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1 Photo, Abdul Sharif Photo, Getty Images


LIT/ NUMERACY & SUMMER 2021 By Mary Matthis—PBIS Coach, Breckenridge Franklin Elementary School

The Diversity, Equity, and Poverty (DEP) Department, led by Dr. John Marshall, has partnered with community vendors to provide access to Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) students through its ‘Literacy &’ and ‘Numeracy &’ Programs. These programs are designed for third- through fifth-grade students. ‘Literacy &’ and ‘Numeracy &’ Programs connect standards-based literacy and math instruction to character-building opportunities, using grade-level-appropriate books. The themes connected to each program include confidence, competition, activism, compassion, diversity, and more! In all programs, students make text, self, and world connections, while increasing student engagement. Dr. Taylor Utley, Instructional Lead at the DEP, hires diverse community vendors to teach students specific skills. DEP seeks to expose Black and Brown students to new experiences, such as karate, hip-hop, DJ-ing, aquatics, soccer, volleyball, social justice, fencing, robotics, coding, tennis, chess, fitness, enterprise, folklore, production, and more. Books with diverse characters are intentionally selected to connect literacy and numeracy to the skill being learned. Some of our programs have special guests who attend and speak to students. The Numeracy & Soccer Program at Engelhard Elementary had players from the Louisville Soccer Club speak with them about their positions, experience, and what it means to represent the Louisville community. LSC and WDRB media covered this exciting moment. Our Literacy & DJ Program has also been popular, as many guest DJs have come in to speak and work with students. When WDRB interviewed student, Kendall Posey, she shared this,

Photos, Abdul Sharif

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“It’s been really fun, because on the first or second day, we got to actually start using the controller, and that was really fun. We got to mix music.”

Kendall went on to use her new music mixing skills to co-DJ at a family event. The Department of Diversity, Equity, and Poverty (DEP) provides this program opportunity during the school year. Programs take place after school and on winter, spring, and summer breaks. Be sure to visit the DEP’s website at: https:// For more information, contact Dr. Taylor Utley at (502) 485-6331 or



SOCIAL JUSTICE: TO TEACH OR NOT TO TEACH? By Lonnetta Martin-Grimes—Teacher, King Elementary School


t was day one of the Social Justice and Dance class, and I prompted students to think and write their thoughts by asking them to complete this sentence: “Racism is …” The answers I received were not shocking because they said exactly what I expected them to say. Students commented that racism was unfair treatment of Black people. They felt it was when people were mean to others because of the color of their skin. Some even thought it was when one person thinks they are better than another race. Racism in my mind had always been a major issue for people to overcome but de nitely one that was at the forefront of teaching students in connection with Social Justice. However, what I found this summer was very different from my initial thinking and approach to allowing young people an opportunity to grow as learners and become better citizens. Teaching for the Diversity, Equity, and Poverty of ce allowed me to gain a wider viewpoint of what was necessary for students to make an authentic meaning of Social Justice. I realized that in order to allow students the power to understand Social justice as a view that everyone deserves to enjoy the same economic, political, and social rights, regardless of race, socioeconomic status, gender, or other characteristics, I had to consider many different aspects. When rst asked by Dr. Taylor Utley to share my experience with teaching this summer, I





immediately re ected over the past year and a half, where I spent a great deal of time making sense of a world still struggling to provide a safety net for all in the area of equity and equality. As I began researching what would be relevant for elementary students to be exposed to or learn, it became increasingly evident how important it was for me to deliver the most thought-provoking information that was related to Social Justice and Dance. With intentionality, I chose concepts that promoted more than negative treatment or ideas, giving students a sense of selfworth based on their own actions. The greetings, journalings, sharings, discussions, and book talks all lead to one ultimate goal for teaching the students to not just “see” when things are wrong but also ”doing” when you see things wrong. Too often, the response has been more negative than positive when it comes to racial issues. As the leader in the classroom, my lessons were guided toward change to encourage positivity. One of the highlights from my class involved using music interpretations. I shared many songs over the two weeks but there was one that stood out the most. It was called “Wake Up Everybody” originated by Teddy Pendergrass but repeated by many others as a mantra for generational change. One verse in particular stated, “Wake up all the teachers, time to teach a new way, cause maybe then they’ll listen to what you have to say. Cause they're the ones who're coming up, the world is in their hands!” This demonstrates the most powerful lesson of all, in my opinion. The prosperity of our future falls on the generation to continue pushing for Social and Racial Equity. 





