The Weekday School is getting ready to begin our Social Action Curriculum! This is an element that will serve as an additional layer of all that we do at school on a daily basis. Weekday was founded in 1930, and one of its core values is to ‘educate children to change the world.’ Our school’s mission, inspired by the spirit of The Riverside Church, is to develop and nurture our core values of diversity, community, and empathy.
Last year, our faculty was trained in the implementation of MindUP, the signature program of the Hawn Foundation, created in response to the global epidemic of childhood aggression, anxiety, depression and suicide. Based firmly in neuroscience, MindUP gives children the knowledge and tools they need to manage stress, regulate emotions and face the challenges of the 21st century with optimism, resilience and compassion. This year, we are a pilot site for the formative evaluation on Early Years Curriculum with a lens of equity, inclusion and social justice.
We prioritize social action. Last year, our young learners made weekly breakfast snacks and shared them with neighborhood families afflicted by food insecurities who frequent the Food Pantry, located on the main floor of The Riverside Church. We also baked and contributed over 145 Thanksgiving Pies to the Riverside Church Thanksgiving Feast. This year, COVID-19 has caused us to pivot. While we are presently unable to share baked goods, there is so much that we are able to share with both our students and extended community!
Kindness at WDS, is the umbrella under which we will provide immersive learning experiences that include family education, where we teach about the diverse world we live in and share new opportunities for engagement. Our goal is to engender empathy and build the foundation for life long social justice, providing ways to connect with the underserved and marginalized individuals, building community, and encouraging all of our families to participate in meaningful and age-appropriate social action activities.
Each week, beginning next week and continuing for the entire school year, we are going to work on projects that will give all of our learners (and families) the opportunity to participate in this necessary work. It certainly feels as though right now is a crucial time to educate children to change the world!
Together we are one big family!