Every year, I feel as if the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving offer us the opportunity for introspection and gratitude, and open the door to discuss this with our children. This year in particular, after we are finally able to gather together after the isolation of Covid, there is of course much to be thankful for, and I hope that it is not redundant to remind us all about the value of gratitude. At the risk of inundating you with this same message, I would like to reflect on what this means for me in the ISLA community again this year.
As you know, there have been some interesting studies recently about the benefits of gratitude in our lives. Etymology dictionaries tell us that the word gratitude came into the language from the Latin gratus, meaning “pleasing”, and “thankful”, and from Old French, meaning “grace” which in turn gave us the Spanish “gracia”. It turns out that this bit of “gracia”-- and the gratifying expression that something is pleasing and we are happy to have in our lives-- actually helps us connect to something bigger than ourselves; in fact, it can be beneficial in overcoming some of the challenges that life throws our way. As the Harvard Health Publication points out, gratitude helps in countless ways, including improving overall physical and mental well being, developing empathy, and enhancing relationships.
LIke many things, developing the skill of gratitude and capturing its advantages takes practice. Dr. Robert A. Emmons and Dr. Jeffrey Froh, two psychologists who have done much of the legwork on gratitude, point out that one of the ways to help students develop this skill is to have them keep a “gratitude journal”-- in which they jot down things that they are thankful for. As they tracked students in their study, they found that students who did this got higher grades, aimed higher in their goals, expressed more satisfaction in general, were less materialistic, and had a genuine desire to give back to their community (Emmons & Froh, 2008, 2011).
In the wake of recent events and intolerant rhetoric which has proven how divided our country can be, it is evident that while healing is still necessary, there is always hope. I am grateful to be part of ISLA-- a community which embraces inclusion and equity, and understands that preparing students for success includes fostering global citizenship, in addition to the ever present pursuit of achievement. As you know, an integral part of our mission is to “empower the whole child by nurturing the development of personal growth, strong character, academic excellence, and global vision”. In the past few years many parents have reached out and expressed how grateful they felt to be part of a nurturing environment which creates a safe space for their children to express themselves and be themselves. I would tend to agree, and add that we are thankful for all you do for ISLA as well.
Wishing you a very happy Thanksgiving,
You may have seen that the annual Obstajog fundraiser folder went out yesterday. (If you have not yet seen it, please check your child(ren)’s backpack.) We hope that you (and your friend and family!) will consider donating to this fun event. The kids had a blast last year and amazed us all with their energy and determination. We do want to make one clarification regarding the funds raised for this event. Due to the budget constraints for this year, we will be focusing obstajog fundraising dollars on meeting current commitments, such as paying for the math curriculum, with facilities projects either being delayed until next year or funded through designated grants/other efforts.
Again, we want to thank you for your continued support of ISLA.
The Spirit Store is now open through Sunday, November 26. Delivery will be to the student’s classroom before the winter break. Please indicate the student name and teacher in the order comments for expedited delivery! If you have multiple students at the school, put the oldest child’s name.
We are excited to announce that Black Pullover hoodies are now available!
Please note, due to limited inventory in some colors/sizes, the store is updated to reflect what is currently available. Please note there is a new long sleeve blue color option due to a supplier change.
Click to order. https://isla-pto.square.site/
Did you know that the Spirit Store is a fundraiser for the PTO? Your purchase of uniform-approved shirts and sweatshirts will help support PTO sponsored events such as the back to school picnic, provide funds for classroom supplies and extra-curricular scholarships, and also supports the LA program.
Questions? Contact Sarah at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You're Invited to ISLA between 4-7pm on Friday, December 2.
ISLA is currently hosting the "Native Nations in MN and Why Treaties Matter" Exhibit. This exhibit communicates, in a meaningful and truthful way, the history of sovereignty and nations in Minnesota as supported by:
Partnership of MHC, Minnesota Indian Affairs Council, and the National Museum of the American Indian
Content gathered from and approved by all 11 sovereign nations in Minnesotathe history of sovereignty and nations in Minnesota
We hope you can stop in and find out more about what ISLA students are learning during National Native American Heritage month. No RSVP needed. Open House style.
Hola! The tally is complete and we have AWESOME news! We crushed the records we set last year with $28,466 raised and a 65% school participation rate!! WOW!!
Way to go classroom parents, teachers and community to bring everyone together to make this happen. We could not have done it without you!
We are looking for new host families for our 9 amazing LA’s for the spring semester (mid January to mid June). The LA would need their own bedroom, but often share bathrooms with the family. Hosting is a wonderful opportunity to learn about a new culture and hear more Spanish in your home! The ISLA community supports each host family with designated aunt and uncle families, and rideshare options are available as well. Please email islaLAprogram@gmail.com if you feel your family would be a good fit in hosting one of our Language Ambassadors!