As we approach Thanksgiving, our students took time to reflect on the many things that they are thankful for. A buddy pairing from each grade level (K/3, 1/4, 2/5) shared with one another, and worked together to compose their thoughts, which we have included below!
I am thankful for having only two small classes because it is easy to find your way and learn about each other.
I’m thankful for my friends because they make learning more fun and enjoyable. I’m also thankful for my mom and dad because they take care of me and do so many things like buy food for our family, send me to school at Meridian, and let me participate in after-school activities.
I’m thankful for math because it’s fun! I can find reasons to use math every day. I know that not everybody gets to learn about math, so I’m really grateful. I’m also thankful for my brother. He’s entertaining and I can play with him or go to him when I feel like I need someone to talk to.
I’m thankful for all of the people who keep me safe at school and home. People aren’t as safe in other places, and sometimes that is scary. It’s really great to have teachers that care about us and keep us safe! I’m also thankful for specialist classes because it’s nice to be diverse and get a variety of teachers and environments. I’m also thankful for all the love and kindness my friends and family give to me. Because it’s something everyone needs and you should appreciate it, even when you disagree with your parents, because you always love them deep down.
I am thankful for the fun math we do, and for my teacher. She is nice and helpful. She makes class fun! I am also thankful for my dogs. I like to play with them because they’re cute and make me happy.
By: Meridian 4th Graders
We learned a lot when we celebrated Día de los Muertos here at Meridian. Día de los Muertos is a traditional Mexican holiday where you remember and celebrate the lives of loved ones that died. For true authenticity, you’re actually supposed to go to the cemetery in a procession, decorate the graves, and be there all night!
Last Friday we had our own procession and brought offerings (fruit, candles, flowers) to the altar in the front of our gym. The altar had pictures of lost loved ones like family members, friends, and pets.
We decorated monarchs with pictures of our lost loved ones and put them all over the gym. We thought there would be stars to decorate, but instead we used butterflies. They represent the monarch butterflies that fly over Mexico. Some people believe when you die you become a monarch, and they are souls of the lost returning home.
There was special bread there called Pan de Muertos that you have during the celebration. It has bone shaped pieces to represent and honor the dead. It was really good! There was also copal (tree resin) which is like incense but isn’t bad for you. The flowers on the alter were marigolds (cempasúchi in Spanish), because they’re supposed to guide the dead to the celebration.
The music during the event was surprising. It was kind of sad, kind of happy, and sort of bittersweet.
We want people to know that Día de los Muertos is not a scary holiday (even though the name can be scary for some people). It’s important to remember loved ones and to experience different ways of celebrating their lives.
By: guest blogger Jamee Smith, Kindergarten parent and member of Meridian’s Equity and Inclusion Committee
The 2016 presidential campaign has permeated our national consciousness and raised complex issues we’re left to grapple with as citizens, teachers and parents. Much as we strive to shelter our children from negativity they are nevertheless hearing about the election’s many controversies through media and peers, often out of context. Discussing racism, ableism, religious intolerance, sexism and even sexual assault with kids is challenging but it’s a landscape we must navigate.
At Meridian, teachers are encouraged to use the school’s Teaching Election 2016 framework to address political issues as they arise in the classroom through the lens of our Meridian CARES values. These guidelines include offering a safe, open environment to facilitate age-appropriate, reasoned, respectful conversations following ground rules created together with students for critiquing ideas, not people. It also includes learning about democracy, how elections work and the importance of voting. Within the framework, students are supported in their efforts toward civic responsibility and challenged to become informed from multiple sources about the issues that most concern them. Additionally, teachers will continue offering counter-bias to the equity and inclusion issues brought to light during this campaign after the election has ended.
Meridian encourages our parent community to reinforce these discussions at home by creating opportunities for children to express their thoughts and feelings. Sharing your own concerns is also helpful as is explaining your political beliefs and why you espouse them. Most importantly, allowing your children to see you participating in the voting process, and any other exercise of civic-mindedness like charity participation, social justice work, or protests, will help them feel empowered to effect positive change in their community and country. Working together, we hope to allay our children’s anxieties about the current political climate while inspiring them to become aware and well-informed citizens.