October 4, 2014

Family School Pride Empowered With Cultural Inclusion

In the end, who are you if you don’t know anything about where you come from, about your origins, your family, your language, your own culture? - Albert Memeti

When you walk into your youth's school house, do you feel as if you and your family belong in the school house? Is your culture represented there ? I am studying Early Childhood Education at The School District of Philadelphia through their partnership with Harcum College. I am learning that education is human development and to develop healthy productive citizens your culture needs to be incorporated into the school house.

The family contributions is very important in assisting our youths development. A quality driven educator will get to know you and your family culture to help your youth adjust in the schoolhouse. The quality driven educator uses the various cultures in their classrooms as opportunities to teach diversity and understanding for differences in our community.

Your involvement from preschool to college is the key ingredient to developing successful families and citizens. Your involvement also builds a strong bond within your family, for the student and school house. Decades of research show the positive effects on achievement when youth families are involved in their education. The family is the primary source from which the child develops and grows and is needed to reinforce the learning, attitudes and motivation if youth are to succeed (Beginnings and Beyond: p 237).

If you don’t see your culture in your school then talk to the teacher and principal about your concerns. Plan a family school meeting and get feedback from all stakeholders about how to include your culture. Then incorporate community partners as field trips with the family and school to learn about the various cultures in your community.

The Free Library of Philadelphia a great community partner, is offering Fall 2014 Sundays on Stage, a series of free performance for youth, families and adults. October 5th, China Patterns by Dance China Ny ** October 19th Keepers of the Culture African-American oral tradition ** November 2nd Oliver Twist by The Hampstead Stage Company ** November 16 Yah-Oh-Way by Thunderbird American Indian Dancers ** November 30th Magic By Poly and December 14th Selections of the Nutcracker by Pages to Pirouettes, all performances are free, begin at 2pm at 1901 Vine Street Montgomery Auditorium.

Below is more information about how pride is built when we know our history and school culture:

Knowing Our History and Culture Helps Us Build a Sense of Pride
September 6, 2012 by Eleanor Kelly

What did you expect from Barvalipe?

I hoped myself and the other Roma participants could overcome our own stereotypes about ourselves. I’m from Macedonia, and there we have built a strong identity, we declare ourselves openly as Roma, we have good laws, well institutionalized programs for Roma, we identify as Roma. And yet we have our own stereotypes about other Roma; someone who is half Roma for example, or Roma from a different religion.

My motivation in coming here was to show other groups that we have to first get rid of the stereotypes amongst ourselves, to build stronger relations among us. Only then can we educate other non–Roma and show them who the Roma really are, to put forward our own “image” rather than let others speak for us or about us. Every human being is viewed through the prism of stereotypes; Roma are not immune from doing this as well, consciously or subconsciously.

A sense of unity amongst Roma in Europe is so important. At Barvalipe we have Roma people from Albania, Romania, Spain, Turkey, Macedonia and many other countries. Here we are 30 different characters speaking about Roma. Now at the end of Barvalipe we are the same 30 different people but speaking with one voice.

I am proud to be Roma, and I think that each of us now is richer with one new chapter to his or her identity.

Barvalipe is about building Roma identity; Barvalipe is encouraging commitment by Roma for Roma; Barvalipe is learning Roma history and language; Barvalipe is forging ties between tomorrow’s Roma leaders; Barvalipe is nurturing civic duty and social responsibility; Barvalipe is discovering Roma achievements and role models. Barvalipe is Roma pride.


Michael Haberman
Managing Director, Global Philanthropy Team, Northeast Region, JPMorgan Chase

Why School Culture Matters, and How to Improve It
Posted: 04/10/2013 8:52 pm EDT Updated: 06/10/2013 5:12 am EDT

Culture is intangible, but it's essential: you can walk into a school and know immediately whether you want to be there or not. The same thing goes for the students, and the staff.

But just because culture is intangible doesn't mean that it's undefinable; Nadine Engels and her co-writers describe "a shared sense of purpose and values, norms of continuous learning and improvement, collaborative collegial relationships... and sharing experiences" as factors that contribute to a positive school culture. Innovation, leadership, teamwork, and "goal-orientedness" are also important.

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