Tag Archives: Schools

Schools interact with the community

By Ilse Diaz and Carmin Vera 

Staff Writers

When you walk into a school, you expect your child to be learning and doing work, but schools do much more than that. You walk into different schools and the students are doing lots of interesting activities that let them interact with the community around them.

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Nancy Alvarez, who works in the Family Center at Fair Oaks Elementary School, said, “We have this day where we beautify the school, and an organization came, and they worked with the families and they help to clean the school with the help of volunteers, families, the kids. That’s how we bring together community.”

Ms. Alvarez added that there are many other events and programs that happen on campus; for example, a fall festival, coffee with the principal, Learning Together (a program in which the younger kids get read to aloud), after school programs, food distribution and fundraisers (in which they mostly sell food).

Other local schools do the similar things.

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Claudia Reyes, business director at Connect Community Charter School, said her school hosts events “because it shows to them that they have power in their community and they can make a difference in their community no matter their ages.”

Mrs. Reyes gave examples of some events students participate in, such as World Savvy, Math Festival and weekend workshops. She said this year science and art teachers are working together to allow art to be part of the Science Fair.

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Nancy Naranjo, office assistant at Summit Preparatory High School, said her school involves the community through “monthly spot meetings in which parents can discuss what’s going on in school and what the school can change.”

Ms. Naranjo added that last year there was a car wash in which the teachers and students came together, as well as Multicultural Day, which is sort of like a potluck where parents volunteer to bring food. This year, they beautified the school on Sunday, Nov. 5, when families, teachers and students came together to clean the school. They also have their annual camping trip during the first month of school in which the students interact with each other and their mentors.

Community means diversity in the Bay Area

By Hugo Serrano 

Staff Writer 

The Bay Area is well known for its diversity. It is so diverse that two of its cities made this NBC News list of the top 10 most diverse cities in the United States. Once you step into the Bay Area, it’s obvious that not only are the people diverse, but the businesses are as well. Diversity thus makes our community stronger because community members have different perspectives on the world. All in all, community means diversity in the Bay Area.

Public schools accept religion as part of their community

By C. M. Bateman

Photo Editor

Up until I finished middle school, I had been constantly told, by both my school and Catholic parish community, that a public school system was one of the least welcoming places for someone of my Roman Catholic faith. The discussion of religion in public school was more regulated than what I was used to. 

During our high school application process, my private, Catholic, K-8 school encouraged all the students to apply to private high schools and rarely, if ever, focused on neighboring public schools or charter schools.

However, I chose to attend a public charter school for high school.  It hit me during graduation that I was apprehensive about joining a completely different setting for the next four years of my academic life.

Upon attending my first days at Summit Public Schools: Tahoma, I found that, not only was religion openly talked about among the other students, but faculty and staff encouraged students to embrace their self-identity, religion and all.

I didn’t feel like my religious identity was restricted while first attending Summit Tahoma. Today, I don’t feel like that at all. In fact, here I am writing an article about the very subject for the school’s news website.

Others agree with my opinion of Summit Tahoma as a congenial space for various beliefs. Tahoma sophomore Yasmin Saini is a believer of both Hinduism and Sikhism.

Student Saini

Yasmin Saini, Tahoma sophomore, opens up about her religious beliefs.

Saini described Hinduism as the common religion in India, and there are many rituals which include holy fire sacrifices of flowers and grain to their gods and goddesses.

Sikhism is based of the teachings of gurus and teachers, and involves temple donations, Saini added.

She said Tahoma provides a welcoming space for someone of her multiple faiths.

“Tahoma is diverse, and it’s really easy to connect with someone because we’re so different,” she said. “Everyone believes in something, like moral values, and you find common things between those values that bring you together.”

Educator Ms. Thiele

Lissa Thiele teaches a course on the Holocaust for the Expeditions team.

Lissa Thiele, who teaches an in-depth study of the Holocaust for the Expeditions team, is a follower of a reform movement of Judaism, which is a religion based primarily on the writings of the Old Testament. The reform movement is a more inclusive branch of Judaism, permitting female rabbis and same-sex marriages, to name a few of the differences between reform Judaism and orthodox Judaism.

Ms. Thiele attributed her comfort at Tahoma to her students, saying, “My students are amazing. They are the ones who make me feel proud, and the ones that encourage me to speak about my identity.”

It is Ms. Thiele’s students who ask about her identity in regards to fully understanding the Holocaust. The Summit Tahoma community has “really honored” her Jewish identity, and made her “feel so welcomed in being able to be me.”

That is a key part in any school: learning to accept each other despite our differences in faith. I believe that Jesus is the Messiah, and there is only one God; however, I am able to get along peacefully with people like Saini, and I have the ability to learn and grow from people like Ms. Thiele.

Ms. Thiele and Anne Marie Yellin

Ms. Thiele introduces Holocaust survivor Anne Marie Yellin to the Holocaust Expeditions class at Tahoma.

Ms. Thiele’s Holocaust class recently welcomed a Holocaust survivor named Anne Marie Yellin, who escaped Germany and sought refuge at a Catholic convent in France. She told her captivating story to the class and left them with some wisdom to base their lives on:

Yellin said that the younger generation should be honorable and respectful. She added that she always tells students that the most important thing in dealing with the aftermath of genocide is never to forget but to forgive.

“I try to teach acceptance. No matter what religion, no matter what sexual preference, no matter what political ideas you have, accept your generation, accept each other because it can happen again. It can happen again.”

Featured Image (at the top of this post): The Holocaust Expeditions class participates in the global #WeRemember campaign to commemorate and honor the Jewish victims of the Holocaust.