Monday, May 8, 2017

Kindness and Fairness: Somerville Celebrates the Week of the Young Child

Each year we ask the Mayor of Somerville, Massachusetts, Joseph Curtatone, to write a letter to the children of Somerville. This year's letter, coming on the heels of the election and how we addressed it with children, asked children:

What would make Somerville a kind and fair place for everyone?

The Kindergarten Readiness Group, teachers from center-based and public school preschools and kindergartens, developed curriculum to support explorations in classrooms leading up to our Week of the Young Child celebration at City Hall in Somerville on April 27. This included:
  • Two social stories: one about City Hall and the Mayor, another about being kind and fair.
  • Songs about the Mayor and being kind, composed by Maura Mendoza, a family liaison and local musician, were distributed to teachers so children could learn the song. 
  • Curriculum Guides with activities and project ideas.
Children came up with lots of ideas and brought their projects to City Hall to present to the Mayor.  Over 300 children gathered in the Aldermanic Chamber to sing, meet the Mayor, and celebrate the importance being kind and fair citizens. 
Children from 13 schools joined the fun.
What do you do to be kind and fair?

Children brought their class books and projects to the Mayor.

The Mayor, with Laura Pitone, School Committee Chair, and Mary Skipper, Superintendent, gave a speech about the importance of caring in our community and how everyone is welcome in Somerville.
Maura Mendoza and Brant Grieshaber led everyone in original songs Maura composed just for this event?

After the ceremony in the chamber children engaged in activities all over City Hall. 

Children voted on their favorite ways to be kind using refurbished voting machines that "ding" when you turn the crank!

Children saw police, firefighter, and other city vehicles up close.

The Somerville Family Learning Collaborative launched The Talk Campaign about the importance of parent-child communication.

Children made crowns with Beautiful Stuff 

 Some children wanted to make a statue with a mirror for a face, so when you look at the statue you might see what kindness and fairness looks like.

When you look in the mirror, do you see someone who is kind, fair, and works for social justice?