QuakerEd News
January 31, 2019

Community Conversations on Race

In this collaborative effort, Friends Council’s Associate Director Deborra Sines Pancoe along with Friends Select School’s Director of Equity and Inclusion Toni Graves Williamson, Abington Friends School’s Mary Lynn Ellis, and with support from Ali Michael, Race Institute are co-leading their Community Conversations on Race. 


Supporting Transgender and Non-Binary Students in School

Friends Council on Education offered a professional development workshop entitled “Supporting Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Students: First Steps to An Inclusive Classroom” as part of Haddonfield Friends School’s faculty in-service day in January.

Exploring Quaker Values and Social Justice

Quaker Life in Lower & Middle Schools is thriving!

Educators from nine Friends schools came together to talk about Quaker Values & Social Justice this month as part of our QUALMS peer network. 

Educators New To Quakerism (ENTQ) Workshop at Westtown School

Friends Council continues to offer its well-known program for Educators New to Quakerism at locations across the country. Westtown School hosted a two-day workshop in January 2019. Thirty educators new to eight Friends schools attended this event to learn about Quakerism, the testimonies, Meeting for Worship, Clearness Committees and more. The next location will be the Mary McDowell Friends School in Brooklyn, NY on February 4 – 5, 2019.

Friends Council Programs - Register Now!

February Programs
February 5, 2019 Educators New to Quakerism @ Mary McDowell Friends School, New York City
February 8, 2019 - Librarians Peer Network @ Greene Street Friends School - Growing a Future Ready Library

March Programs
March 4-5, 2019 - Educators New to Quakerism @ San Francisco Friends School
March 11-12, 2019 - Educators New to Quakerism @ Pendle Hill

April Programs
April 8-9, 2019 - Educators New to Quakerism @ Pendle Hill
April 11, 2019 – Dinner for Religious & Spiritual Life Committees in Friends Schools @Lansdowne Friends School.
Inspiration and idea sharing with boards and staff who have care of the Quaker Life of our schools! Requires RSVP!
April 11-12, 2019 - Early Childhood Peer Network @ Pendle Hill
April 24, 2019 – New Workshop Using Quaker-based Decision-Making with Students @ Friends Center 
April 25, 2019 Division Directors and Association Heads Peer Network Gathering @ Friends Select School

May Programs
May 2 & 3, 2019 - Friends Environmental Education Network [FEEN] @ Westtown School

June Programs
June 18 & 19, 2019 – Leading in the Manner of Friends @ Pendle Hill

White Privilege, Mindfulness and More

Friends Council would like to share the following workshops and student offerings of interest.

March 20-23, 2019, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
The White Privilege Conference (WPC) is designed to examine issues related to diversity, equity, power, privilege, supremacy and more. While exploring and challenging these concepts, WPC offers solutions and team building strategies. This community-driven collaboration provides the foundation and resources necessary to disrupt and (possibly) change systems of oppression. Registration is open and fills up quickly.

MIEN Mindfulness at Haverford College
Saturday, March 2, 2019
Mindfulness practices, nourishing silences, and supportive sharing opportunities to strengthen educators’ work In the classroom at all levels.

Bridge Film Festival - 20th Anniversary!
Deadline for submission is March 15, 2019

Brooklyn Friends School’s Bridge Film Festival is open to all students currently enrolled in a Friends school or who are of Quaker families who have an affiliation with a Friends Meeting or Camp. Each Quaker school and Friends Meeting or Camp may enter one narrative and/or documentary film and/or one public service announcement and/or one new media production per division to the Festival. Learn more here:

6th Annual Student Voices Project
Deadline for submission: February 11, 2019
Friends Journal invites middle school and high school students (Quaker and non-Quaker) at Friends schools and also Quaker students in other educational venues to participate in the 6th Annual Student Voices Project. This year's theme is "Friendly Competition?" and students are invited to write about the role of competition in their lives and how Quaker values influence their approach to it. Click the link below for more details.

Sources of Support for Friends Schools!

National Friends Education Fund – Tuition Aid for Quaker Children in Friends Schools
Applications available online now.
National Friends Education Fund (NFEF) is a tuition aid fund to support Quaker children in Friends Schools across the country. The fund aims to increase the ability of Quaker families to afford to send their children to Friends schools. Friends Council on Education joins the efforts of families, schools and Monthly Meetings to provide tuition assistance for Quaker families who demonstrate need. 
Rolling deadline; Funds still available!
The Ravdin Fund was established as a permanently endowed fund of Friends Council on Education to continue the essential consulting work with small Friends schools in the tradition of Bill Ravdin. Grants to small Friends schools (250 students or fewer) help to provide consultants in the areas of fiduciary responsibility, long-range financial planning, fundraising, and stewardship of financial resources. 

