At St. Paul’s School we are working on building a cohesive plan around diversity by setting overarching goals, concepts, and vocabulary that build on one another in each grade level. Our teachers are doing an awesome job through books, stories, and social studies in providing opportunities for our students to recognize similarities and differences as well as setting norms of behavior based on our Fruit Values.
Expanding upon and explicitly teaching about diversity and inclusion, fifth grade teacher Stephanie Rieckenberg has selected the book Wonder for her students to read and discuss. This book is a glorious exploration of the nature of friendship, tenacity, fear, and most importantly, kindness. It is a memorable story of kindness, courage and wonder. It is a book that makes you sit back and think – think about your life, your surroundings, and what kind of person you are.
The students are just getting started with the book and here are a few of their comments thus far. “It has helped remind me that I shouldn’t judge people by how they look.” “We should judge someone by their personality or their action.” “Don’t judge them by what you see at first glance. “Treat people the way you want to be treated.” People may look different on the outside, but we are the same on the inside. They could look mean, but on the inside they are nice.” “I should stick up for other people.” ‘“We should protect the people we love.”
Thank you, Mrs. Rieckenberg, for giving your students the opportunity to expand their horizons!