By Kendall Posey—Student, Greathouse Shryock Elementary

Numeracy & DJ is super fun, because it is interactive and you can use real equipment like the controller. It is also good, because the teachers are really helpful. It builds public speaking skills, because we researched famous DJs and made raps for the class. We had to practice in front of people and be comfortable while doing so. I also think the program was a good mix of playing and learning, because we could be playing a game and then read When the Beat was Born and still like the program. This is why I think that Numeracy & Dj was super fun!

Watch our video here!



NUMERACY & FITNESS By John Giddens Jr., Community Partner—Giddens Gainz Personal Training


y name is John Giddens Jr. I am the owner of Giddens Gainz Personal Training in Louisville, Ky. Growing up, I was a part of the Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) system. With tness growing throughout Kentucky, I made it my duty to become a vendor for JCPS. I wanted to help spread the awareness of living a healthy lifestyle throughout the school system. It was a no-brainer to partner with the Department of Diversity, Equity, and Poverty (DEP). To change the culture and practice healthy living for students is also a policy that I practice daily with the clients I work with. This is the reason I enjoy doing the t to learn camps that DEP provides for the kids. Over the last two summers, I was able to provide information about tness and nutrition. One was during the pandemic, when we were forced to do all learning material by videos, and this summer I was able to actually go and visit the kids to do the program in person. To see the information that the students retained made me proud as a vendor. The engagement from the kids made the program easier than expected. 




Over the course of the camp, kids learned about the importance of healthy eating, exercising, and the importance of creating healthy habits plus more. It sounds like a lot, but the kids installed the 7

methods taught and started to apply them daily. This then created habits that they started to enjoy. Seeing the smiles and hearing the stories showed me that kids actually enjoy learning about physical health. For example, we would have students write out meal plans and workout plans for homework. The next day they would have to present the plans and say why they picked the foods and exercises that they picked. It brought great joy to see how engaged they were. These were elementary kids doing the things that I would have my adult clients do. On the last day of the camp, the kids had to present a video of what they learned and demonstrate what exercises that they learned. The t to learn camps are important because these students are our future. With Kentucky being one of the leaders in obesity, starting them early is very important. Creating the habits now that they can use as they get older. By providing these camps for the students, JCPS staff is showing that they are encouraging these kids to strive for a healthy future and teaching students to create a lifestyle now that can change them and prepare them for the future.  Being a vendor for programs like this is a great experience because I am able to see how these kids are creating healthy habits with their peers and taking what they are learning and applying the habits at home. I appreciate being a vendor for JCPS due to the fact that I get to work alongside great staff members and teach them as well. It's more than just letting kids play outside with their friends. Teaching them activities that are actually exercises makes it enjoyable for them to learn about tness in a fun way. Teaching them to eat the rainbow creates creativity for them to learn how to pick foods they should eat.  I want to thank JCPS DEP for allowing me to be a part of such a special program. For allowing me to share my knowledge with kids of all ages. Thank you for creating a program that helps us take control on creating a lifestyle that these kids can live with forever. It is with great joy that I am excited to see this program grow each year. We are touching so many lives just by giving them the information and applying it in a fun lled way. I look forward to each camp that is to come in the future.






Numeracy & Fitness At Frayser Elementary ByKayla Conder—Teacher, Frayser Elementary

My Why


et me start off by saying that teaching virtually during Covid left me, an intermediate elementary teacher, longing for the good ol’ days when students were in the classroom participating in authentic learning tasks, taking risks, and building relationships in real life. Sure, going back into the buildings with a hybrid model was ne, but it still felt like it wasn’t “real school.” I missed all of my students being together. That’s why I applied to teach in the summer Lit & program in June.  I was longing for those good ol’ days of being with kids, down in the nitty gritty of learning! My Experience 


The Numeracy & Fitness Program at Frayser Elementary ran from June 7th-17th. My amazing assistant, Jacqueline Dixon, and I had roughly 20 students from all over JCPS each day and we nailed down a learning routine fairly quickly with the kids.  We started each day with breakfast, then completed a morning meeting (kids always LOVED the activity portion each day!) to build a 9

rapport and sense of community among the participants. After that, we completed literacy and numeracy activities that connected with our tness theme in an effort to expose our students to character building opportunities.   For this camp, DEP partnered with community vendor John Giddens, a tness trainer who owns Giddens Gainz.  John would come each day right after lunch and work with the kids on building their best selves through exercise and healthy eating.  By the end of John’s third day, the kids were showing him the healthy snacks they brought from home and even leading the group in exercises that he had taught them.   The kids took what John taught them and applied it to project based learning.  For their project showcase, students had to create a tness and exercise program for a celebrity of their choice to help get them get in peak physical condition for a world tour.  The projects these kids created to showcase their learning throughout the Numeracy & Fitness Camp blew me away.  It truly is amazing what rising 3rd-5th graders can do when they are having fun learning!






