas of racial justice, police brutality and activism as a high-achieving black teenager witnesses the fatal shooting of a friend, then needs to testify before a grand jury as the sole witness. Starr lives in a crime ridden neighborhood yet commutes to a private, majority-white high school. She witnesses a fatal police shooting yet her beloved uncle is a police officer. Her father is a former gang member who owns his own business. Her mother wants to leave the neighborhood to keep her children safe, but her father wants to stay in the neighborhood to keep it strong. This is a central theme of the book – escaping versus staying to bring about change.
Unity in the Community
Saturday, August, 21 from 10 am to 4 pm
Spokane Riverfront Park
For 27 years, the annual Unity in the Community festival has been providing an opportunity for Spokane citizens to get to know and appreciate more about what makes each of us unique. The foundation of the event is embracing and celebrating diversity through the various acts on the main stage and through the Cultural Villages where children can learn more about culture and traditions. Now, more than ever, it is important to come together as a community to show support for one another while enjoying the activities with our families. More information: http://www.nwunity.org/events/multicultural-celebration/