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Celebrating Diversity at Nashville Christian School

October 29, 2019
By Stephanie Harper, HS English Instructor

From one man He made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. - Acts 17:26

“There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” - Galatians 3:28

Sometimes, social media, talk radio, and 24-hour news channels convince us that unbreachable differences divide our community.  However, as the verses above explain, a body of Christians should be a unified body.  Nashville Christian School aspires to be a place where students of any race, any ethnicity, any socio-economic background, and any learning style feel welcome and included.  To that end, the administration formed the Diversity Team, a group of teachers pulled from each school, athletics, and fine arts.  This committee’s early efforts included brainstorming a vision for our school and writing a biblically grounded mission statement.* In addition, this year they have begun to study texts about cultural competency, gather curricular resources, attend workshops, and look for speakers who bring messages that celebrate a variety of cultures and histories. 

For example, September 15 through October 15 was Hispanic Heritage Month.  The committee provided teachers with curricular resources as well as encouraging teachers to think of their own ways to celebrate Hispanic heritage in their classrooms.  Spanish students studied the role of oxcarts in Costa Rican culture, where families utilized the carts to transport goods but also vividly painted them to represent their culture.  Students then created their own oxcarts and decorated them in ways that highlighted their own family traditions. In English class, high school students studied poetry by Francisco X. Alarcón, and some wrote their own pieces of poetry.  In the elementary school, first graders listened to a story read to them in Spanish by special guest reader Mr. Danny Coradazzi.  

Our recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month is just the start. In the coming months, the committee hopes to help our campus become a place of celebration as we acknowledge the diversity that enriches our country.  We want our campus to become a place of awareness as we consider the ways that God makes us different but also makes each of us a precious and valuable part of His family. We want students, teachers, and staff to embody unity in Christ and treat each other with love, grace, and compassion.  If you are aware of any resources, workshops, books, speakers, or programs that can assist the committee, please feel welcome to reach out and share that information.  

*Mission Statement:  The Diversity Committee of Nashville Christian School commits to creating inclusive spaces for students of any race/ethnicity, of any social class, and with any learning needs and to equip faculty and staff to be culturally competent. The vision of the committee is that teachers, regardless of their background, will bring cultural understanding and self-awareness to their work in order to help students develop attitudes that bridge cultural differences and grow an appreciation for multiple cultural perspectives.