LITERACY & PRODUCTION SUMMER PROGRAM RECAP By Sheri Showalter—Teacher, Watterson Elementary


he Literacy & Production Program was offered to students from all schools around the district in grades three through five. The goal was for students to grow in their reading skills, learn about video production, and have fun. They accomplished all of that and much more! By the end of just two weeks, students had a high-quality digital backpack artifact and new friends, and they were sharing phone numbers, making play dates, and requesting to sign up for future camps because they had so much fun. I had one parent who said her daughter originally didn’t want to come because she thought it was going to be boring. But, when she came to pick her up at the end of the day, her daughter didn’t want to leave because she was having so much fun. It was great! The literacy portion included reading a chapter book and working in literacy circles. Each day included reading, writing to demonstrate understanding, art pertaining to the story, and communication skills including interviews to prepare for the afternoon production portion of the program.

Students read a book titled Ms. Cuddy Is Nutty by Dan Gutman. This engaging book was about Ella Mentry School receiving a donation of $1 million, and they chose to spend the money on starting a TV news station at the school. They are competing against another school to see if they can “get more eyeballs.” It is chock full of figurative language, 11

which adds to the humor of the book. Students not only learned the difference between the various types but they were also using examples in their daily discussion and able to point it out in others conversations. We often laughed at how much we use hyperboles, idioms, and onomatopoeia in our speech without ever really noticing. We read a chapter or two each day and often the students were not wanting to put it down. We couldn’t wait to read it each day to find out what happened next. Each afternoon was dedicated to learning about production and broadcasting. Sara Wagner and Jason Solan from the JCPS Communications Department taught students about video equipment and how to properly use the equipment when recording video. Students learned how to use the iMovie app to create movies and trailers using photos and videos. Students were able to record multiple videos, combine them, and then edit the videos to create a high-quality video broadcast. Students created an entire newscast that included current events, sports, weather, traffic, a book review, and interviews. Because some of the students spoke a different language at home, they asked if they could do their portion in a different language so their families would be able to understand. It was wonderful watching them be so innovative. The broadcast was in English, Spanish, and Kinyarwanda. Two reporters and a meteorologist from WLKY and WAVE news came to talk to the students about their careers. Students learned about their daily work life, pros, cons, and requirements of their job. Students learned that what they see on TV is only a small part of their day. They must also research, interview, and write about the topic they are reporting on. Depending on where they work, they may also have to do their own video recording and editing. They learned about green screens and the ability to read maps and using science in meteorology. On the last day of camp, we reflected on all they accomplished during the two weeks. When we started discussing the Backpack of Success skills, we quickly noticed that they had met all five of the skills. Their news broadcast and literacy centers provided opportunities daily. They demonstrated that they were effective communicators in their broadcast. They were productive collaborators as they worked in their centers and also when researching and writing their section of the broadcast. They were innovative in creating their broadcast and incorporating figurative language and multiple languages in the video. Being globally and culturally competent was demonstrated in the different languages represented. Students were prepared and resilient. They came each day ready to learn and practiced and edited their portion of the news until they attained the final product. It was a very successful two weeks. Students learned, made new friendships, and had a blast. While it was created for students in grades three through five, I, as a fifth grade teacher, learned a lot too. I can’t wait to incorporate what I learned about video production into my classroom this year. I made new work relationships that have offered to work with my students in the future. It was a win-win for all. Thank you to the Diversity, Equity, and Poverty Department for making this possible.


LITERACY & ROBOTICS By Beth Brown—Community Partner, Bricks4Kidz


y name is Beth Brown, and I worked for Bricks4Kidz ten years prior to taking over the position of Managing Director of Jefferson, Oldham, and Shelby County Bricks4Kidz only six months prior to the pandemic!

