At the beginning of each school year, our entire student body and faculty participate in a two month mini-unit study of one of the testimonies. The project introduces students to an aspect of the Quaker values that guide our educational philosophy. The focus for the 2014-2015 school year is diversity. While not a traditional testimony, the fundamental Quaker belief in the light within every individual recognizes the importance of inclusion.
Our mission states, “We cultivate a diverse community.” The mini-unit provided an opportunity to broaden the definition of diversity in our community. The goal was to invite students to be curious and interested, and to give them the tools to speak about and embrace differences. The three divisions participated in a range of developmentally appropriate activities in September and October.
The mini-unit culminated in an all-school event on October 24th. Buddy classes gathered at the middle and upper school buildings. They began with snacks and getting to know you activities, and then they created amazing flags illustrating aspects of diversity in their groups. A wide variety of materials were used and all students contributed. One flag depicted collaged faces of the students in the two buddy classes. One group created a flag in which students affixed illustrations and symbols of their uniqueness to the location of their homes on a maps of the metropolitan area. Another set of buddies created a two-layered flag depicting how they appear on the outside and all that is special about them on the inside that is not outwardly visible.
Finally students and faculty gathered together in each of the two buildings and shared
Silent Meeting. The completed flags were on display. They reflected on the following
query and shared their thoughts.
“This fall, we explored diversity at MMFS. Today, we spent time with our buddy classes creating flags together, getting to know one another and sharing how we are alike and different. In Silent Meeting our query is how does your buddy class flag represent your buddy classes? Or tell us about buddy class flag?”
For more photos of the day, visit the MMFS Flickr page.