Changing lives through books and music – Kenwood Press News

Becoming a Beloved Community – Schools Support Music and Reading at Dunbar and Kenwood Schools

By Laurie Boone Hogen

Becoming a Beloved Community – Schools (BBC – Schools), a ministry of St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church in Kenwood, is on a journey of social justice. It values ​​diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and provides educational opportunities and support for children who may not be able to access opportunities available to other children due to poverty, school location and school resources.

Rooted in the principle of “Love Your Neighbour” and born out of the Episcopal Church’s commitment to social justice, BBC–Schools supports the education and well-being of the most vulnerable children in our two neighborhood elementary schools, Dunbar School in Glen Ellen and Kenwood School in Kenwood. Since its inception in August 2019, BBC-Schools has embarked on a number of different projects, such as issuing food gift cards to the most needy school families, providing tech hotspots and Take a Break for distance learning, and buying Secret Santa gifts. The two most involved projects revolve around books and music.

Realizing that the Dunbar School library needed new books, particularly those supporting children’s diverse backgrounds, BBC-Schools launched a campaign to fund 100 DEI books and another 100 books for the library’s arts and science collection . Twenty-five books incorporating diversity, equity and inclusion were donated to the Kenwood School Library. St. Patrick’s parishioners, supporters of the Sonoma County Interfaith Council, United in Kindness, the Sonoma Japanese American Citizens League, and other individuals and organizations supported the effort.

Additionally, All Saints Episcopal Day School in Carmel donated approximately 800 gently used books for the Dunbar Children’s Family Libraries. Each child received a basket full of books during distance learning. This will happen again in March, as part of Dunbar’s Read Across America event.

Library media specialist Tracy Salcedo at Dunbar and librarian Sharon Watson at Kenwood make good use of these wonderful books. Here’s what they had to say:

De Salcedo: “I just wanted to share this with you, so you get a sense of the beauty of this day of reading across America (2021). I read Turning Pages by Sonia Sotomayor,

which was part of the BBC’s DEI book donation. I showed the children the book bins, the place where they can now turn the pages.

From Watson: “The books you delivered to our school today are wonderful! They are wonderful additions to our library. Increasing the diversity of our book collections is a goal for our school library and classroom libraries… Thank you for your generous donation.”

BBC-Schools’ recent and most involved project, ‘Opening Doors through Music’, has coordinated with ViVO Youth Orchestra of Sonoma to introduce and implement an orchestral program at Dunbar School based on the El Sistemo model. ViVO in Dunbar supports an after-school cello lesson, held twice a week, for 15 students in grades three to five. The course is taught by Michael Fecskes and was organized by Klara Crean, Executive Director of ViVO, with assistance from Katie Hahn, Acting Director of Dunbar. BBC–Schools raised the funds for this project and presented a check for $24,010 to Crean on January 27 at Dunbar School.

It’s an exciting time for these students in grades three through five at Dunbar School, as it is the mission of ViVO Youth Orchestras to change lives through music while nurturing safe relationships, developing mastering music and creating a community.

Developing life skills through reading and music by giving children the opportunity to have fun and learn through books and cellos changes lives. Our neighborhood is enriched by opening doors to these children in our neighborhood schools.

The BBC-Schools team includes Laurie Boone Hogen (Chair), Eleanor Albon, Kerin McTaggart, Anne Phillips, Andrea Stillman, Wendy Wood and Bob Wohlsen.