Highlighting Our AAPI Heritage Month Celebrations

By Ranjita Chattopadhyay, Head Teacher; Cynthia Castiglione, Head Teacher; Dani Dominguez, Director of Equity and Inclusion; and Viola Lee, Head Teacher

How did we celebrate Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month here at school this month? Centering Joy! 

Members of our community created two hallway bulletin boards at school. All members were asked to interact with the bulletin board on the first floor outside Dani's office. Children in the various classrooms learned about Asian American changemakers and asked "What is a Changemaker? and "How are you a Changemaker?" The children studied various individuals like Larry Itliong and read the book, "Yes We Will: Asian Americans Who Shaped This Country". 

AAPI Month Board How Are You a Change Maker with students looking at notes

The second bulletin board was created by parents, Puja Patel and Neelamjit Dhaliwal. The board includes a map of the United States and a powerful statement: The map is of the United States because AAPI are American. The map says, “We are …” Community members were asked to complete the sentence with their own words. (An example being: we are brave.)  

We Are... Asian American Pacific Islander map

In addition, the 12-14ers visited 3-6 and toddlers classrooms and read aloud the stories celebrating AAPI month. Some stories included Namejar, Watercress, Fauja Singh Keeps Going, and Laxmi’s Mooch. This was a great opportunity to showcase leadership and co-learning.

On Wednesday, children and faculty/staff who identify as Asian or Pacific Islander attended a lunch in the Community Room from 11:30-1:30pm. The children had a nice time gathering together.

Students pose with Equity Director during AAPI lunch

We closed our AAPI celebrations, on May 27, 2022 from 1:30 -2:30pm in our Little Theater. Pranita Naya, the director of Mandala Arts, presented a Bharatanatyam performance to the school community that included all levels. Before the event, classrooms read the book titled, Dancing in Thatha’s Footsteps, by Srividhya Venkat, a story about grandfather Thatha showing his grandson that Bharatnatyam celebrates everyone, not just girls!

Bharatanatyam performance with students in the background