Inspired by a book and a flawed criminal justice system, 8th graders turn learning into action.
Foote students benefit from learning in a school community with a wide range of ethnicities, family structures, learning styles and perspectives. Foote students speak almost 30 different languages in their homes—from Farsi to Finnish, Mandarin to Hindi—and families regularly share their own cultural traditions with classes.
Students explore topics related to diversity, inclusion and stereotypes through classroom projects, special events and activity clubs such as F-STAND (Foote Students Against Negativity and Discrimination), a student-led club for grades 7 through 9 that works together to promote the importance of being kind, inclusive and respectful. F-STAND meets weekly to discuss topics such as prejudice and gender identity, and sponsors special “Mix-It-Up Day” lunches to encourage cross-campus friendships. Each year, the school sponsors a number of student affinity groups as forums to explore common experiences around race, divorce, loss and other identities.
Conversations about identity start early at Foote as a frame for understanding and appreciating differences. Second graders made a “injustice and equality” bulletin board of after reading books about people treated differently because of their social identity.