One of the most joyful aspects of attending Brookwood is the way we build relationships across grade levels through buddies. This week, our Art Department unveiled a buddy project where EC2 children designed monsters, drawing masterful renditions of what a monster could look like to them. Fourth Graders then used the EC2 students' vibrant imagery to create their renditions as sculptures. As they say on TikTok, the Fourth Grade understood the assignment! They created almost exact replicas of the designs. First, I would like to congratulate our Art Department for growing a skill set in our children so that they would have the ability and opportunity to sculpt. Second, I would like to honor all involved in creating empathetic, giving students. A less thoughtful student might have strayed from the designs to make something to their own liking. But that would not have honored the foundational concept of the assignment: to use design to be of service to someone else. Through these sculptures, Fourth Graders showed EC2 students that their ideas matter and are seen as valid contributors to the community. Also, their relationships with the Fourth Graders are reciprocal.
Obviously, I don’t know if either grade level has consciously taken in this messaging. But I will tell you, this is one of many activities that build each child’s sense of self, belonging and make them feel valued and seen by all members of that community. We signal to the larger community that we see all the children in lower school as people with authentic thoughts, feelings, experiences, and an ability to fully participate in the community as their genuine selves. Moreover, they will find camaraderie and acceptance for who they are. I can’t think of a more fitting acknowledgment and manifestation this weekend as we celebrate the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: The ideas of acceptance and belonging of people for their authentic selves.