Mission
Pollyanna creates discussion platforms for groups of people to explore issues of diversity, equity and inclusion;
and to share experiences and knowledge. We believe in being eternally optimistic even in the face of challenge. Pollyanna exists to be part of the solution.

Welcome from Casper Caldarola
Founder
October 2018
Greetings!
One important plus to focusing my full attention on Pollyanna is I now have the ability to travel and visit schools. This has allowed me to feel the energy and rhythm of the school and people. Sitting outside Town School for Boys on a sunny San Francisco day at Friday’s kindergarten dismissal was electric. All that exuberant boy energy on the street, excited for a parent or guardian to pick him up and start the weekend. Each boy carried with him a special stuffed animal to which they showed tremendous care and affection. It was a slice of life at Town, just a snippet of the day until my meeting with their head of school and team who is planning its first Pollyanna Conference in school year 2019-20.

October keeps me close to home and also across the country again. I look forward to being at Dalton’s first Intra-Conference on Community & Belonging in New York on October 13 and Harvard-Westlake’s second conference titled Implicit Bias in Los Angeles on October 27. Each topic is an important discussion and a next step in building a more inclusive school community. This school year we have over ten conferences taking place from October through April. Please let me know if you’d like to join me at one of them to see the conference in action.

In addition to traveling, we are meeting with new schools joining the Pollyanna family. We’re excited to welcome St. Clement’s School in Toronto, our first school outside the US! Pollyanna's Racial Literacy Curriculum pilot is underway and you can read more about it in the interview below. In addition, we have taken on an ambitious fundraising goal and I hope you’ll considering joining us in this effort. All in all, fall is off to a great start. Hope yours is too!

Warmly,
Racial Literacy Curriculum Update
Interview with Monique Vogelsang, writer and educator with 10 years in the classroom, and a creator of Pollyanna’s Racial Literacy Curriculum
Pollyanna will offer a new Racial Literacy Curriculum* to schools. Can you briefly describe it?
This Racial Literacy Curriculum is for Grades K-8 and is designed to help students learn that race is a social construct. If we don’t know the true history behind something, then we believe it’s a natural order. The earlier we talk about race like we do math, science and history it becomes part of a holistic education. Some households talk about it, others not much or not at all. This curriculum helps to create a common ground.

What led to the development of this curriculum?
Pollyanna received a very generous foundation grant to create a K-8 Racial Literacy Curriculum and curriculum has always been a passion. I’m multiracial and while growing up we talked about race but never about MY race. As I went on to teach, both in public and private schools, I realized there was little or no discussion of racial literacy in the classroom. And through my involvement in the Dalton Diversity Conference, hearing people at the end of the conference say, “how can we implement change in our classrooms…we need curriculum to support this,” substantiated the need for this program.

We have also been fortunate to consult with a group of phenomenal educators, Jean-Robert Andre, a teacher at Grace Church School, Tyner Gordon, Middle School Assistant Director at Dalton School, and Scott Moore, Assistant Principal at NYC Department of Education, who each bring a different perspective to the development of the project and have been very involved in communal brainstorming.

How is the curriculum structured?
Each grade level has a series of lesson plans. It’s a spiral curriculum, like math it gets more complicated as you move to the next grade level. The lesson plan walks the educator through the class with referenced articles, a selection of read alouds that guide them through the conversation, key vocabulary words, videos from sources such as Vox, The New York Times as well as some that are animated. We suggest how to close the lesson, include independent work as well as various ways to extend the lesson. All in all, these are very much procedural lessons to which an educator can add their own touch.

Do you have a launch date established?
We are beginning with a pilot program in a few schools around the country who will try out a couple of lesson plans in different grades. We will seek feedback from these schools which will help us see if we are on the right track. We are anticipating the full program will be ready to launch by mid to late March 2019, so schools can add it to their curriculums for the fall of 2019. 


*The Pollyanna K-8 Racial Literacy Curriculum is being provided to schools without charge because of the generosity of a grant. Schools may consider a donation to support Pollyanna's ongoing initiatives so that it may continue to offer materials and services without charge.
Pollyanna Family
Contact us to join the growing list of Schools in our family.

 The Children's School in Atlanta, GA
The Dalton School in New York, NY
Far Brook School in Short Hills, NJ
Francis W. Parker in Chicago, IL
Francis Parker in San Diego, CA
Harvard-Westlake in Los Angeles, CA
New City School in St. Louis, MO
Providence Day School in Charlotte, NC
NEW: St. Clement's School in Toronto, Canada
Town School for Boys in San Francisco, CA
Vermont Academy in Saxtons River, VT
The Wheeler School in Providence, RI
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Pollyanna, Inc. is a New York not-for-profit corporation 501(c)(3). © 2018 Pollyanna.

Sarah Woods: interview | Louisa Wells: Design