Students Celebrate Hispanic and Latinx Heritage Month
This year our students celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month by investigating a myriad of Hispanic and Latinx scholars, writers, and activists. In the first half of the month, students explored fifteen impactful individuals and events, selected by the Inclusivity Leadership Team (ILT).
For the second half of the month, each grade considered what was missing from the ILT’s list of topics and created their own topics for the rest of the School to explore. "7th graders learned about representation in young adult literature by learning about Sandra Cisneros and her book, The House on Mango Street," Grade 7 Homeroom teacher, Guida Mattison, explained, "We want students to see how underrepresented youth can find that representation in literature." Cisneros' novel is a staple of Chicano Literature, as it documents the trials and tribulations of a young Mexican-American girl who finds solace and power in writing. Students learned about the semi-autobiographical nature of the book and discussed the importance of representation through writing.
In Grade 6 students looked at the monumental, yet often overshadowed civil rights case, Mendez v. Westminster. This case, which preceded Brown v. Board of Education by almost eight years, allowed for a third grader named Sylvia Mendez to attend a California public school which was for "whites only." Students watched a video and discussed education as an inalienable right, and for many Grade 6 students, this was their first look into the middle school humanities curriculum, which is centered on civil rights and objectivity.
Turning their investigation skyward, Grade 8 students learned about Scarlin Hernandez, a Hispanic American scientist who was born in the Dominican Republic. Today she is a NASA engineer working on the James Webb telescope, a powerful instrument, larger than the Hubble Telescope, that will peer deep into space. Grade 8 students learned about Hernandez’s struggles pursuing a career in science as a Hispanic American woman. Students discussed how marginalized groups feel pressure to ignore science based careers and the impact that can have on progress as a whole.
This all-school activity provided students, employees and families with meaningful opportunities to learn more about a variety of people, events, and movements impacting United States history, and helped to ignite curiosity and further inquiry for all our students into the impact the Hispanic and Latinx community has on all of us.
Alongside the book fair and poetry month, April has been a wonderful time for literature at Nashoba Brooks School. Sharon Draper and Jen Campbell, two celebrated authors, left their mark on the community over the past few weeks.
More than 75 parents responded to this year’s annual School survey and numbers were well balanced across all grade levels. The results of the survey are impressive and the feedback the parents offer to the School is glowing.
As Black History Month comes to a close, students and faculty alike celebrate diversity, acknowledging that a school is not only classrooms, gymnasiums, and fields, but also the people within these walls. Each year and at every grade level our students contemplate the presence and importance of different backgrounds, experiences and beliefs. And this month provides community members with an opportunity to reflect on what it means to be Black in America.
Rachel Adams graduated from Nashoba Brooks School in 2001. She went on to study at Lawrence Academy followed by Maine College of Art and Design. Now living in Portland as a successful artist, textile designer, entrepreneur, wife and mother of two, Rachel shares her journey from student to full time artist.
Guida Mattison, Nashoba Brooks School's director of secondary school placement, wants to remove as much stress as possible from the high school application process that Grade 8 students go through each year.
Situated on a beautiful 30-acre campus in historic Concord, Massachusetts, Nashoba Brooks School enrolls all genders in Preschool through Grade 3, and students identifying as girls in Grades 4 through 8. Nashoba Brooks is an independent school designed to build community, character, and confidence in its students.