As educators, it is our obligation to educate our students in the traditional content areas, but also the whole child to ensure our young people ready to take on the challenges, both inside and outside the classroom, of high school and beyond. I am incredibly proud of the programming our 8th graders are experiencing outside their core classes.
As I wrote about in the fall, our 8th grade girls wrapped up their work with Michelle Cove of MediaGirls. The organization, whose mission is to to teach middle-school girls and young women to discover their self-worth and harness the power of media for positive change, worked with the girls for eight weeks. The partnership was successful, and I have been so happy to hear the positive reactions students had in relation to this work. Several of the girls have expressed interest in continuing their involvement with the program outside of School. The boys have recently embarked on their own study of the path to becoming good men in their Life Skills class. We explored stereotypes around masculinity and began watching the 2015 documentary The Mask You Live In. This documentary follows boys and young men as they navigate America’s definition of masculinity. If you are interested in learning more about the documentary, please click here. I look forward to this work continuing through the winter.
We are thrilled to continue our 8th grade Inspirations program again this year. For this project, students will choose a person who inspires them or creates passion in their life. Students will then make a formal, five to eight minute presentation to the Middle School community (including students, faculty, administrators, and parents) about their person and how he or she inspires them. The schedule for the presentations was sent out in November and is also attached to this email. All the presentations will take place in the theater at 1:40p.m. I hope you will join us!
I am happy to announce that the 8th grade will be attending the musical Ragtime at Wheelock Family Theater on Thursday, February 7 at 10:30 a.m. as their cultural arts outing. The musical, which is based on the E.L. Doctrow novel and tells that story of three groups of people in New York City at the turn of the century, will feature our very own Edan Zinn. The show addresses challenging issues of race and identity and, as such, Wheelock Family Theater provides a Performance Preview Guide. We will be previewing the subject matter before we see it, and we also will be processing our reactions to the show afterwards. The show explores how we treat those different from us and confronts the realities of discrimination, while also providing hope that we will soon reach the day when, as Dr. King so eloquently said in his “I Have Dream Speech,” all people “will not be judged by the color of their skin, but of the content of their character.” In a year when our School is focusing on empathy, this show feels especially important.
We believe all of the experiences outlined above help to fulfill our mission of developing “lifelong learners who are informed, engaged, and ethical citizens and leaders in our diverse world.”