As an inclusive community, we recognize the importance of all voices being heard. Since the pandemic began, teachers at Whole Children and Milestones noticed a new interest in current events and curiosity in our students. It may be hard to understand or even process how the world has shifted for everyone, but they have really wanted to dive in and be part of the solution.

The teachers worked diligently to incorporate what can be difficult conversations within our classes. We want to always ensure a safe space for our students to be able to discuss any topics no matter how difficult they may be. Whether it involves social injustice, politics, or the effects of COVID-19, we are here to answer any questions and encourage the voices of all our students.

This spring, when the news was filled with stories of racial injustice and images of protests across the country, our students had a lot of questions. “Many of the questions were around ‘why are people being treated this way’ and what can be done to stop it,” said Liana Marks, a dedicated teacher at Whole Children.

In response, teachers worked with students to help them write their own Declaration of Rights, which showcases their beliefs on how they want to be treated. Next step was bringing those powerful words to life by painting them on the front windows of the Inclusive Community Center.

Putting their words up on the windows next to a “Black Lives Matter” sign is a powerful message that in our community we stand against racism, ableism and any other types of discrimination and hate. Please take the time to drive by, appreciate, and stand with us in this difficult world. We are better together.

If you can’t make it to Hadley to see the window, please watch this video of the making of the Declaration of Rights.

Written by Gina Battista