Quaker Project Grants
Application Deadline: May 1, 2019
Friends Council on Education offers support for creative, student-centered projects that focus on the Quaker testimonies in Friends schools. Friends schools in the United States which are members of Friends Council on Education are eligible to apply for these funds. Two years must elapse after a school receives a grant before it is eligible to apply again. Grant proposals are made by faculty members and administrators and must be approved by the head of school. (link to guidelines)

Sue Thomas Turner Quaker Education Fund Grants
Application Deadline: March 1, 2019
Funding to further enhance the understanding and practice of Quaker faith in your school  is available through the Sue Thomas Turner Quaker Education Fund (STTQEF) of Baltimore Yearly Meeting. Sue Thomas Turner Quaker Education Fund grants are intended for the following: Materials, lectures and consultants, workshops and retreats, programs and activities to be brought into the school which help to explain Quaker faith and practice to members of the school communities Individuals or groups from the school communities to attend workshops, classes or retreats on Quaker faith and practice and Spiritual developmentThe creation and distribution of materials related to these issues by members of the school communities.

Friends School Faculty Letting Their Lives Speak

Third term on Teaching Tolerance Board for Celeste Payne

Celeste Payne, science faculty at Westtown School and clerk of Friends Council’s National Voice Work Group, has been reappointed to the Teaching Tolerance Advisory Board for a third two-year term. Teaching Tolerance and the Southern Poverty Law Center are on the leading edge of advocacy work in the fields of equity, inclusion, and social justice. Celeste is one of two to three dozen educators from across the country selected to serve on the TT Board.

“Serving on the board has been an honor and a privilege.  One of the things that I have learned is that social justice educators can be found in many places, and I now consider myself a social justice educator.  I know that I have served as an example to others in my region of someone who is committed to social justice education even though I don't have an official title that is typically associated with equity work,” says Celeste. “ While I am not a humanities classroom teacher, I find that equity, inclusion, and social justice inform much of the work that I do with colleagues both at my own school as well as with educators at other institutions.  A focus of mine has been to draw attention to equity with respect to faculty and administrators, something that continues to be a challenge in independent schools.”

Congratulations on your reappointment, Celeste, and thank you for your work and commitment to equity, inclusion and social justice.

News about Friends Schools

Friends Seminary Celebrates 10 Years of Teaching Arabic

Friends Seminary recently celebrated a decade of being the only independent school in New York to offer Arabic in Grades 5-12 — teaching more than 125 current students and alumni to be proficient in the language. During the School's annual Art of Teaching lecture on December 20, 2018, Friends teachers Nadim Bawalsa, Joseph Sills, Belal Joundeya and Anna Swank Bothwell (former faculty) shared their experiences and motivations in helping build the program. The Arabic program at Friends Seminary was born from the desire to build bridges of peace, to explore, appreciate and respect cultural differences, and to teach students to listen with intent and give back in their own ways. The program offers an eclectic curriculum with a focus on real world scenarios that includes poetry, music, games, and past spring break trips to Morocco, Palestine and Israel, marrying rigorous academics with the aesthetic beauty of Arabic culture. 

Friends Schools Take a Day On for MLK Day
Numerous Friends Schools across the country take a Day On for MLK Jr Day of Service. The following are just a few stories shared with us by our Friends Council member schools.

New Garden Friends School
Students of all ages participated in various workshops about the civil rights movement throughout the day that combined art, music and history discussions. The school was featured on WFMY News 2. Check out the video to hear NGFS student perspectives King’s legacy, our society and what needs to happen next in our country. 

Media Providence Friends School
On Friday, January 18th, students from preschool through 8th grade at Media-Providence Friends School participated in a full day of special programming in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.. With the words and work of Martin Luther King Jr. at the forefront of everyone’s mind on the annual day of service, MPFS parents Stacey Joseph and Amy Francis created a multifaceted activity that had students focus on the words of Dr. King. Each student chose a word or phrase from a curated list of words that appeared in King’s speeches or was relevant to his work to paint on a rock. Students really enjoyed sharing what words they chose to paint and why. “I chose courage because (Martin Luther King) had a lot of courage to stand up for everyone,” said 7th grade student Eric Merlin. “I chose joy because happiness is a big part of your decisions,” said 6th grader Parker Riess. “I chose honor because Martin Luther King had a lot of honor to do what he did,” said 5th grader Ruby Lane. Jeremy Peyton Jones, a 6th grader, chose the word progress because it reminded him of the Dr. King quote, "If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” The rocks will be spread throughout the wider community, in Media and elsewhere, for others to find to help, quite literally, spread the words of Martin Luther King.

Service learning is an integrated part of the curriculum at MPFS and speaks to the Quaker values intentionally taught from preschool through 8th grade. It is important to note that vibrant service projects are in-action year-round at MPFS, and the annual MLK Day of Service is an empowering way to focus those efforts. As part of the service to our community activities, students across grades baked healthy casseroles and milk-free brownies for the Life Center of Delaware County. MPFS Middle school students helped to sort and pack hygiene kits, with hundreds of personal items donated from the MPFS community, to be donated to and distributed by Media Fellowship House. 6th, 7th, and 8th graders also worked on completing a service project started earlier in the year, making extra-soft, knotted fleece blankets to be donated to those in need. It was our middle school students who suggested hand-delivering blankets at the 69th Street Terminal -- a wonderful act of kindness during the coldest winter months. Additional blankets will be delivered that same day to the Life Center of Delaware County.

Friends Council on Education

1507 Cherry Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102

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