Packer Celebrates Ally Week
In late September, Packer joined schools across the country in Ally Week, engaging our youngest students to our oldest in conversations about how they can work to create a community that embraces all of its members.
Ally Week — established by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) — was coupled with the American Library Association's Banned Books Week, which celebrates open access to information and the freedom to read.
Lower School Librarian Megan Kilgallen held readings of books related to gender identity, confronting bias, being an "upstander" against bullying, and being an ally.
And Director of Diversity and Equity Semeka Smith-Williams led students in conversations about "What does it mean to be an ally?" Lower Schoolers responded adeptly, as these responses — posted on our LS blogs — reveal.
"You have to be brave and kind" — a Kindergartener
"An ally is someone who sticks up for you, no matter what." — a Kindergartener
"It doesn't matter what gender you are, you can use any toys or wear any clothes." — a 2nd Grader
"Allies learn about other people and listen to them." — a 2nd Grader
"These discussions provide [students with] language and facts, foster empathy, and empower them to be social activists," said Kindergarten Head Teacher Erica Jaconi.
To wrap up the week, the Shen Gallery hosted an Ally Week Photo Booth that brought students, faculty, and staff together in support of all members of the community.