Bricks4Kidz is an enrichment program that uses LEGO building plans created by engineers and architects to teach science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). The program integrates multiple modes of learning that fits every type of learner. Students are given the provisions that allow them to build with LEGOs while learning STEM concepts and having fun! I am so fortunate to work with the DEP Literacy & Robotics Program this summer and in past years. Dr.Taylor Utley and I even worked out a way to keep the children engaged virtually during quarantine last year! This JCPS organization requested recordings from the enrichment providers of their expertise to provide a new activity with some sense of “normality” during this trying time for all of us. There were many texts, phone calls, and exchanges at all hours that helped this virtual experience take place because of the passion that is present from everyone working with each other, for the most important and common goal—the children.



All of my schools and organizations I work with share the desire to seek out enrichment programs that will benefit their students in many different areas. The DEP ‘Literacy &’ Program is one of those that goes above and beyond to make sure the students stay academically challenged during school breaks and summer vacation. Many staffers in the backscenes must be parents as well, as it is accessible and simple for parents to sign up their child! This worthwhile program not only leaves students feeling accomplished, respected, loved and ready to learn but it also keeps them engaged during school breaks and gives parents a peace of mind while they are at work or adulting with other necessary things it takes to be a parent! All students that participate in the program, receive a certificate of completion on the last day of this eight-day camp. As one of the fortunate adult participants, I can tell you, even after the first, the second, and the fortieth child, I still tear up when handing out these certificates! The joy in the child's eyes (and sometimes dance, depending on personality) when they come up and are recognized in front of their peers for completing the course and choosing the path of learning instead of sleeping in on these dog days of summer, is so sweet and sincere. I am sure the students who attend this program leave knowing that there is a bright future ahead for them if they take the hands of those who care, which is another attribute of this program. As one of the enrichment providers, my pride and sense of accomplishment can be compared by few things in my life, at the top, being a mother and raising my own five children. From the JCPS teachers and assistants that are in charge of the morning education lessons to the lunch personnel that make sure the children have a meal on time, to all afternoon enrichment programs (not just B4K), Dr.Taylor Utley and others at the DEP Department are making it possible for these students to be a bit more prepared and excited for their upcoming school years ahead. I am so PROUD to be a part of the continued growth of your organization while we all strive to provide the youth of Louisville with this wonderful program for years to come!




his month-long celebration begins on September 15 commemorating the anniversary of independence for five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua.

National Hispanic Heritage Month traditionally honors the cultures and contributions of both Hispanic and Latino Americans as we celebrate heritage rooted in all Latin American countries. During this month and throughout the year, the National Park Service and our partners, share history, heritage, and accomplishments of Hispanic and Latino Americans of past and present. Jasmine Drinkard, our Employee Resource Manager, has compiled a Hispanic Heritage Month website full of information, resources, and support for JCPS employees. Check it out by clicking here.




ispanic Heritage Month (September 15 to October 15) recognizes the contributions made and the important presence of Hispanic and Latino Americans to the United States and celebrates their heritage and culture. Hispanics have had a profound and positive influence on our country through their strong commitment to family, faith, hard work, and service. They have enhanced and shaped our national character with centuries-old traditions that reflect the multiethnic and multicultural customs of their community. The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15. It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988, on the approval of Public Law 100-402. In Florida, State Statute 1003.42, passed in 1998, requires the study of “Hispanic contributions to United States history.” The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September18, respectively. Also, Columbus Day or Día de la Raza, which is October 12, falls within this 30 day period.






estled between Mexico, Belize, Honduras, and El Salvador, sits the lush country of Guatemala. Guatemala means "land of many trees." Farming is possible year round since there is so much volcanic activity that the land itself is kept warm from the inside. In this tiny country, not much larger than New York State, there are 19 active volcanoes! Since this land has been home to the native Mayans for over 4000 years, it is also called Mundo Maya (Maya World). Guatemala is dotted with the amazing history of the Mayans in the form of huge temples, pyramids and observatories that were built without the use of metal tools. What we know of the Mayans we have learned from reading the stories and history recorded in writing on the walls of these buildings. Guatemala was, at one time, the cultural center of the Americas. In the hills outside a small city, lived an old man with his daughter, Flora, and her two children, Maria and Diego. They lived together in a small, one room, thatched hut of mud and wood. Grandfather had taught them all to be excellent farmers just like their Mayan ancestors. This year was very bad, as a drought had prevented most of the crops from growing. Despite being very poor, the family was usually happy. They all worked very hard and they were thankful for the colorful clothes that Flora was able to make them. The children enjoyed and learned much from their grandfather's stories. They all worked together to survive. They would all wake up with the sun and tend to the fields, just in case it rained. Then they would spend time gathering lots of firewood. Maria and Diego would then go to school for the day. It was hard for them because the teacher taught in Spanish which was not what they spoke at home. When they got out of school, Diego and Grandpa would go to get water from a stream that was a 15 minute walk away. They had to make several trips in order to get enough water for the whole family for the whole day. Maria would join her mother who was weaving on a loom outside the house. Flora would teach Maria how to weave the way her mother taught her.


