December 2021 Update from Pollyanna
December 2021
Dear Friend,
I recently had lunch with an old friend and the conversation drifted to how quickly 2021 has passed and the hope we felt at the end of 2020. We both agreed that on December 31, 2020, our hope for a “normal” year was very high. We took a breath remembering that moment and then realized “normal” lasted only until January 6. 
Keeping hope alive now as this year ends is challenging. The past two years have been more isolating, frustrating and confusing than most of us have ever experienced. I grew up hearing several sayings that I still hold near. One of which is, “If you cannot give to yourself, you cannot give to others.” But what does that really look like?
Since the pandemic, and especially since the racial reckoning emerged, self-care has become a catch-all to remind those entrenched in DEIB work to make sure they’re taking care of themselves. But each day now seems to be filled with more need for self-care than feels possible. Elections, verdicts, government and education are controversial topics.
To some of us, the world seems upside down. Right is wrong. Wrong is right. For those working towards right is right, some self-care thoughts...
Prioritize yourself. Try to feed your heart, mind and body with love, positivity, and stress reducing activities. All three are needed to feel strong.
Center yourself. Keep your family and friends close. Lean on them when you need to. Be there for them when they need you. 
Challenge yourself. Seek out groups or create one where people can talk. That doesn’t mean a group where everyone agrees with each other, it means a group that can set discussion norms to learn to talk about difficult topics.
Share yourself. There is a lot of need around us – whether with an individual person or organization. They’ll be thankful for the time you can offer, and showing compassion renews us and helps us to grow. And if time is not possible and you are able to make a monetary gift, consider giving. 
This year may not have been the year we wished for on December 31, 2020. But let’s help 2021 end on a hopeful note with each of us trying to make a little difference this month and committing to making a bigger difference in 2022.
Happy Hanukkah to those celebrating now, and Merry Christmas and Happy Kwanzaa to those who will celebrate later this month!  
All best,
Casper Caldarola

In the News

Starts This Month! 
We are excited to announce our new 4-part workshop series: MaPaGa + Me: ABCs of Race-Conscious Parenting! This is for parents and guardians of children four years and younger, and will be facilitated by Jacqueline Nelson, a former kindergarten teacher, DEIB educator, and mom of a two-year-old. Join Jacqueline as she creates connections and community for families with young children, and teaches the group how to talk about race with each other and with their children. Click here to sign up!
NYSAIS Hosts Pollyanna Workshops on November 30 
We had two exciting workshops in partnership with NYSAIS. Race Talk is Dividing Us with Jason Craige Harris and Communities at the Crossroads with Chris Lukach and Casper Caldarola.
Erica Corbin Joins Teen Pollyanna December's Meeting
Join 13-18-year-olds from across the US committed to helping their schools achieve their DEIB goals. We have interesting and informative monthly programming. Please invite your students or teens for our monthly conversations that will continue December 11. Please fill out or share this form to register.
NPEA Hosts Pollyanna Workshop
The National Partnership for Educational Access kicked off their first-ever DEI Symposium! We were honored to be a part of it, with Jay Golon and Jacqueline Nelson leading a Pollyanna workshop on microaggressions and microaffirmations. ​​


High School Curriculum PD Overview with Julia Kingsdale 
Join us on March 5, 2022 for our first 3-hour overview of our high school curriculum facilitated by Curriculum Project Manager Julia Kingsdale. Attendees will learn about the curriculum's structure, scope, and sequence, and preview activities from each of the eight subject areas. There will also be an opportunity for educators to ask questions about how to implement the curriculum in their classrooms. Please mark your calendars for subject reviews as well: Advisory – 23 April 2022, Health & Wellness – 23 April 2022, English – 7 May 2022, History – 7 May 2022, Math – 21 May 2022, Biology – 21 May 2022, Technology – 4 June 2022 and  Art – 4 June 2022.
Upcoming Workshops & Discussions
12-16-21 -- 4-Part Series MaPaGa+ABCs of Race-Conscious Parenting with Jacqueline Nelson
Join us for a new 4-part workshop for parents/guardians of children four years and younger. Jacqueline Nelson, former kindergarten teacher, DEIB educator, and mom of a two-year-old, will create connections and community for families with young children, and teach the group how to talk about race with each other and with their children. Click here to learn about the sessions and register.
1-29-22 -- 3-Hour K-8 Racial Literacy Curriculum Overview PD with Jason Craige Harris
Join us for an interactive 3-hour overview and in-depth discussion of Pollyanna's free K-8 Racial Literacy Curriculum. This session is a great introduction for faculty/admin or for new faculty/admin, if your school has already implemented the curriculum.
Saturday, 29 January 2022, from 1:00-4:00PM ET on Zoom. Click here to learn more and register.
November Partners
Thank you to the following schools and organizations for allowing us to partner with you to achieve your DEI goals: ACCEPT Education in MA, City & Country in NY, Dedham Country Day School in MA, Far Brook School in NJ, Friends Community School in DE, Lakeside School in WA, Ravenscroft School in NC, Sheppard Mullin in NY, St. Luke's School in CT, and The Willows School in CA.
Pollyanna advances systemic change by developing stronger communities.
Pollyanna works with academic and other institutions to achieve their diversity, equity and inclusion goals. Through its unique conference models, discussion platforms, and racial literacy curricula, Pollyanna increases cultural competence.
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