Sunday, January 19, 2020

Jan. 19 Update

Dear Parents and Guardians,

I hope this message finds you well.  It is nice to have a long weekend to be away from our usual work responsibilities, but it is also important for all of us to remember that the main reason that Monday is a national holiday is to give us the opportunity to honor the life and work of Dr.  Martin Luther King, Jr.  McCall Middle School, just as other schools and organizations in Winchester, have used this holiday to teach and reinforce with our students the values such as service and equality that MLK has come to symbolize.  The following are some of the lessons and activities McCall students have taken part in or will continue to participate in during this month.

This past Friday, all 6th graders assembled in the auditorium to view a video on MLK.  Social studies teachers followed up with a lesson on equity and held discussions with students about how discrimination manifested itself throughout our country’s history.  During their World Language classes, students were asked to think about words that come to mind when they reflect on the work of MLK.  They then were asked to connect those English words with the adjectives and other vocabulary they learned this year to describe themselves and other individuals.  In science classes, students studied the biology of skin color and discussed the fact that even though all of us appear very different on the outside, we are more alike than different in the inside.  

In seventh grade English, students connected the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with the year-long theme of Resilience that they have been studying.  Students read MLK’s Blueprint speech,  viewed the documentary Selma: The Bridge to the Ballot, and reflected on the resilience exhibited by MLK and his colleagues during the Selma march for freedom and other civil rights protests.

In eighth grade English, the lessons on social justice and equity students have been taking part in while studying literary works such as Warriors Don’t Cry, Blended, and All American Boys, naturally connects to the values exhibited by MLK that we want all students to learn.  Our eighth graders will continue to study the roles young people played during the civil rights movement by watching clips from Eyes on the Prize and taking part in group discussions and journaling.

Lastly, I would like to wish our 8th grader Adam Lubomirski the best while he represents McCall Middle School and Winchester and serves as our Ambassador in the Launch and Service Day organized by Project 351 this weekend in Boston.  Project 351 is an independent, nonprofit organization created to promote youth leadership and service.  Each year Project 351 asks each of the 351 Massachusetts cities and towns to nominate an 8th grade student to take part in an one-day celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  This weekend Adam will join state leaders such as Governor Baker and other 8th graders from all across the state to participate in various community service activities.  I am looking forward to finding out what Adam will be learning and how he will bring back what he has learned about service learning to McCall.

There are many 8th graders who exhibits qualities to be this year’s Project 351 Ambassador.  I thank Ms. Edenhofer, the district’s Service Learning Coordinator, and our 8th grade staff for putting together a selection process and making the difficult final decision of selecting one Ambassador out of the many qualified 8th grade 8th grades.

Thank you and I wish you all a great weekend!

James Lin
McCall Middle School

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