The talent had been handed down for generations. Maria loved to watch her mother weave. She made the most beautiful cloth. They seemed almost magical as the colors she would choose always seemed to match the sky. Outstanding oranges and reds in the morning, brilliant blues during the day, pretty purples in the evening, and late at night she would weave breathtaking blacks with traces of gray to match the stars. They were fortunate that Flora could weave so well. The terrible dry weather made it impossible to raise enough crop to sell. The only income they had was the cloth.Tomorrow, after school, the children would go with their mother to the market to sell her cloth. With the money they would buy food. Because of the drought, it was very hard to gather enough food for the day. For dinner, the children would grind some maize (corn) and Mom would use it to make tortillas (thin pancakes) for the family. It wasn't much, and it didn't prevent them from getting hungry the next day. After dinner, when the chores were done, Mother would go back to weaving and children would kiss the hands of Grandfather and bow to him as they asked him to tell one of his stories. The children had a great deal of respect for their grandfather and any other elders they encountered. As grandfather told his story they would lay back in their hammocks and listen. Grandfather's stories were the best because they were true. His stories had been handed down word by word from his grandfather and his grandfather's grandfather. Grandfather would tell of the ancient Mayans who developed the first system of writing in the Americas (North & South). They listened proudly to their heritage as grandfather described how the ancients had mapped the stars long before anyone else in the world. They were captivated by hearing that their ancestors had developed mathematics long before anyone else in the world. The concept of zero being a number, the Mayans developed it where the Romans couldn't. Best of all was when grandfather would describe the silly things. They giggled out loud as he would describe people tying boards to youngsters foreheads because they believed a flat forehead to be a sign of beauty. Diego almost fell out of his hammock as he laughed at his grandfather acting out how the ancients used to hang a bead of wax in front of their baby's eyes in order to make the child cross eyed. They thought it was another sign of beauty. As sleep was almost near for his grandchildren, grandfather would describe how the ancient Mayans would perform sacrifices as an offering to any one of their 166 gods. At this point in the



story, Maria would always reach up and shake Diego's hammock to try and scare him. It always worked. The scream was also a signal to mom that it was time to put the weaving away and go to sleep. Flora put all her wonderful cloth into a basket underneath her son's hammock and went to bed. While sleeping, Maria dreamed of flying with a Quetzal, a long tailed bird which is the national bird of Guatemala. Diego heard Maria making bird noises in her sleep and looked over the edge of his hammock to make fun of her. He was immediately startled by the outline of a thief grabbing his mother's cloth and running out of the house. A -- A ROBBER! Diego screamed. His mother and grandfather woke up startled. "Where?" Maria asked. He just ran out with all mother's cloth! Sure enough, the cloth was gone. Flora began to cry, "That was two season's worth of work! Now I'll have nothing to sell at the market!" Flora sobbed the rest of the night. When the children were leaving for school the next day, Mother was still laying in her hammock and was coming down with a fever. Grandfather would stay with her. When the children returned from school in the afternoon, mother's fever was worse and they were nearly out of food. Maria said, "Diego we need to help!...I have an idea.“ Maria looked in the basket mother kept her cloth in. She was looking for anything that might be left. All that remained in the basket were several scraps of cloth in odd colors and odd shapes. Maria took the basket outside and dragged her brother along. "Go collect small twigs and bring them here," she asked him. Diego whined and said "Wwwhhhy?" "We have to help mother." Maria replied. He scampered off to go find twigs without another word. When Diego returned with the twigs, they both started working. When mother or grandfather asked what they were doing, they said it was a secret. The kids kept working. Late in the night, they ran out of cloth scraps. When they looked at what they had made, they saw dozens of little tiny dolls in little tiny clothes. They had also made little pouches for the dolls to sleep in. As they packaged the dolls up, six in a pouch, Maria remembered one of grandfather's stories about a magical doll who would grant its owner several wishes. The thought that these dolls were magical was funny to


