Affinity Groups Recommencing in Early November!

Dear Families,


We look forward to affinity groups recommencing in Grades 2 - 8, as they proved to be a successful and important component for many of our students' lives last year. In addition to being part of our ongoing, strategic work towards making Brookwood a diverse, equitable, and inclusive community, we are committed to providing these valuable and safe spaces again in alignment with Brookwood’s Statement of Commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Justice, and Belonging (DEIJB).


While the first affinity group meetings aren’t until early November, you’ll find below details of each affinity group, how they will be introduced to students, and information on parent coffees we are offering on these topics during the month of October. This is a long communication, as we wanted to pack in as much information as possible, and we thank you for reading all of it. That said, we understand that questions may still come up. If they do, and you’d like to talk before the parent coffees, we encourage you to reach out to either our DEIJB Coordinators or your division head.


In Partnership,

Jon, Stacey, Dave, Gina, Khadijah, and Veena and the Affinity Group Facilitators


 

Overview of Affinity Groups

Affinity groups are an optional element of our Personal Growth and Development (PGD) program, and whether students are attending affinity group meetings or not, they will be engaged in PGD curriculum during this time period. The PGD Program, which is within the weekly schedule for Early Childhood – Grade 8, consists of scheduled time and curricular work designed with many goals in mind, including to offer opportunities for the explicit consideration of social and moral issues in order to help each student gain an understanding of self, of others, and of the relationships between and among them, as well as to promote self-respect, self-confidence, respect for others, and empathy.


The SOCKz (Students of Color Kids) Affinity Group provides an optional space for members of our community who identify as Black, Indigenous or People of Color (BIPOC). As in the past, affinity groups are opportunities for students in Grades 2 - 8. This affinity group will be facilitated by Veena Hari, Coleen Ilano, Khadijah Campbell and Mayumi Morash. SOCKz will meet every other week starting November 2, 2022, during Personal Growth and Development (PGD) time, specifically:

  • Upper School SOCKz (Grades 5 - 8): Wednesdays from 10:15 - 10:45 a.m. in the Upper School Student Center

  • Lower School SOCKz (Grades 2 - 4): Thursdays from 11:00 - 11:30 a.m. in the Upper School Student Center

The Rainbow Connection Affinity Group provides an optional space for members of our community who are part of the LGBTQ+ community, and/or allies who support and stand in solidarity. As in the past, affinity groups are opportunities for students in Grades 2 - 8. This affinity group will be facilitated by Suzy Light, Wendy Panchy, Kathy Stewart and Sid Adams. Rainbow Connection will meet every other week starting November 9, 2022, during Personal Growth and Development (PGD), specifically:

  • Upper School Rainbow Connection (Grades 5 - 8): Wednesdays from 10:15 - 10:45 a.m. in the Upper School Art Room

  • Lower School Rainbow Connection (Grades 2 - 4): Thursdays from 11:00 - 11:30 a.m. in the Upper School Student Center


 

Parent Coffees

The affinity group facilitators are hosting parent coffees on the following dates and times to offer parents opportunities to connect with facilitators and division heads, and learn more about affinity groups.

  • SOCKz Affinity Group Parent Coffee Tuesday, October 18 from 8:30 - 9:15 a.m. in the Dodge Writing Center RSVP >>

  • Rainbow Connection Parent Coffee Tuesday, October 25 from 8:30 - 9:15 a.m. in the Dodge Writing Center RSVP>>


 

Presentations to Students

After the Parent Coffees conclude on October 25, affinity group facilitators will visit homeroom classrooms in Grades 2 - 4 to share with all students the opportunities for both groups. Prior to the first group meetings, we will reach out to parents of each Lower School student that has expressed interest in either SOCKz or Rainbow Connection to answer any additional questions and for participation consent.


SOCKz and Rainbow Connection facilitators will also share the opportunities with Upper School students in grade level meetings following the parent coffees.


 

Shared Understanding

In addition, we’ve provided a few more details about affinity groups to help you engage in great conversations at home with your children and/or with educators.


Affinity groups are:

  • For people who have a shared connection

  • Often organized around historically marginalized identities: race, gender, religion, ability, and more

  • Voluntary

  • Multi-grade or multi-age


Affinity groups are important at Brookwood because they:

  • Foster identity development

  • Develop community amongst students

  • Discuss struggles & strategies for success

  • Keep a pulse on the experience of students

  • Allow for greater integration in the broader community

  • Create the feeling of being understood without having to explain oneself by providing mirrors


Affinity groups spend their meeting time in:

  • Student centered activities

  • Activities and games

  • Discussion

  • Joy and fun

Students not participating in affinity groups will be doing the following during affinity group meeting times:

Affinity groups are held during Personal Growth and Development time. The Personal Growth and Development (PGD) Program, which is within the weekly schedule for Early Childhood – Grade 8, consists of scheduled time and curricular work designed with multiple goals in mind:

  • To nurture the personal growth and social competency skills of each child at Brookwood

  • To encourage the development of solid decision-making skills, an appreciation of civility, and a sound ethical grounding

  • To offer opportunities for the explicit consideration of social and moral issues in order to help each student gain an understanding of self, of others, and of the relationships between and among them

  • To promote self-respect, self-confidence, respect for others, and empathy

For your ease, you can reach our to our DEIJB Coordinators at the following emails:

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