Loudoun Interfaith Bridges Grant Benefits LCPS Multicultural Education Programs
Loudoun Interfaith Bridges, a group of 15 congregations in Loudoun County, has given a $8,866 to Loudoun County Public Schools for multicultural educational programming through a grant to the Loudoun Education Foundation.
The grant will help the school system implement the programming, targeted primarily toward students, to help them better understand diversity in the county. Programs may also involve parent, teacher and community educational activities if they are associated with student programming.
Members of Loudoun Interfaith Bridges offered the following comments in prepared statement from the group:
- "Beth Chaverim Reform Congregation is proud to support these programs, which will provide valuable enrichment and cultural awareness to LCPS students." Mark Raffman, President, Beth Chaverim Reform Congregation (Jewish Community), Ashburn
- “Together, we can make difference by opening doors to literacy for better learning and better life for the next generation." Syed Akhtar Alam, President, All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS), Sterling
- “This initiative is a result of relationships developed over the last few years between individual member communities of Loudoun Interfaith BRIDGES with the LCPS system and is an earnest endeavor towards supporting efforts for much needed multicultural education, awareness and understanding in Loudoun County.” Sher Singh, Guru Angad Institute of Sikh Studies, Sikh Community, Sterling.
- “It is a great honor to serve an organization that is as committed to interfaith connection as it is committed to our children. BRIDGES is building relationships that will sustain in Loudoun County long into the future.” Rev. Anya Sammler-Michael, President, Loudoun Interfaith Bridges, Minister Unitarian Universalist Church, Sterling
Funded projects include:
- ONYX: Awareness and Celebration of Cultural Diversity – Farmwell Station Middle School
Started in 2010, this Club will undertake a range of activities related to multicultural customs and traditions including dance, visual arts, social and political sciences including school library materials and field trips, and conflict resolution strategies.
- New Wilderness Project – Loudoun Valley High School, Park View High School
Two High Schools at geographic opposite ends of county will explore the ‘wilderness’ across different ethnicities, learning styles, and racial backgrounds. The program started in 2008, and students meet monthly with teacher advisors to develop projects and reach program goals.
- Ba Fa Ba Fa Cultural Simulation Project – Guilford Elementary School, 5th grade
This purchased curriculum can be reused for future classes and expanded to the entire school, if successful.
- Cultures Around the World – JL Simpson Middle School, 6th grade Language Arts
Collaborative student groups will do research on cultures around the world, involving a full spectrum of skill sets. The comprehensive program will integrate SOL materials and will result in both written and performance products.
- ELL Literary Magazine — Multicultural Literary and Art magazine, Broad Run High School
Students, including recent immigrants, will produce a multicultural Literary and Art magazine to be distributed in conjunction with the school year book. The magazine will incorporate art, photos and articles during the course of the school year. If successful, the magazine will be sent to other high schools for potential replication.
- Connections: Connecting our Cultures to our Histories — Seneca Ridge Middle School, 6th and 7th graders
The program aims to develop awareness and appreciation for cultural differences. Students will be given a survey at the beginning of the project to assess cultural awareness. Students will research areas based on the initial survey. Gifted and Talented students will mentor other students on the projects. A presentation will conclude this two-month program.
- Multicultural Awareness — Potowmack Elementary
During National Multicultural Month (February), a weekly presentation will focus on a specific culture. Classroom discussions will be tied to these presentations, which will occur in all classrooms, including math.
In addition, other programs will be supported at Potowmack Elementary, Evergreen Mill Elementary, and Harmony Middle School.
- “Only by fostering a spirit of inquiry in our young people can we begin to bridge our differences and find those values and beliefs that are common to all of us.” Sheila Kryston, Goose Creek Friends Meeting (Quaker Community), Lincoln
- “The Loudoun Education Foundation is very thankful for receiving a grant from Loudoun Interfaith Bridges that supports Multicultural Education. The projects funded by this grant will enable Loudoun County Public School students to learn about different ethnic groups, cultures and customs. It will have a positive impact for thousands of students, teachers and families.” Dawn Meyer, Loudoun Education Foundation
It is anticipated that this program will be reopened later in 2012 for another round of funding.