Maria, but for some reason she actually felt it was true. She hoped for her family's sake that they were magical. Maria selected her favorite colored pouch and pulled each of the dolls from it. She lined them up in the palm of her hand and began speaking to them. "Good night my tiny friends, my family is in trouble and we need your help. Our fields are dried up, my mother is sick, we have no food or money, and my mother's cloth was stolen. We need your help little ones." Maria placed the dolls back in the pouch then placed them under her pillow. She was able to sleep very soundly that night, and when she awoke, the dolls were out of the pouch and all laid out in a circle on the table. "I was certain I put them in the pouch under my pillow last night," she said to herself. Wiping the sleep from her eyes, she convinced herself she must have imagined putting them under her pillow. That morning, Maria and Diego went to the market with the doll pouches. As Maria and Diego made the long walk to market, Maria's thoughts turned to bargaining. She had seen her mother and grandfather do it, but she had never had to do it herself. It was expected at the market that people would barter for a fair price. She worried that she would not have the skills needed to barter. Even if she could, what was a fair price for little dolls? She had never seen anyone sell them before. As they laid out their dolls on the sidewalk, the shoe seller recognized them and asked them where their mother was with her beautiful cloth. They told him of what had happened. Then Maria informed him that all they had to sell today were these dolls. The shoe seller examined the tiny dolls and puzzled over why someone would want such small dolls. Maria piped up and said there was magic in the dolls. The shoe seller laughed and said there was magic in his shoes too but that wouldn't help them sell. "We shall see" said Maria, "we shall see.” As the day dragged on, sales were not going well, the market was almost closing for the day and they hadn't sold any dolls. They were both getting worried. As Maria began putting away her dolls, a man dressed in fine clothes and a large hat in a very soft slow vice that is typical of Guatemalans said "What are you selling?" "Just these little dolls," Diego said. "Magic Dolls!" chimed Maria. The man adjusted his hat and with a smirk said "Magic huh? I could use a little magic. I'll take them all!" They hurriedly wrapped up the dolls and he handed them a wad of money. "Thank you." said Maria. The stranger said, "Meeshba!" (you're welcome) and was gone before Maria could turn around and start bartering for how much change he would get back. She counted the money in disbelief. 6,600quetzals! (~$940) “That's enough for us to live on for a year!” she exclaimed. She was not exaggerating. Diego started jumping up and down at the thought of being able to eat tonight. He and Maria bought some food and then headed for home.



Diego and Maria ran into the house waiving the money for mother and grandfather to see. "How did you get that," mother asked, "you had nothing to sell?" "Yes we did, we sold dolls!" Diego screamed. "Magic Dolls," Maria added. They explained everything to mother and grandfather. Mother said, "It doesn't sound like magic, it sounds like my children worked very hard." "But how do you explain that you are feeling better?" asked grandfather. "That's just the way trouble is," exclaimed Flora, "sometimes it just comes and goes." "How do you explain the rain?" yelled Diego. What rain? they all asked. "THAT rain", he pointed. Sure enough, the fields were getting rained on as they were talking. The drought was over. When Maria was getting ready for bed she noticed something in her pocket, when she pulled it out, it was the same pouch of dolls she had spoken to the night before. How had they gotten there? She was sure she sold them to the man. In the pouch she found a tiny little note that said "Tell these dolls your secret wishes. Tell them your problems. Tell them your dreams. And when you awake, you may find the magic within you to make your dreams come true." There was no name on the note, just a little drawing of a man in a big hat…the mysterious stranger. —Adapted from a story by Kathy Wirt


MAKE YOUR OWN WORRY DOLL Materials Needed Wooden Clothes Pin with a at, round top (found in craft stores Pipe Cleaner Approximately 20 feet of yarn in various colors Scissor MarkersGlu

• • • • •

Directions 1. Take the pipe cleaner and wrap it around the clothespin to form arms.


Twist it in place on the back of the clothespin Place a small dot of glue on the back of the pin; just above where youcrossed the arms Place one end of a strand of yarn in the glue and begin wrapping the yarn around the pin. Make sure to really cover the “arms” wrapped around the body with the yarn. If you want totry to wrap the arms as well, good luck. ! Take another strand of yarn to continue with the skirt or pants for yourdoll. Make sure to cover both the end of the rst strand and the beginning of this strand as you wrap.When you come to the end, use the end of the paperclip to tuck in any loose ends For the hair, cut strands of yarn to your desired length,

6. 7. 8.

place a small amount of glue (1 dot) on the top of the pin and smear with the topof the glue bottle –too much glue will ruin your doll, less is more Place the strands in the glue, to create hair. Carefully, draw on a face with the markers. Let the glue dry, and you are nished!!!

