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Thoreau Park Celebrates Diversity and Inclusion with Embrace All Activities

March 23, 2021

Embrace All Thoreau Park

We are all the same but different.

This was the simple message shared with students at Thoreau Park Elementary School this March as part of Embrace All.

Embrace All is the district-wide initiative to “honor the uniqueness of each individual and embrace diverse backgrounds, values, and points of view to build a strong, inclusive community and to prepare students for lives in a multicultural society.”

Catherine Catalano, Thoreau Park’s home liaison, has been creating fun activities and lessons for students to teach acceptance, diversity and inclusion.

“Here at Thoreau Park, we did an Embrace All game board that we sent home to all families in February,” she described. “Each column had something new or different for students and families to try, and there were some prizes for those who completed their game boards. I also try to have something in each newsletter about Embrace All.”

Catalano added that she incorporates Embrace All into the morning announcements, with “Words of Wisdom Wednesday” which provides students with a new vocabulary word each week related to diversity, acceptance and inclusion.

She also works with second graders, PVLA and students with disabilities at the school on Embrace All lessons which include books, songs, stories, crafts and art projects.

The school plans to expand on this important initiative with read-aloud books during lunchtime, and next year, offer students more engaging opportunities and activities.

“It is really important for kids to be accepting of differences and similarities, and just be welcoming,” Catalano expressed. “I want students to be aware of different backgrounds, cultures, genders, races and ethnicities and embrace all.”