Dear Families,

This past Friday’s chilly temperatures were no match for the warmth of feeling many of us experienced coming in to school that morning!  As part of the town’s “Everyone is Welcome” rally, teachers, parents and students assembled out on Druce Street starting at 7:30 to greet our families with messages of universal acceptance and community.  Students’ and parents’ smiles seemed extra wide all day.  Thank you to all who joined in!
This upcoming Friday, prior to the start of the Winter Vacation, we will have our first K-8 assembly of the year, when the whole school will gather to celebrate our global educational community through musical performances by different grades and presentations by students, in what we hope is the beginning of a new tradition at Runkle School.  (Parents, please note: Due to space limitations, K-8 assemblies are for students and staff only.)  Many thanks to Donna Finnegan, Lauren Carroll, and Sarah Gardner for their work in planning this special event.
Below is an update from Guidance Counselor and Young Scholars Program Mentor Rebecca Sneider:

We have started a Young Scholars Program at our school!  What is Young Scholars?  Young Scholars is an elementary school program that is modeled after the African-American Latino Scholars Program (AALSP) at Brookline High School.  AALSP has been instrumental in creating and sustaining a culture of scholastic excellence amongst students of color at Brookline High School.  The Young Scholars Program at Runkle School is geared toward building community for African-American and Latina/o students in grades 5-8, which according to Beverly Daniel Tatum is essential for their academic and social success. We have approximately 15 students who meet every week for an hour and a half after school, and during this time students do homework, play group games, and engage in discussion about race and identity.

Here are a few comments from some of our participants:

8th grade scholar: YSP is a community in which diversity is welcomed and embraced with open arms and a safe place to discuss real-life emotions that are related to topics of conflict with diversity. A place where we can celebrate our differences and our similarities through games and group discussions. A place where it is impossible to feel alienated due to racial differences. A place where it is easy to find people to relate with on a deeper level of understanding…

6th grade Scholar: YSP is a place where we can talk about topics that we may have strong emotions about. It’s a place where we can talk about what may be bothering us or something we are excited about and nobody can really tell us No, you can’t say that like sometimes in class. It is also a place where we can talk about maybe things we have in common or any differences. That is what I think YSP is all about.

5th grade Scholar: YSP is a place where everyone in our community can come together and relate with people who we know or who we don’t, and it’s a very safe place where you can share your feelings and have fun.

Best wishes to all for a wonderful Winter break!

-Jim Stoddard

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