2. 3.













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HISPANIC HERITAGE USING MAPS AND FLAGS GRADES K-5 Objectives: At the conclusion of this lesson, students will be able to: 1. locate Latin American nations on a map 2. identify key characteristics of culture (e.g., language, art, music, dance, religion,traditions, food 3. analyze the traditions and culture of Hispanic Americans Key Terms: Cultur






Materials Crayons, Colored Pencils, or Markers Map of Latin America (provided) Flag Pages (provided) *can also be printed at Culture Chart (provided)


1. On the board, write the names of the following countries where Spanish is the of cial language: Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Spain, Uruguay,Venezuela. 2. Read the names of the countries to students. 3. Explain that this month we are celebrating and studying Hispanic Heritage and the many Hispanic cultures found in North America (Mexico), Central America, South America and the Caribbean 4. Show students pictures of the ags from these nations from library sources or one ofthe following Web resources















1. The World Factbook: Flags of the World 2. World Flag Database 3. Gallery of Country Flags 4. Pass out the Latin America map. Assign each student one country. Have students color that country on the Latin America map. You may want to have older students, use the blank map and label it with all the countries before coloring their country on the map. 5. Distribute the drawing materials – older students can draw their assigned country’s ag and label it with the country’s name. Younger students can color the templates. 6. Display completed ags around the classroom. 7. Then, ask students to describe some of the holidays and special days they celebrate with their family. Students may relate stories about major celebrations and holidays such as birthdays and holidays (e.g.,Thanksgiving, Christmas,Three Kings, Chanukah, Kwanza, July 4th and others). List these on the board

8. Have students describe how each listed holiday or special day is celebrated; e.g., ceremonies, food, music, dance 9. Explain that these holidays and special days and the way we celebrate them are called traditions and are part of our family’s heritage (background) and culture. Culture is theway of life of a group of people and includes language, dance, music, art, education, religion, politics, literature, food, holidays, and much more. 10.Again, explain that this month we are celebrating and studying Hispanic Heritage and the many Hispanic cultures found in North America (Mexico), Central America, South America and the Caribbean. Tell the class that they are going to study several nations inLatin America 11.Either allow students to choose or already have several Latin American cultures to explore as a class. Be sure to include Mexico (North America) and nations in CentralAmerica, South America, and the Caribbean 12.Pass out the chart. Using books, video clips, and the internet ll the chart out while learning about the chosen countries as a class 13.Older students can research a country on their own or with a small group. Extension: Students can compare and contrast the countries using a Venn diagram. Evidence of Understanding: The classroom discussion and completed maps and charts will highlight students’ understanding of Hispanic countries and their respective cultures.







































COMPETENCY, AWARENESS, & RESPONSIVENESS TO DIVERSE STUDENTS PROGRA Introducing the 2021-22 C.A.R.D.S. Program Participants By Dr. Vanessa McPhail—Specialist, Community Affair


CPS has teamed up with the University of Louisville (UofL) to better equip JCPS educators for teaching in the state’s most diverse district. Below is more information about the JCPS Teacher Competency, Awareness, and Responsiveness to Diverse Students (C.A.R.D.S.):

The program is offered to all certi ed employees currently teaching in teacher-of-record positions in Accelerated Improvement Schools (AIS). This program will provide JCPS teachers with tuition assistance to receive a master’s degree in teacher leadership at UofL with a graduate certi cate in diversity literacy. The JCPS Teacher C.A.R.D.S. curriculum is a 30–hour master’s degree program in teacher leadership from the College of Education and Human Development that includes 15 hours within the College of Arts and Sciences (A&S). The 15 hours in A&S will give students a graduate certi cate in diversity literacy and can be in classes that explore such topics as world religion, Latino and African-American culture, history, philosophy, and the social sciences. Please take a second to meet our 2021-22 C.A.R.D.S. Program participants, and wish them luck on their journey towards graduation!







Harwood Jones, Teacher 6th Grade English Language Arts Newburg Middle School

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Jennifer Shain, Teacher Wellington Elementary

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Ethan Galloway, Teacher T.J. Middle School

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Hannah Keenan, Teacher Frost Sixth Grade Academy

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Jennifer Barth, Teacher T.J. Middle School

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ENVISION EQUITY SEPTEMBER 2021 Shhh! The Baby’s Asleep by JaNay Brown-Wood and illustrated by Elissambura Charlesbridge For PreK

To Night Owl from Dogfish by Holly Goldberg Sloan and Meg Wolitzer Puffin Books For grades 5th-8th

This is a fun, animated story about a family who is trying to keep the new baby in the house sound asleep! Throughout the story, there are creaky footsteps, stomach growls from a hungry daddy, Grammy splashing loudly while washing clothes, and grandfather sneezing loudly. Other noises spread out over each page, until, guess what? Everyone is told to shush because the baby is asleep, but does the baby stay asleep or awake? The intergenerational aspect of the story is worth noting as well.

