Like many organizations, in 2019 Spruce turned our focus to recognizing societal inequities, and doing what we could to address them in ways that were accessible and age appropriate. Over the past three years we have launched multiple DEI initiatives at Spruce, including starting a DEI committee, upgrading our library, integrating social justice themes into our curriculum and sponsoring trainings and lectures for parents and teachers. Through helping our little ones to recognize and celebrate differences, and support parents in their efforts to address challenging topics with their children, we hope to help raise the next generation of accepting and inclusive humans.
Here are three steps we’re taking to support our DEIB work this year:
1. We are designating a portion of monies raised through the 25th Anniversary Annual Fund towards workshops, speakers and tuition assistance, and
2. We have created a new role, that of DEIB Coordinator (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging). Eliza Hoover, Maple Teacher and Summer Program Coordinator, is filling that role.
3. We conducted the first annual Spruce DEIB community survey, the results of which will help us continue to foster an inclusive environment, as well as focus the DEIB Committee on what the community is interested in learning more about. We will also use this survey to develop our DEIB strategic plan in both the short and long term.
We know that students learn most effectively when they feel a strong sense of belonging, when they feel known and celebrated in their environment, and when they learn from the differences in backgrounds and perspectives within their learning community. The survey results will help us to continue to provide an environment that feels welcoming to all, and support our efforts to provide helpful tools for families.