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Newsletter - October 13, 2022

Equity Kids (EK) is turning over several “new leaves,” and we wanted to share them with you during this season of transition. We appreciate your interest and can’t believe the leaps and bounds we’ve taken since our last communication!

Here are a few we are especially excited about:

New national class starting in October for kids aged 8-11, being held via Teams.  The class engages kids in Austin as well as kids participating from other cities in other states. We have started working with Lively middle school following a successful year at Webb Middle School.

Orleana, Clay, Rachel, Mr. Perkins

Orleana Clark, Clay Horton, and Rachel Reed facilitated EK at Webb Middle School, with teacher Scott Perkins, this past Spring

Speaking of kudos received, we met up with Mr. Scott Perkins from Webb Middle School at the end of this Summer to share a thank you letter that one of the EK participants in his classroom had written. Although Mr. Perkins has moved to another school, he spoke highly of our partnership last Spring and is bent on involving Equity Kids in his new location. He described how, as a teacher, he would “see a lightbulb go off,” and kids would recognize an unfairness in the classroom that they had previously discussed in an Equity Kids session. We were delighted to hear him recommend Equity Kids as “one of those things that matter to kids beyond grades and beyond tests; where we can talk about what matters to the students. They can engage with each other with their ideas and get that sense of agency so they can take off into the world.” We are grateful to Mr. Perkins and others who connect us with groups and classrooms.

Have you met any of our facilitators? We are incredibly pleased that we have graduated from our board members acting as facilitators (Sarah Bagwell, Pat Clark and Orleana Clark) to now having 3 part-time staff! They have been working enthusiastically through the Summer. Rachel Reed, our first facilitator, was joined by Clay Horton in April and Haley Ott completed our trio with her arrival in August. They each are skilled, passionate, and dedicated to providing the Equity Kids families with spaces and opportunities to explore conversations around race. Rachel is a Licensed Professional Counselor with a long history of working with kids and families. In addition to facilitating, Haley and Clay are taking on many important roles related to Social Media, Outreach and Administration. You’ll hear more from and about them as we expand our organizational offerings to keep up with demand.

Along the “expansion” theme, Equity Kids held its first Community Day this Summer at Bartholomew Park!  Kids, parents, board members, and facilitators enjoyed face painting and games, expressed their thoughts on race through art, and joined together in nature on a beautiful day. We recruited several new volunteers as well, and you can vicariously enjoy the day through the picture below.

Additional time in nature for Equity Kids is planned for this fall on October 15th – 16th when we’ll host an overnight at the new Campsite at Shield Ranch outside of Austin. It’s another chance for our participants (and their families) to build cross-racial friendships as they unwind in nature, participate in activities focused on Equity Kids’ programming, and enjoy time for hiking and team-building activities. 

Community Day Kids Activity

Several Equity Kids focus in on art project during Community Day at Bartholomew Park

Finally, we are gearing up for a Fall Bike Event with Dan Clark at the wheel on October 30th.  Dan plans to ride through Austin (perhaps with a few treats for Halloween??!!) spreading the word about Equity Kids. Stay tuned for more details forthcoming through the Equity Kids website.

As you can tell, it’s a full Autumn Season ahead, so we wanted to keep you in the loop. Thanks again for your generous attention, participation, and encouragement. It means a lot to have you by our side.

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