This is an endearing and compelling story about two 12-year-old girls who attend a sleepaway camp together and become best friends as a result. They meet each other, mostly because their single, gay fathers want them to get to know each other, and possibly become sisters someday. They are complete opposites though, with one having fears about many things but who is also intense and very organized. The other spontaneous friend is more fearless and absolutely loves the ocean (but whose best friend is deathly afraid of deep water). Their story of friendship arises, and they find themselves on an unpredictable journey and adventure together.

Start Now! You Can Make a Difference! By Chelsea Clinton Puffin Books For grades 2nd-5th

As the title suggests, you can make a difference in the world by starting right now! This title is a great tool to use to help children and teens see their worth in the world and how they can lead change towards positivity. Problems big and small are highlighted, and young people can see themselves as activists in the fight toward changing the world.

Images obtained from Google Images. Book recommendations provided by Erin Nevitt, Louisville Free Public Library


Books for Young Readers


How to Start a GSA/GSTA in Jefferson County Public Schools (Pride Club, Gender Sexuality Alliance, Gay-Straight-Transgender Alliance) If you attend a public school that has other non-curricular clubs, the Equal Access Act states that your school cannot deny the formation of a GSA/GSTA. Secure a sponsor for the students (Athletics and Activities).

The sponsor will oversee the GSA/GSTA schedule, activities, and meetings.

Student-Led Club

Please remember that the GSA/GSTA is a student-run club.

Inform administration and develop support.

Your principal can be your strongest ally. If not, find other school adults who can support you.

Share with the school’s counselors and mental health practitioner.

Your colleagues who work one-on-one with students may know of students who would like to join the club.

Connect with other GSA/GSTA sponsors in JCPS.

There are many sponsors in JCPS who would be happy to answer further questions. (

Make a general announcement.

Share news of the club’s existence with the student body.

Parent/Guardian permission?

The only legal way to require parent permission is if the school does so for all other clubs.

Sponsor and students: set the calendar.

The location and time of all meetings should be established by the club members and sponsor.

Students write a clear and concise mission statement and set goals for the group.

All of these allow for a safe space. The club’s purpose should be established (support, awareness, community service, activism, etc.).

Spread the news.

Students promote the club for the student body (membership, activities, and projects, etc.).

Raise awareness of implicit bias.

Sponsors should examine biases and prejudices toward young people, especially regarding lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) issues.

Identify the students’ pronouns.

Students should voice their proper pronouns. Ask.

Protect students’ privacy.

Students’ multifaceted identities are theirs for sharing.

Develop positive morale and team-building within the group.

Trust is a priority, as is confidentiality. All students should feel included. Everyone should feel like an important participant within the club.


Religious Observances September 2021 Below is a list of religious observances. It is a not an exhaustive list and we appreciate your feedback. We are committed to equity and inclusion respecting religious observances of all community members. September 6-8

Rosh Hashanah


September 8

Nativity of the Virgin Mary


September 10

Ganesh Chaturthi


September 11

Ethiopian New Year


September 11

Paryushana Parva


September 15-16

Yom Kippur


September 20-27



September 27

Elevation of the Life Giving Cross


September 27


Christianity (Ethiopian/Eritrean Orthodox Christian)

September 27-29

Shemini Atzeret


September 29

St Michael and All Angels Day/Michaelmas


September 29

Simchat Torah




Editor—Catherine Collesano Editor, Photo Contributor—Abdul Sharif

Special thanks to all of our community partners and educators who helped make this special edition of Envision Equity possible. Envision Equity is a publication of the JCPS Department of Diversity, Equity, and Poverty Programs. All submissions should be sent to Catherine Collesano at or Abdul Sharif at We want to hear from you! If you are interested in becoming a subscriber or a contributor to Envision Equity, please contact one of the editors at the above email address to submit your article, event, or feedback. Equal Opportunity/Af rmative Action Employer Offering Equal Educational Opportunities



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Envision Equity September 2021 Edition  

Envision Equity September 2021 Edition  

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