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Posted on: February 25, 2020

Andover Schools: Many Cultures- One Community Project

In June 2019, Andover Public Schools (APS) was awarded $100,000 grant through the Cummings Foundation “100 K for 100” program, following a competitive review process of hundreds of applicants. The grant funds will be used in APS elementary schools to focus on cultural proficiency and identity with the goal of creating safe classrooms for all students where the many cultures of our students are recognized and celebrated.

We live in an increasingly diverse and global world. Understanding our own culture and learning and appreciating the cultures of others allows us to get along with people in ways that benefit everyone.

We have contracted with acclaimed authors, educators, and literary musicians Regie Gibson and Marlon Carey to lead us in this work. We have developed a five-phase program that will begin in February and culminate in June 2020. The title of our work is Andover Schools: Many Cultures- One Community Project (ASMCOCP).

APS has developed three goals for this project:

  • Explore and document the culturally diverse community of AES (Andover Elementary Schools).
  • Lead the AES faculty, staff and students in workshops facilitating discussions, introspection, knowledge and writing about individual and collective identity.
  • Collect the writings, thoughts, and impressions of AES faculty staff and student population and, from them, render an original text and musical performance expressing, the AES theme of “Many Cultures- One Community.”

Five Phases of Andover Schools: Many Cultures- One Community Project

Phase 1: Kick Off Performance:

Acclaimed authors, educators, and literary musicians Regie Gibson and Marlon Carey will be introducing the Andover elementary schools to the ‘Many Cultures, One Community’ district wide-event, which will be happening across all the elementary schools on February 28, 2020 at the Collins Center. These performances will feature stories, poems, songs, and music focusing on the AES, “Many Cultures- One Community” theme.

Phase 2: Grades K-5 Classroom Workshops

Workshop facilitators (Regie Gibson and Marlon Carey) will lead classes at all APS elementary schools in discussions and/or exercises focusing on identity and culture.

Phase 3: Teacher and Staff Session

Workshop facilitators (Regie Gibson and Marlon Carey) will lead AES faculty and staff in a writing workshop focusing on culture and diversity.

Phase 4: Writing, Editing, and Revision of Text

Workshop facilitators will create an original text combining the information from the student and staff workshops. Once the text has been finalized, workshop facilitators will employ musicians to create an original composition to be performed along with the completed text.

Phase 5: Performance

Workshop facilitators will perform text with professional musicians.

The Andover Schools: Many Cultures, One Community Project is Generously Funded by a 100K for 100 Cummings Foundation Grant.

Click here for more information on the Cummings Foundation.

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