|OCTOBER 31, 2017|
On October 11-12, 2017, Moorestown Friends School, in conjunction with Friends Council on Education, welcomed educators from Friends schools across the country to explore the rich intersection between student leadership and Quaker values.
Executive Director Drew Smith
continues to maintain Friends Council’s national presence. Drew attended the
installation of Alan Price (above right), Earlham College’s 18th president who formerly served as the Associate Director of
Management of the Peace Corps. as appointed by former President Obama. Alan
and Drew were contemporaries at Earlham. This fall Drew participated in
ISANeT’s conference as well as the fall gathering of the Council of
American Private Education (CAPE).
Friends schools across the country benefited from Drew's leadership this month. Over 80 educators participated in the new Educators New to Quakerism Mid-Atlantic Region at Sidwell Friends School in Washington,D.C. At Friends School of Atlanta in Georgia, community members attended Quaker Night where Drew spoke on "How to Educate Children in Turbulent Times." Drew conducted several retreats for school Boards, including those at Friends School Minnesota, Cambridge Friends School, and Greene Street Friends School.
As part of Friends Council's focus on social justice and equity, staff member Betsy Torg (far right) served on the keynote panel for Arcadia University’s ”Becoming Equal” symposium about social justice for the transgender community. Betsy shared how Friends Council offers resources in support of Friends schools as they develop policies and practices to support transgender and nonbinary students. Panelists included (from left) Amber Hikes, Director of Mayor’s Office of LGBTQ Affairs, Graciella Slesaranksy-Poe, Professor at Arcadia University and Joann Carol, Executive Director of TransEquality PA.
Friends Council on Education and several Friends schools took an alternate approach to Columbus Day again this year. Several Philadelphia-area schools attended the UnColumbus Day Workshop hosted by Friends Council on Education and Chicago Friends School took the day as an opportunity to put a Friends Council student project grant in action.
Friends Select School's head of school, Michael Gary (center with bow tie), was honored by A Better Chance, a national organization that provides access to rigorous and prestigious academic opportunities for academically talented students of color in grades 6-12. Michael was celebrated for his contributions to thousands of students he has helped in his role as an educator and for being a long-time champion of equity and excellence in education. Photo credit: Friends Select School.
Sidwell Friends School teachers Anna Tsouhlarakis and Lely Constantinople each received an Artist Fellowship Grant from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. The awards recognizes local artists and support the artistic vitality that they bring to the community. The Arts and Humanities Fellowship Program (AHFP) offers up to $10,000 fellowships to individual artists whose artistic excellence significantly contributes to the District of Columbia as a world class cultural capital. Photo credit: Sidwell Friends School
KC Miller, a senior at Westtown School, is not wasting any time working as an agent for social change. As featured in an October 2 online article in Broadly, KC has founded Keystone CASE, a grassroots organization advocating comprehensive, LGBTQ-inclusive, sex education in Pennsylvania schools. He’s also drafted legislation – the Pennsylvania Healthy Youth Act – and plans to take it all the way to the Pennsylvania state legislature.
KC was awarded the Young Heroes Award from the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, which honors young people who have made a positive impact on their communities. In his interview with Broadly, KC shared that hearing the raw stories of friends who experienced sexual assault awoke the activist in him and seeing the gaps in sexuality education motivated him to work for change. Quoted in Broadly, KC says, “I want other activists and young people to know the strength we hold in numbers… Partner with as many people as possible. Talk to your family, friends, and neighbors. Change will only come if we work together and collectively strengthen each other's missions because injustice is intersectional and interconnected.” Photo credit: Keystone CASE.
Sarah Dohle, George School Class of '01, is helping Puerto Rico's agriculture community after Hurricane Maria through a Seed Drive. Sarah is an assistant professor of plant science at Delaware Valley University and is part of a small grassroots effort to replenish the land in Puerto Rico devastated by Hurricane Maria. She is one of three agronomists involved in starting a seed relief project for the area. "We want to help jump-start Puerto Rico's agriculture community after such a devastating natural disaster," said Dohle, in a statement. "Seeds are powerful," explained Dohle. "An ounce of lettuce seeds is about 23,000 seeds and that can replant an entire acre. That's a lot of salad from one small package of seeds."
Celeste Payne, faculty member at Westtown School, is now an officially trained member of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps. Celeste applied to and was accepted to Climate Reality Leadership Corps Training in Pittsburgh this month, hosted by the The Climate Reality Project, an organization founded by Al Gore. Celeste and fellow trainees participated in sessions featuring Al Gore, climate research scientists, public policy experts, communication experts, and others to learn about the current evidence supporting the reality of the climate crisis as well as projects and initiatives providing hope about reversing this trend. “I see the climate crisis as a scientific and social justice issue in addition to being an ethical and moral issue," says Celeste. “Now, as a member of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps, I hope to stay engaged, to be a part of the solution, and to help others find ways to become activists in their own communities.
Every year Friends Council asks
you to contribute to our Annual Fund. As always, this enhances our
support of Friends schools. This year you will notice a change. When you
make your gift
you will have the opportunity to select a giving category. Each
category has a carefully selected name that reflects Friends Council’s
mission, philosophy, practices, and vision. There are giving categories
for gifts of all sizes. Which one will you choose?