Shady Hill Affinity Groups’ Statement of Purpose:
The primary purpose of these short meetings has been, and continues to be, to provide time and a safe space for children of shared affinities from different classrooms to come together in an environment where they make up the majority. We help all students understand the definition of affinity and that having these groups is not an act of intentional exclusion. These are voluntary meetings that children who identify with these affinities may participate in. Affinity Groups are by no means the only time children discuss diverse and multicultural topics related to affinity. These themes are explored throughout our curriculum, and in-class discussions take place on a regular basis. Affinity Groups
• The Children of Color
formally began in 1991 and is the oldest of our affinity groups. Developmentally appropriate groups were later created in 1996 and are now known as Children of Color Lunches (COCL) in Grades I-VIII. These meetings are for students of color (children with Asian, African, Latinx/Hispanic, Middle Eastern American, Native American, biracial and multiracial heritage). Research has shown that children are aware of race differences at a very early age and that affinity groups like these help to minimize the effects of racial isolation.
• School Sisters was established in 2013-2014. It is designed to be a gathering of girls of color in Grades I-VIII; pride and celebrating natural gifts are the group's themes. Grade I Gradehead,Tamyko Morris facilitates the Lower School girls gathering and Middle School Director of Student Life, Laniesha Gray facilitates the Middle School girls gathering.
(The gatherings above are facilitated by James Greenwood
and other SHS adults of color.)
• Rainbow Kids is for children of LGBT families in Grades I-VIII. Grade I Gradehead, Erica Rogers-Jensen
• New Student Gathering for Lower School and Middle School students will meet over lunch once or twice this year. Students are invited to attend by Serena Gifford or Krista Demas, and they may choose to participate or not.
• Steppingstone Academy Students Affinity Group. Steppingstone Academy
students enter SHS in Grade VI. The purpose of the group is to help Middle School students integrate their Steppingstone and SHS experiences. Middle School GSA (Gender Sexuality Alliance):
This group is for all middle school students interested in advancing inclusivity of the SHS LGBT community. It is not an affinity group. Rather, it is an alliance intended to broaden support for students and provide a safe place for all. Contact Marta Rivas
for more information.
Please contact James Greenwood
, Director of Inclusion & Multicultural Practice, for more information regarding affinity groups and alliances.